Sushmita Dahal 25, is a very hardworking woman who has dedicated her life for the betterment and progress of other women. In 2013, she joined GenNep, a volunteer’s network under Himalayan Climate Initiatives, as a volunteer. She had just gotten out of her college then and she wanted to spend her spare time volunteering.
In no time she started working in a new project named HamriBahini.net as the program leader. In this interview she talks of her work, passion and HamriBahini.net. HamriBahini.net is a program launched for the empowerment of helpless and jobless women. It is a secure medium that helps in the empowerment of women by providing respectable job opportunities. Around 1800 women and girls have already registered since July 2013.
How would you introduce yourself?
I was born in Kavre and I am 25 years old. From an early age, I was more sensitive towards the issues involving women. With an aim of helping women, I first joined HCI as a volunteer and now I work for women empowerment through Hamri Bahini. I am also doing Masters in sociology.
Could you elaborate on what is HamriBahini.net ?
HamriBahini.Net is a web-enabled database of employable and skilled women, run by young female volunteers. It is a part of HamriBahini – The Green Angles Social Enterprise. As a Social Enterprise it has taken a business approach to solving the problem of mass migration/trafficking/exploitation of young and vulnerable girls out of Nepal.
This program is making use of the energy and skills of Nepali youth through technologies like Internet and Mobile Telephony to reach out to unemployed young woman across the country and their potential employers through a user-friendly web-platform for expediting employment creation. The enterprise also runs different trainings for the young and less-educated women in order to provide them jobs and livelihood opportunities within the country.
How does it actually work?
Hamribahini.net works as a web portal through which one can search for workers near the specific area. All our clients have to do is go to Hamribahini.net’s web page and fill the form of criteria. The portal searches for suitable registered women after which the employers can contact Hamribahini.net’s office located in Chappal Karkhana . I personally gather information about the employment place, conduct inquiries regarding salary and other facilities before I connect the employees to the employer.
How does HamriBahini.net help women and how difficult is it?
We pave the way for safe, respectable jobs for women. For those who lack vocational skills, Hamribahini.net provides training on tailoring, weaving and care taking. The starting days were tough, but now there are more job demands than the number of registered ladies.
How can people get in touch with HamriBahini.net?
HamriBahini.net is a web portal so the easiest way to connect is by accessing the website www. HamriBahini.net and then by logging in if you are seeking for a worker. If you want to register yourself or somebody to seek job, then you would need to visit our office at Chappal Karkhana. Once you fill the employment form, you will be put up on the waiting list. We will inform you as soon as there is a demand for a worker that matches your skills. For personal inquiries you can also contact us at email@example.com
What do you suggest that women rescued from trafficking and abuses should do?
Trafficking and abuses can be extremely bad experiences to deal with. Once a woman has been rescued from the unfortunate incident, I suggest that instead of treating herself like a victim, she should rather take measures to empower herself through work and safe sources of income. HamriBahini.net will happily help in this process. Life is short I want every woman to believe that she can make a difference.
How do you think is the situation of women in our society?
I feel that situation has improved a lot in the recent times. Yet, we are not free of harassment in public spaces and we still suffer from unequal pay. It also makes me sad that women do not enjoy rights to their body and rights to choice of giving birth. I would really like to change these situations for better in the future.
How can things get better for women?
I want to see every woman enjoying her own economic independence. Women should not be dependent on men for money. When both the husband and wife in a family earn, they don’t only enjoy the advantage of better financial security but also build a better future together. I am really trying to inspire and encourage more women to be financially independent through Hamribahini.net.
What are your future plans?
I want to get more involved in women related issues and be able to make some genuine difference in our society.
How can young girls contribute for a better society?
I personally believe that volunteering is really the first step to doing good work. I also really want to see more and more girls following their hearts and doing only the things that make them truly happy. My mantra is – “Never think of yourself less than anyone else in the society and continue doing what you love to do.”