Do you see opportunities in hardship?
Success Story of Lal Kumari Pun has many ups and downs in her entrepreneur journey. Lal Kumari shares her entrepreneur journey her in own word as:
I had different dreams when I was younger but was forced into getting married to a guy who had decided to make me his bride. I told everyone that I was unwilling to marry that person but my family and friends forced me into it. I was told, “if you do not marry him, your life will be cursed.” After getting married, my life turned very hard and I had to take care of everything since both my husband and in-laws were not supportive at all. On top of that, I was asked to bear a son, so I ended up having 4 daughters then finally a son.
I wanted to send my kids to school, but we were financially struggling just to get by. One day I heard over the radio about an agricultural exhibition happening in Palpa. I got curious and went to see what it was about. I was inspired, seeing how people were doing business with their agricultural produce. I came back and started a small greenhouse tunnel farming by myself, planting tomatoes. When local villages saw it they were amazed by the quality of my off-season produce.
But, it did not solve my problem of not being able to send my kids to school. No one supported a woman in business at that time in my village so nobody bought my products. I had a small kid to take care of and I could not go to the market to sell it. Fortunately, one day “Agriculture Committee” visited my tunnel farm. They made my day great by sharing that my quality farm product could win in their agriculture competition. They even taught me how to pick the vegetables right for the competition. I went to compete in the exhibition and won it! The first year the winning product was the mustard greens. Following the success, I won in the exhibition in second and third year constructively with tomatoes.
A vision of Lal Kumari Pun
My daughter came and asked me if she should join the scouts at her school. I always tell my children to follow their dream and keep working hard to make it happen, that nobody can stop a determined individual. I believe that women should be more and more empowered in Nepal especially when we have a female president and hope women’s rights will gradually take its rightful place in our country.
This story is of Ms. Lal Kumari Pun from Lekhani, Dhawalagiri. After her success with her agricultural business, she has been able to change the mentality of her whole village as everyone nowadays goes to her to learn about farming tips and tricks.
Her story is an inspiration to many women in rural areas to break the gender discrimination, stereotypes and believes in their own hard work. Therefore one person’s motivation can disrupt traditionally existing negative stereotypes and evolve a more positive, equal and inclusive community.