Mauriniya Cooperative Transforms Lives of Landless Families

Mauraniya is a small village in Tikapur of Kailali district in Sudurpaschim province. Mostly women run the village; men are mostly migrated to India in search of labor work. Thirty-five landless families are living here for twenty five years. Currently, each family ploughs less than a hectare of land, but none of them have land ownership certificate.

These families formed Mauraniya Village Land Rights Forum (VLRF) in the community in 2007. They commenced their monthly meetings, organized training and other activities. On 12 May 2013, they established ‘Mauraniya Women Cooperative’ comprising thirty members for their economic empowerment. CSRC offered NPR. 390,000.00 as revolving fund at the beginning.

Thuiri Bk, 55, a member of Mauraniya Women Cooperative says, “Earlier, we were afraid of sharing our problems with others. Whenever I had to ask loan from local landlord, he either mocked me for my landlessness or charged very high interest rate of around 30%. I was compelled to take loan from them. Now, time has changed. We can get loan with respect on low interest rate from our own cooperative.”

Another member Khintu Saud has started a grocery shop with the loan support from the cooperative. She says, “Once I had to payback seven thousand rupees against three thousand rupees loan. Because we are landless, nobody listens to us. We are not allowed to complain about this humiliation and exploitation. If we do, no one will give us loan next time. My husband’s earning from labor work in India is the only source of our family survival. So when he had an accident and lower half of his body was paralyzed, our only source of livelihood was also paralyzed. That was the darkest moment on our life. Then, Mauraniya Women Cooperative became a light of hope. I was given loan by the cooperative to set up a grocery shop. Now, income from the shop is good enough to cover our family expenses and medical bills of my husband. I have also started to educate other women from nearby settlements about the benefits of joining a cooperative.”