photo of person from Nepal Sindhulpalchok

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(NEPAL 17)










Bansbari VDC, Sindhupalchok




Ram is a former local politician. The interview is heavy with praise for ActionAid Nepal - the narrator believes they transformed life in the area. He explains, “before we didn’t have chemical fertilisers, tools were not good, we were not educated, but now with the help of ActionAid, we have good quality seeds, better tools and chemical fertilisers and we harvest two or three times a year … we now have more production.”

He contrasts village life today favourably with past - "It's like heaven nowadays". Mentions the positive impact of new road, schools, toilets, chemical fertilisers. Sees road and improved transport as the best local development. He thinks that these changes are especially good for those who are motivated enough to seize the opportunities that they present: “It’s the same life for the lazy bones, and such kinds, but for those who want to work, it’s really very good for them”.

However, the narrator also notes that all these new things are not entirely beneficial. For example, although the chemical fertilisers boost yield and make people’s lives easier, they also “use up all the power of the soil, so if we do not get the fertiliser in the future maybe everything will die. In the olden days, we had never heard of diseases, but after the use of chemical fertiliser (CF) there are a lot of diseases”. In addition, the cost of fertilisers has increased, causing rises in vegetable prices: “It’s quite okay for middle-class families, but the poor can suffer”.

At the end of the interview he expresses his hopes that ActionAid will provide the village with further support. He talks about his own happiness and how it is linked to the rest of the community : “if all the people of the community are self-sufficient and live a happy and comfortable life I think that is development.”

detailed breakdown

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Section 1-2  95% of boys, 45% of girls in village go to school. Tamangs are less convinced of the value of educating girls than Brahmans and Chettris. Villagers requested and helped to build a local school. More women than men attend adult education. "because they are more serious, they want to learn more". ActionAid introduced better seeds, tools and chemical fertilisers which are now transported in by road.
Section 3-4  The cost of fertiliser has risen however, causing vegetable prices to increase. Plant diseases appeared after chemical fertiliser use began. "The plants grow fast, but the insects attack them." Vegetable gardens are better now because of good water supply; animals no longer eat the vegetables because they're in barns with plentiful grass. Health in village 20-25 years ago.
Section 5-6  Inexperienced staff in local health centre. In serious cases, people go to Kathmandu if they have the money. If not, they "go home, stay in bed and pray to become well again...” ActionAid has brought toilets; all houses have one and diarrhoea and dysentery are rare now. They also brought a water supply scheme and the villagers maintain the system. The irrigation canals were rebuilt and now every village has its own. Schools: “...with the help of ActionAid and the labour of the villagers we have schools in our village.” Previous corruption by government officials
Section 7-8  Before road, he'd walk for two days carrying rice out and fertiliser back. Locals helped build their bit of the road: “We have really benefited by the road, we can take the sick to Kathmandu easily or during the delivery case, if the woman is suffering we can take her to better facilities.” Road has also brought work for the poor in the form of road maintenance and trade. ActionAid’s development efforts more efficient than government's. He illustrates how living standards have increased There is less rainfall now.
Section 9-11  More trees due to afforestation programme. Last severe flood 17-18 years ago. On population, he cites the preference for sons: “Even though, there is family planning, the people have to have a son in a family, so they try and try and sometimes have 4-5 daughters and not son.” Fear of children dying means people want to have "at least 4-5 children to be on safe side". Politics: he liked the Panchayat system “But at that time, there was no freedom of speech.” He thinks the multi-party system is better. Committed to working for the development of his area. Hope to receive assistance from ActionAid in the future.