Ownership is mine, now I am not landless

Som Maya Bhandari of Helambu Rural Municipality ward no 2, kiul is a stereo typical example of women being a mere object of patriarchal society. She and her family of 5 were amply affected by the quake her mother in law was deceased in the disaster. Her husband being an alcoholic all the families responsibility came on the shoulders of bhandari. Quake had affected their income as well. Trouble was increasing in alarming rate. Regular skirmishes in home resulted in her children bunking school on regular basis. Bhandari adds “If it wasn’t for my children I would long left the house, but for my children better future is what made me endure all the traumas for this long”.

Family problems tolled up in an uncontrollable manner. Livestock rearing was an only option for livelihood. She had cognizance of it not being enough. This little income was captured by her husband. Pressure arose in her household with some turning towards violence.

Government announced 3 lakh grants for housing reconstruction. Dilemma on this grant being enough or not for housing reconstruction always encompassed bhandari. Beneficiary card issued by government was in husband’s name. First tranche was issued. In this period Helvetas announced for supporting in reconstruction of houses. Our ward was selected for support. Serendipity we also got selected. Emotional strain regarding reconstruction was uplifted. Now, Som Maya Bhandari has a disaster resilient house.

Earlier bhandari had 4 ropani (1 hectare=0.05 rop) of land. Her husband sold it without her knowledge. The money was also misused without her concern. Currently her house is constructed in only 0.2 hectare of remaining ancestral property. Anxiety always surrounded her that her husband would sell this land as well. Bhadnari shares” There were many sleepless nights, fear always surrounded me. A constant grip of reality regarding my children will be landless is what made me acquire joint land ownership. Every day I use to hide ownership in place he couldn’t find.”

Sommaya adds “Discussion regarding Joint land ownership started in community. I felt this joint land ownership is for women like me. I joined the campaign and submitted all my credentials. Receiving signature of my husband was whole new mountain to climb. After persuasion and many rounds of discussion he agreed. Today I have ownership of my house. I don’t have to hide the ownership inconstant fear. My husband rehabilitation is redemption for him. But I can sleep in nights without worrying about my children future thanks to JLO initiative.”

CSRC Nepal