Uplifting Nokhi Budathoki’s life for the better
Jan 18, 2024 Dang Ghorahi:
Nokhi Budathoki is a resident of Triveni Rural Municipality Ward No. 6 in Sallekhola, Salyan district. She spent her early years of married life in dire conditions. Nokhi had to go to the jungle to fetch wood and fodder for domestic animals and cattle at home. Besides the difficulties and labour in working, Nokhi suffered domestic violence inflicted by her husband. She stayed in a joint family with 14 members, including her four children – two sons and two daughters.
Bhola Prasad Budathoki, Nokhi’s husband and the main perpetrator of violence against her, later became instrumental in transforming her life after he went to Chitwan to study agriculture. There was a sudden change in his attitude towards her. He started encouraging her to come out of the house and be involved in creative social activities by engaging herself in women’s groups, seminars, and training, among others.
In the past, Nokhi had established a women’s group in the village, but she had to leave the group after her husband’s disapproval. By the time her husband asked her to rejoin it, the group had turned into a women’s cooperative. Nokhi now has a regular saving of NRs 1000 in this cooperative. The same cooperative is being promoted financially by RWDC and Heifer International Nepal.
As the working area of the cooperative increased, there was a need for a veterinary technician to look after the animals reared by the shareholders of the cooperative. Nokhi was selected to go to Pokhara to undergo Veterinary technician training for 35 days. During her training days at Pokhara, her husband continued to encourage her to complete her training.
At first, Nokhi found the training difficult and thought she might not be able to complete it. But through her persistence, she eventually stood third among the 19 participants in the training. After this training, Nokhi returned to the village and started serving the villagers with her skill and knowledge of veterinary medicine in taking care of the village livestock.
The villagers began addressing Nokhi as their ‘doctor.’ She started earning a monthly salary of NRs 20,000 to 25,000. Her husband, a graduate of agriculture, started doing vegetable farming. She took a loan of NRs 500,000 from Machhapuchhre Bank in coordination with RWDC and Heifer International Nepal and started vegetable farming on a large scale. Last year, she earned NRs 100,000 from the sale of vegetables. She also has 30 goats and earned NRs 150,000 from them the previous year.
Nokhi is an inspiration to many other villagers encouraging them to rear goats and take up vegetable farming as their profession. She has established her separate social identity in her society and village.
“I will make more efforts to empower our sisters and help them to become financially more empowered,” says an enthusiastic and empowered Nokhi.