Nowadays most of the social lives are affecting by the development work within the society, different NGOs and INGOs are working for the brining changes in the society and uplifting the livelihood of rural people. Some time media spread the rumor of activities of NGOs and INGOs, most of the time they were criticizing that NGOs and INGOs are dollar farming. However, NGO/INGOs are being helping hands of Government. They are reaching to the people where government are not being able to cover, they are trying to develop the society. Due to the activities of NGOs and INGOs many people are benefiting in different ways, such as education, health, nutrition, livelihood even engaging in social sectors. Comparing to past years, impacts can be seen in the society such as women are conducting formal programs, children taking classes in coeducation system, dalit and poor people also involving in different sector of social activities.
Last month I have visited with some of colleagues to western part of Parbat district of Nepal. Though the visit was official, I have taken chances to informally interview with villagers (beneficiaries) regarding the impact of the program on their village. Villager seems very happy and satisfied with the support of different projects which are running in their society. They shared that due to the project they are being able to bring the changes in their life. Specially, the women and dalit community, they are feeling empowered in economically, socially and politically. People from marginalized group and community are getting different support from different projects such as, technical and financial support of the farmers, seed, tunnel, Goat and Pig, other skills. Specially, women and girls are getting different trainings for improve their life skills. Along with this, they got seed support for kitchen gardening. That support is really supporting for uplifting their livelihood they said.
Mangali Sunar (name changed) from Ranipani VDC has happily shared her feelings, “Being as a single woman, I was excluded from the society even from the family members before; your program explored the poorest and socially excluded women like us, with Goat as support, trained to look after it, provided different types of fodder plant. So that perspective of relatives and villagers are being changed that at least I have two goats in my goat shed. Relatives and villagers started to believe me for loan and other support. And I’m very happy that I can speak in front of you all without hesitation, before I was prohibited in social activities, I didn’t knew what is meeting and training? What happen in those activities, I was scared to speak with the stranger like you at the beginning, now I can conversation whole day alone, thus I would like to express my gratitude for the organization that you all came to us for support and did real great job.”
Dalli Bk (name changed) from Saligram VDC states that, “we were only dalit and illiterate (gawar) before, after implementation of the project in our village, we got an opportunity to learnt many things, we got support in different ways that morally and economically, most of the women didn’t get chances to speak out nowadays we can gather in a group meetings, we can discuss our problems within team so that we can find the way out. It was hard to convince our husbands and parents in law before; during the period they have seen the changes so nowadays we are not restricted to go anywhere for meetings or trainings.”
Women from different groups in different villages have a hope that project will bring the changes in their life. Women group from Pangrang VDC shared their progress and activities, “we didn’t knew that goat and pig should kept with care, and didn’t knew that we can make money from vegetable farming before, after involving in women group, we got skillful training and knew how to look after them to get more benefit. Hence, we have improved goat and pig shed, we learnt to make mineral blocks (Khanij dhikka) for goat and buffalo .We got different seeds for kitchen gardening so that now at least every household have green vegetable. Women benefited from the trainings, most of the women were shy to say their name within us, now you can see the difference, most of the women are sharing their problems, and they can raise their perspectives and thoughts. Women are gradually involving in social sector, they are being socially empowered, we all women have started to monthly saving, some of the women started to get income by selling green vegetable they are being economically empowered, women are working through the group, they are conducting different program such as teej program, see they are being culturally empowered as well, whereas most of us were used to beg for pocket money with our husband, we have to depend on them for everything. Not only that, even our children are benefited by getting copy and pencils on time from their parents, similarly they are getting nutritional diet from green vegetable as well. Thus we (women) are very hopeful that this project will bring the color in our life.”
The program creates hope and expectation together among women groups. Most of the beneficiaries got Goat and Pig already, some of them got kids while most of others are waiting for it as per the projects nature. ‘I have seen the progress in support receiver, most of them have healthy goats, they are very active in the community due to the trainings they have got so I’m desperately waiting for the goat and piglet, even useful trainings that can sharpen our skills’ said a women from Barrahachour VDC.
Not only women and children, men are also seems satisfied with the project implementation. However, they have more concern about the time limitation and further support, Shreedhar Acharya (name changed) from Bachcha VDC has shared his thought, “I think projects has bring lot changes in our community, there are so many projects I have seen in the villages but comparing those few of them are better, I can see the changes of behavior within our daughter and daughter in laws, this is the impact of the program implementation, women are being progressive in different ways, they are conducting regular meeting themselves, they are solving the women’s problems within the community. But I have heard that the few of programs are nearly finished, this is just a start there are many more to go, is there any possibility that could extend more?”
In concluding, Women especially from excluded community seem very happy with the support from the NGOs/INGOs; they are being empowered in different ways. Even though they haven’t got started to earn much money from the goat and pig production, and vegetable farming they have hope to get in near future. Moreover, they seem very happy in getting different skillful trainings; with that skill, they are trying to bring the changes in their life. We all know the media is third part of the government body, we believe it intended to reach and address a large target of audience which helps to inform people every single second. However, some times it’s creating problems due to spreading rumor of NGOs and INGOs. Most of the times they criticize NGO/INGOs is dollar farming. What ever the media says NGO/INGOs are bringing lot changes in rural area. They are being friends of helpless; they are being a voice of voiceless. May be there are so many factors that are helping them to uplift their life, one of them is the impact of the project that are running in their village. Thus, NGO/INGOs is not everything but they are something. I feel so good that excluded women and children started to come out from the kitchen and speak out for their right, and their basic need of their livelihood.