Chiri Nani Shrestha (Filzproduzentin)
“Chiri often feels the hardship of not being educated”
Chiri, aged 43, comes from Kirtipur, a village near Kathmandu. She never got the opportunity to go to school. Her father sent her brothers to school but she was denied education as she was a girl. Her inability to read and write became a hindrance to her marriage. Her wedding was fixed but she was rejected when the groom-to-be found that she was not educated. Chiri never got over the pain and humiliation of rejection. After that she refused every marriage proposals because she was afraid of being mortified again.
She came from a farmer's community but the land they owned was taken away by the government with very nominal compensation. After this it became very difficult to survive. Things got worse with the death of her father. Her elder brother separated from the family. There was no one who earned money in the family. Her mother and she had to rely on the elder brother for financial support. They often had to bear harsh words from her sister in law. At this moment more than ever Chiri was remorseful for not having any education. She felt had she been educated she would not have to be dependent on the mercy of her brother. Then she heard about ACP from a friend in the village. This raised a hope in her. At the age of 25 Chiri joined ACP. Initially she was involved in spinning and then later in weaving. Few years ago she had problem with her legs, therefore she was transferred to the Felt making unit. When she joined ACP she earned Rs. 15 per day, now she is receiving Rs. 150 per day. Chiri lives with her 93 years old mother and youngest brother who does not have a job and is an alcoholic. Chiri Nani is presently single handedly supporting her mother, her brother, his wife and their two children. It is not easy supporting a family of six people with the earning of one person. One of her niece has been taken out from school as they could not pay the fee. Chiri is very worried about her niece and nephew. She is concerned that if they did not get the education they may as well have to encounter all the hardships and humiliation she had faced earlier.
Chiri shares that after working at ACP she has gained a lot of self-respect. She gets attention and respect from her family and kinsmen as she is the bread earner for the family. She has no regrets for not getting married. She has become independent and she is proud that is she is taking the responsibility for her mother - a duty that is expected from the son in the patriarchal society prevalent in Nepal.