I didn't find a room because I am a female....

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A new job in a globally recognized INGO had excited me. My parents and relatives were happier than me. I knew I was placed in one of the remote part of Nepal. I had heard the name of the place only in my school text books, maps, news and through people talks because I myself was from eastern part of Nepal. I set to explore the new part of my own country, the far western part.

With more than an hour of flight and six hours travel by vehicle I reached my destination, my work place, yes it’s Doti.I reached my office in Silgadhi that was built with stones but nice inside, better than what I had thought it to be. I was told that I may have to face challenges and I told I was all ready for it. Yes, I had come prepared. And I did faced the first one, hunting for a room  to stay...

 I had the provision to stay in the local hotel until I couldn't find a room and I had to find that one within 10 days. And I kept searching for one for more than months in this very small town. I did not get a room simply because I am a female. As days went by more than my work I started to became anxious as I kept searching and wandering asking for rooms. Visiting each house and saying, “Kotha khali cha” (Is there room available?)  made me felt too desperate and sad. It was either the guard of my office or the volunteer or other local people who kept informing that there is an empty room in the house. I went with big confidence that I will get it but it failed every time. The landlords of the house immediately used to turn away once they knew it was female who came to search. Like a crazy nomad I was hunting for room again and again. I was told right on my face, “ketilai ta kotha didina( I will not give room to girls). I wondered why…….

I was told by my colleagues that it is all because of the practices and belief here. The belief was, If girls during periods don’t follow the rituals then something very bad will happen to the family of that house. And being a female development worker locals might have assumed that when we dont follow such practices it might bring curse in their home.Yes, I had heard of this practices of staying as an untouchable during periods in Ktm too but here I actually saw how far the same belief can go. Some of the female left their room due to constant nagging of the landlord when their cow was sick blaming it was the fault of female. One of the ladies I met said, “I had to drink water that was mixed with gold”. It was a way of purifying a female before entering her to the house.I noticed that girls were allowed to live in ground floor only even if she found a room to stay. I was already bothered for not getting a room of my own to stay and hearing all these practices upset me because I was already here and this ill practices had affected me too.  

I heard from my colleague that since people here have these kind of mindset,  we are here, it felt real because it really needed a change,a change in mind from the beginning.

I did found a room later. All thanks to my colleagues who found it for me after the months of hectic room search. Though the room I found didn’t have a window and only a small bed and a table could fit there, I was still thankful because I had finally found a room. It definitely was not in the upper floor. I got poked saying you found small like you because I was sleeping in a room of height of may be around 5 feet 5 inch ( im only 5')and the end of my feet could really feel the door.  

This journey of mine in searching room bothered me so much that it really made me to blog for first time  though I am not good with words. The injustice for female is hidden even in culture, practices and rituals.


And I really have to say again that I did not find a room because I am a female…………




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