Women worker helps on gravel crushing in Jajarkot

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By Basudev Sharma,Jajarkot, Apr. 14: Women in Jajarkot have taken up the laborious task of crushing gravel to support their families, a necessity brought about by the increasing demand for construction materials in the capital. With the rise in private housing construction projects, these women have found employment in pounding the gravel essential for these endeavours. 

The earthquake's aftermath exacerbated the plight of ordinary labourers, leaving many homeless and struggling to make ends meet. Women, children, and the elderly faced heightened vulnerability, particularly after the collapse of their homes. The loss of income and shelter plunged these families into dire circumstances, grappling with the challenge of meeting basic needs.

Ramkala Khadka, a resident of Bheri Municipality-1, recounted the struggles of rebuilding her life after her house was destroyed by a landslide. With the initial government aid of Rs. 25,000 for temporary housing, followed by a second installment, she embarked on the journey of self-recovery. Alongside many other women in similar situations, Khadka turned to gravel pounding as a means of livelihood amidst the scarcity of employment opportunities in the village.

Sita Sunar from Bheri Municipality 1, Daurikada too was grappling with limited options for employment and agriculture in the aftermath of the earthquake. Despite crushing stones all day, it is difficult for her to earn a living. However, the predatory practices of moneylenders pose additional challenges, perpetuating cycles of debt and economic vulnerability.

The absence of comprehensive government support has left these marginalised communities reliant on their resourcefulness to survive. Calls for empowering women through sustainable employment initiatives resonate strongly, advocating for long-term solutions over temporary relief measures. 

As the demand for gravel continues to rise, unemployed women find themselves compelled to spend long hours outdoors, pounding stones to sustain their families. Local government intervention is imperative to address the issues of poverty and unemployment, redirecting budget allocations towards capacity-building programmes to foster self-sufficiency among vulnerable populations.

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