PARBAT, Jan 29: As women were limited to doing household chores, they had to depend on their husbands even for buying matchsticks. They were compelled to let go of their dreams and desires as their husbands' earnings would be spent on household expenses. However, times have changed.
These days, women in the rural parts of the district have started engaging themselves in various income-generating activities so that they can be independent. This has not only helped them financially assist their husbands but also added to their confidence.
Dozens of women in Modi Rural Municipality-3 of Parbat are making money by running their own small businesses. Bhadrakala Pun, chairperson of Bhume Cottage Industry Women Group (BCIWG) of Ghurunga informed Republica that all members of the group earn around 80,000 to 150,000 per year.
These women have to collect the locally available 'Allo' fiber, process it and weave clothes from it. They get this fiber from the jungles in a large quantity and use them for making various types of clothes. After it was formed in 2013, this group's women participated in training and then started the business, which worked wonders for them.Once they started earning money, they felt empowered and independent. Currently, there are nine women in the group. Bhadrakala says they no longer have to wait for anyone to buy what they need.
However, they lament that they have to work very hard as they lack advanced machines to process Allo. "We have to spend too much time separating threads from the fiber. We could have saved time if we had a machine to do that," said Bhadrakala.
Sometimes, when they cannot produce enough fiber, they go to the market to buy threads. They create clothes for both men and women. It has been so many years, since they got into this business but they never had to struggle in search of market.
"We don't have to work too hard to find market for our products," said Bhadrakala. Their products are sold in various markets of Patichaur, Kushma and Pokhara.
There are many such groups in other villages, which have been providing women income-generating activities.