Thagani Harijan is 36 years old and lives in a Dalit community in a small village in the Nawalparasi district. Although the Caste system is officially abandoned in Nepal, Dalit communities are still socially excluded and economically deprived.
She has had a very stormy life story and has overcome many struggles. Currently, she is rearing a native breed of piglets and her business has become quite successful. She rears the piglets at her farm and her husband goes out to sell them. Thagani is a member of the saving-and-loans cooperative in her community. This cooperative allows women to become financially literate and gain access to financial services. Thagani also supports other Dalit women in entering the cooperative.
Before she turned her fate around through pig rearing, Thagani owned nothing apart from a small piece of arable land and her hut. Living in a family of five, she was responsible for taking care of an elderly mother-in-law and three children. In the absence of a regular source of income and with an added burden of a drunkard husband, she had a difficult time making ends meet for her family. Although she did work as a daily wage laborer, the earning was not enough. But all that is history now. "Thanks to professional pig rearing, my life has changed."