08 Feb She can choose her own leader herself
Once Manmaya obtained the citizenship certificate, her daughter-in-law Bimala made documents that would be helpful in getting allowance for elderly people. Manmaya received her allowance for the first time in Kattik 2078. She was happy, “I can get the allowance sitting at home now. So, I need not to beg for few expenses with other people.” Bimala is also preparing to register her mother-in-law’s name in voters list. She said, “once we can make voters identification card, I think, the political leaders would come to us also.”
Manmaya Praja did not have any identity of being a citizen of this country. Aged 60, she did not have citizenship, làlpurjà (land registration card), birth certificate, marriage certificate or any of the government identity proof documents.
In 2052 VS, with her husband and two sons, she came from a Chepang village named Korak to Pyauli village located nearby Riu Khola and Madi’s Chitawan National Park. Her husband died in the later years of their arrival to Madi. Manmaya was illiterate and she did not know anything about the importance of citizenship. She also did not know anything about government work that was providing allowance to single women and elderly people from 60 years of age. Manmaya, who was doing agriculture in a rural village, was not in access to any government services because she did not have citizenship. The women from neighboring villages would receive an allowance given to elderly people and also other services given by the government. They would also choose their leader with their voting rights. The local political leaders would listen to them because they had the right to vote. But, Manmaya lacked all these things for many years only because she did not have a citizenship certificate.
Her both of the sons and daughters-in-law did not have citizenship and had not any plan to do so as they were literate only. They did not know any process to get citizenship. They were unaware to collect the required documents also.
SUS went to the village and formed Namuna Pyauli Woman’s Group (a SHG) intending for women’s enhanced knowledge, creating income generating skills, and developing the habit of saving. Then Manmaya’s daughter-in-law, Bimala, knew the importance of citizenship. She said, “Once I took part in the discussion of SUS, I knew how powerful and important citizenship is.” She also knew it was difficult to be included in the savings group to those who did not have citizenship. It was again difficult for them to create a bank account; however, their income would increase. She knew citizenship is a very important document.
With the stakeholders of SUS, she said that her mother-in-law too did not have citizenship. She only had a residence migration certificate given by her mother when they shifted from Korak village to Madi. She went to government offices to know if the same document could be useful to make her mother-in-law’s citizenship certificate. The officers from the District Administration Office (DAO) told them that a birth certificate was important to proceed ahead. Then she went to Korak village with her aged mother-in-law and met her kin in the village and successfully made the birth certificate of her mother-in-law.
She went to DAO for the second time. Again, the officers said that she also would need a relationship proof certificate. Then she again went to the ward office in the village and made the relationship proof document. Then she went to the DAO office a third time with all the documents she made. The government officer said, in order to get citizenship in her mother’s name, she would need her sons. But, one of the sons was severely ill because of jaundice and another was not present in the village.
Bimala had experiences of attending many trainings provided by SUS, so she felt strong in putting her voice in front of somebody. She said, “earlier I was scared of speaking to somebody. I would feel fearful when I get to see government officials. However, SUS taught me to speak whenever needed.” She told the officials that she could not bring sons because one was ill and another was not in the village. Government officials seemed to be intentionally late in providing a citizenship certificate to her mother. Bimala told them that she had to bear many difficulties and money but in vain. She stayed strong in making citizenship in front of officials. Then finally, the officials gave her the citizenship certificate.
Manmaya Parja got citizenship certificate at 60 years of age. Once she obtained the citizenship certificate, her daughter-in-law Bimala made documents that would be helpful in getting allowance for elderly people. Manmaya received her allowance for the first time in Kattik 2078. She was happy, “I can get the allowance sitting at home now. So, I need not to beg for few expenses with other people.” Bimala is also preparing to register her mother-in-law’s name in voters list. She said, “once we can make voters identification card, I think, the political leaders would come to us also.”