Changing social identity

Thagani's achievements

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Thagani Harijan, 36 Nepal Storyline

The idea of pig rearing came to Thagani through one of the pigs which had been traditionally reared at her home. When it came to skills, she knew she could do livestock rearing. She then decided to take a loan to pursue her idea.

"I now rear a local breed of pigs. I have already made more than five lakhs rupees in a span of four years. I don’t have to toil under anyone, like I did before. My income helps the family make ends meet quite comfortably. I can afford my children’s education and even pay for my mother-in-law’s medical fees."  

Her new profession has even helped her improve her husband’s behavior. The trainings she received used to be a platform for Thagani to discuss her problems. She even took her husband to some of these trainings. Now, they work together in their business. "My husband helps me fetching pig food and sells the pigs in the market." What’s more, Thagani has started training other women who are interested in entrepreneurial initiatives. She does this in collaboration with different governmental and non-governmental organizations.

"I even own a fan and a TV!" she says with an elated expression.

 

Thagani has been involved in raising social awareness and women’s rights.

"Being an entrepreneur has brought about a change in my social identity," says Thagani. She vividly recalls being discriminated for being a Dalit during social gatherings. She doesn’t face discrimination anymore. Instead, she has been involved in raising social awareness and women’s rights herself. Thanks to her pro-activeness, the village now has a savings-and-loans cooperative. This initiative now has 120 female members. She is also the Chairman of this co-operative. Indu Devi Harijan, the Vice-Chairman, credits Thagani for the initiation of the group. "She has been a role model and an inspiration for many members of the Dalit community, both women and men." 

The family is ecstatic over her progress as well. Her mother in law says she is happy with the entrepreneurial initiatives of her daughter in law. Earlier, she felt worried about her grandchildren but she says that she has no qualms now. Two of Thagani’s daughters are studying in grade ten. Thagani: "I want to change their life course and do things differently. I will marry them off only at an appropriate age, unlike me. I got married when I was only 12 years old."

She aspires to build a concrete house and marry off her daughters in a grand manner. For now, she works hard to fulfill that aspiration.

 

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