Laxmi Nepali is 36 years old. She has two children one nine years old girl and other11 years old boy. Her husband works as a wage laborer in Birendranagar, Surkhet. She got married when she was only15 years old. At that age, she was only able to complete 5th grade despite her enthusiasm to get through school leaving certificate. Laxmi is a housewife; who works very hard to take care of her family and rearing pigs for a source of income.
She had confined herself within the household chores, social interaction and gathering was not something that she was comfortable with. There were many formal/ informal women’s groups in her community, but she was not keen to join the group as she thought it was no beneficial.
But as we- FEDO approached her, and explained the benefits of being organized in a group she was convinced and quickly agreed to become one of the member of the group. She got involved in Himal Dalit women group, currently is working/ serving as President of the group.
She organized monthly meetings; actively participates in sharing, communicating and socializing. She also participates in various trainings that relates to the human rights situation of Dalit women, the problems faced by them, the issues that are prevalent; the bottlenecks that obstruct in achieving justice and the ways to overcome it.
She shares her learning within the group and outside the group. When cases related to violence and discrimination arise, she makes sure that it is addressed by the authoritarians. She is now a leader amongst her group, actively engaging herself to reduce violence against women and making sure that those who faced violence are getting justice.
She says “Violence against women in my community is very prominent. At many times, women are afraid to come forward with their cases and get justice, other times they lack access and money to get their respective cases registered in the respective department. The jumbled and confusing procedures to get cases registered frustrates women and they tend to withdraw themselves from getting justice. This has happened many times. Dalit women are economically poor, they do not have enough money to eat a healthy meal; and to add on it suffer from violence against them. When they seek for justice, they are not able to gain it for they do not have money to even start their proceedings by registering their cases.”
“To overcome this and get we are saving some amount of money from the members of or group as ‘Justice Fund’. This fund is used in emergency, for victims seeking justice. This saving has been very useful for us, as Dalit women will be able to gain sustainable justice services. Women are also unified, and have a sense of ownership and solidarity to fight against violence and discrimination.”