Srijana Women’s Group Transforms a Community
Srijana Women’s Group Transforms a Community

Situated in Rukum East, the remote village of Arjal is not served by any motorable roads or telephone networks. The difficult geographical landscape deprives local people of many basic facilities, and leaves them vulnerable to severe environmental, social, and economic challenges. Poor sanitation, lack of safe drinking water, alcoholism and gambling, are some of the issues found in this village. Home to more than 100 families, still 20 percent of the households here don’t have toilets. The population includes a high concentration of Dalit families, with a very low economic status.

UMN’s SEED project has been running in the area since July 2021. After the initial meeting with the community people, especially women, the need to form at least one group in the village to fight against the different community issues was identified. The project then enabled the formation of a new mothers’ group called ‘Srijana’, meaning ‘creation,’ who then developed an action plan to improve their environment and economic issues. As per their action plan, the group has been actively involved in the making of reservoir tanks, with more than 50 % of the labour and local resources needed for the construction being contributed by the group. This construction work has directly benefitted 15 families who had not previously had safe drinking water.

To improve sanitation, villagers have now started using water wisely and have discouraged people from washing clothes at the drinking water sources. But the group did not stop here! They have been actively involved in sanitation awareness-raising campaigns in the community, and conducted cleaning work on a weekly basis. They have taken care of waste management, assigning a separate area to dump garbage. In addition, to address social issues, the group has been raising awareness of some traditional harmful practices, including gambling.

Gauri Kumari Pun, Chairperson of Srijana shares, “Most men are addicted to gambling and are wasting money on it, but after the formation of the mother’s group we have been able to control gambling in the villages.” All the members of the group have been very encouraged to work more in the future and want to make Arjal a model village”.

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