July 23, 2016 01:00 AM NPT
By: Bidhya Rai
BHOJPUR, July 23: Women of Okhre -9 at Bhojpur district have constructed a wooden bridge at Bantang River on their own. After failing to get it done by local authorities or men in the village, the brave women took up the responsibility themselves. Lack of a bridge over the river had not only made the locals' life difficult, but had also resulted in human casualties a number of times while crossing the risky river.
“We feel quite relived now,” said Durga Kumari, a local primary school teacher. “Fear of being swept away by the river used to grip us more during the monsoon. But, now we are really stress-free,” she added.
According to Sangeeta Khadka, president of Jaleshwar Community Organization, about 36 women had voluntarily gathered to construct the bridge.
The women managed to install gabion walls on the banks of the river and constructed the wooden bridge over them. For the woods, they brought Sakhuwa (Shorea Robusta) tree from a forest seven kilometers away. According to Khadka, the project is worth around Rs 400,000.
This construction has benefitted around 600 households of Khena Bantang and Butang Tol VDCs.
“The river used to bring down debris and huge logs from the upper region, putting our lives at stake while crossing the river,” Anisha Thapa, another local from Okhre 2, said. “The water current had once swept away my bags and had almost drowned me too.”
The women involved in the work have expressed happiness over the completion of the project. “We believed that we could relieve our own troubles by working in a team and we, women, have proved our vision,” Thapa added.
Sabina Rai, coordinator of the LDP, also shared her happiness over the completion of the project. She said that locals are relieved from years of trouble faced by the lack of bridge.
“It was not just support that made the project possible,” Rai said, adding, “It was the determination and optimism of the women that helped make the project a success.”