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A letter from Dipa Nepali

I am Dipa Kumari Nepali from Janakpur Tol, Ghodaghodi Urban Municipality of Kailali district of Sudur Paschim Province. I am a student of LLB (Bachelor of Legislative Law) in Nepal Law Campus and Master of Education (M.Ed) in Kathmandu, Nepal.

I am from ultra-poor so-called Dalit family background. Though my parents earn little in their traditional and paternal profession of tailoring, they endeavor to provide me better education. My mother sews dresses in neighborhood and sends the earned money for me to stay in Kathmandu. But now the pandemic is severely impacting our daily life. The present wave of the new Corona variant has obstructed regular activities and clamped down even my meager resources that I used to get from parents. My parents had to take loan with high interest rate. Getting loan was not easy because we didn’t have property. I almost stopped going to classes.

I faced fourfold problem – both technical and non-technical related to resources and economic and psychological issues with the stress of scarcity. I had a clear plan to look for job immediately after the final examination so that my mother would get relief from my financial expenses. But because of the COVID lockdown, getting a job was impossible. I went through so much hardship that I was demoralized.

One day, I saw a story about ADWAN’s founder Dr. Bishnu Maya Pariyar. Through her story, I found out about ADWAN’s work helping marginalized children and women. I contacted Dr. Pariyar through Facebook messenger. She answered my call. I told my struggle. I told her that I wanted to be a judge to advocate for Dalit and marginalized women but because of the financial hardship, I may have to give up my law education. She gave me hope and told me not to worry. I was very happy after I talked to her.

She called me the next day and told me that I would get a scholarship through ADWAN’s Ambitious Girls Fund (AGF) through Manakamana Fund. The Fund's co-founder Pam Ross provided $2,400 scholarship through the AGF so that I could complete my study. I couldn’t believe it - I started crying - My heart was bouncing.

I volunteered with ADWAN to start 11 new women’s groups in Kailali where Dalit women are very poor and illiterate. They are displaced by war. With guidance from ADWAN’s General Secretary Bindu Pariyar Thapa, I was able to conduct gender-based violence training for women.

Besides my study, I write articles for Nepali media on the issue of caste discrimination, untouchability and other relevant social issues for Dalit community. It is my passion to pen my experience, put my thoughts in words. These days, I am writing thesis of Master in Education (M.Ed), a biography of eminent Nepali women of different sectors, and articles on existing social issues. After I finish my study, I will become an advocate for Dalit women who are victims of caste, gender, domestic and gender based violence.

Thank you ADWAN team and Dr. Bishnu Maya Pariyar for your support to fulfil my dream.

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