Parvati Pariyar,Kapilvastu, Badganga-2, upttaha

Parvati was born in the hilly area. Being Dalit and poor she could not go to school. She fell in love with a Dalit boy Krishna Bahadur Pariyar in early age of 15. They eloped from the village and came down to plain area Terai hoping that they will have better life there. As they had nothing with them except the clothes they were wearing. They did some daily wages work for survival but it was a seasonal job. So many days they had to go hungry. One kind family provided them a small space to build a hut. They settled there. Because of frustration with life and company of similar kind of people her husband started drinking locally made alcohol and squandered his wages. Being drunk he would come home and beat Parvati daily. As Parvati became pregnant both were worried. Parvati heard about local women’s group being formed. She also decided to join it so that she can save some and get loans in need. Thus she became a member. The women’s group heard of her situation, they went and talked with her husband and even threatened to take action if he beat her wife. It made him sober. Parvati started saving. The group also recommended her to the Women Acting Together for Change (WATCH) to support her through its poverty to prosperity program. This program tries to analyze situation of their resources and their management and see if their opportunities and possibilities. But they did not have anything except their labour. After a series of discussion, Parvati decided to start make Raksi (the local drink) but she did not have skill so she learnt working with her neighbor. She did not have necessary utensils and she rented from the neighbor. She requested investment of if US$ 100 to start this business. It needed firewood which she collected from the river stream which was brought there during the flooding. Thus she started her small venture. She suggested her husband to collect such logs and woods from the river bed, make firewood and sell to others. It worked so he rented a cart and started carrying firewood to nearby market. He also started supplying sand to construction site. As Parvati started to have difficulty in hard work they decided to start a teashop and small stores. WATCH found it possible and provided another investment of US$ 500. She had already paid the first loan. As there was no teashop and store around it worked. As, they were earning good some of money they decided to save more and bought a piece of land. Parvati gave birth to a baby boy. But she continued her business. As the teashop worked well they started to sell snacks, cooked meat and local drinks which worked very well. So, rather than bringing meat from outside they decided to raise chicken for eggs and meat. They also raised pigs to feed the leftovers from the kitchen. As there was demand for the raw meat they started buying a male buffalo and butchered it every Tuesday and sold the meat. They have now refrigerator, freezer, etc. also. They also built a house in the land they had bought. Now they save some money everyday which they are planning to invest. They are also thinking of insurance. As the market is very small so they have diversified the business. Within ten years they have become prosperous, happy and forward for bright future.