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Nawalpur women achieve economic independence from operating homestay



homestay at baglung
Baglung homestay (file photo)

Nawalparasi, April 19: Bal Kumari Mahato of Kawasoti in Nawalparasi (Bardaghat Susta Purba) district does not worry anymore how to run her household thanks to the income she makes from operating homestay.

Earlier dependent on agriculture, Mahato has found better source of income from operation of homestay for nearly five years thereby gaining economic independence.

Like Mahato, there are a handful of women in Chilaha village who are engaged in homestay. Resham Kumari Mahato of Kawasoti-10 for one shared, “Earlier we were involved in agriculture and earned scantly. After operating homestay, earning has increased.” The entrepreneurial women admitted that they enjoy attending to the guests and regale them with their cultural performances and delicacies besides enjoying financial freedom. The enterprises have further empowered them by developing leadership qualities in them and further harnessing their management skills.

“Earlier we were too shy to talk to strangers but since we forayed into homestay enterprises, we have learned how to talk shop and run our enterprises confidently,” gushed Resham Kumari. The village where they operate homestay is predominantly a Tharu settlement and lies nearby a buffer zone. Most of the women running homestay at present were involved in agriculture in the past which did not yield them good returns due to menace of wild animals.

Animal husbandry also failed them secure a good income for the wild animals would prey their domestic animals. In lack of good income, their living standard had gone down, admitted Mahato. “Following the homestay operation, our village is witnessing a socio-economic transformation and the living standards of fellow villagers have improved notably,” she observed.

These entrepreneurial women have adequately secured support from their spouses and family in running their business. Since the introduction of home stay, the village has welcomed around 11,000 guests, both domestic and external, informed Prem Bahadur Mukhiya, homestay manager. Jeep safari in another attraction for the homestay guests, added Mukhiya. Besides savoring the Tharu delicacies, nature enthusiasts could enthrall themselves watching wild animals such as rhino, antelope, wild boar, peacock, crocodiles and various species of birds roaming around in the buffer zone, he said.

Ward chairperson of Kawasoti-10 Tek Narayan Mahato asserted that homestay had contributed in development and upliftment of the local community besides aiding in nature and culture conservation.