Huma got her SMILE back


Laxmi Khanal

How much cement should be use, what type of steel rod should be perfect, how many steel rod can be used for beam and pillar and there size, overall she has quantify the rod, ratio of cement sand and water for building earthquake resistant construction. This is the daily routine of Huma Sadhighare who currently lived in Tarkeshwor Municipality, Kathmandu. Her main responsibility is to mobilize coworker for construction. But she has not get this responsibility all of sudden, she has faced many setbacks in her life. There is a long story behind her current happy and smiley life.

In one side she was poor and in another side, a women. Because of these two reason she faced gender discrimination many times. She knocked the door of people and requested for work but people refused her because she is a women and could not believe she can work. However, she never lost her hope and courage. Her hope lead her ahead. She said "I have to do work for money to make my children's life better." And finally, as #everywhereforeveryone , Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) became a rays of hope of her life.    

She knew that NRCS is organizing the masonry training nearby her resident. She decided to participate in the training to develop her skills. But it was not easy to convince her husband about it. She put all effort to convince him for participating in the training. She took training with big hope and self-confidence. After completion of the training, she searched for masonry work but it was very difficult to find work after a weeklong training because she is a women and she was challenging the stereotype that women cannot work as skilled mason as man do.

likewise she heard many discriminating phrases words from the people like; she is a women and she is a mother of four children so how can she bent the rod , how can she put cement on the walls, how can she carry heavy stuff and so on. However she never being disappointed with these questions. She continuously searching work and finally got it.  She break the stereotype society in which woman does not work as mason because of their physical structure. By this masonry she earned thousand rupees per day which sums thirty thousand per month. Now she became contractor and people believe her work nowadays. Her livelihood is being better day by day with happiness. Before work she was worried to pay school fees of her children but now it is simple. She can pay it within a time.

She said "ability of women should not be judge with their physical structure whereas skill, courage and workability are major things to determine."I feel so proud that my courage and hope break stereotype thoughts in the present society that women cannot do heavy work. I am always grateful to Nepal Red Cross Society for making my hands skillful and growing self-confidence through mason training."

Devastating Gorkha earthquake of 2072 Baisakh 12, has taken her smile and happiness away but now she get her smile and happiness back. She said "NRCS give me back the smile which I lost once. Now I am very happy and satisfied with my life."

(  Khanal works as Protection, Gender and Inclusion (PGI) Officer for NRCS)