Buna: A Martyr, A Activist and Inspirator from Badki, Sinja valley, Jumla, Karnali, Nepal

Buna: A Martyr, A Activist and Inspirator from Badki, Sinja valley, Jumla, Karnali, Nepal

by Radha Paudel
Sinja Valley, part of Badki village, Buna belonged with this village which is far from 12 hours walk  to reach headquarter

Buna was sitting as chief Guest in 16 days VAW program in 2012 , Jumla

She was sitting along with Women Development Officer

She spoke on program as chief guest, what happened in SAFE HOUSE, Jumla

Ready to bring to the River for funeral after postpartum
She committed suicide due to severe depression from GBV

Preparing for funeral by neighbors and I was there with bag (Pink)

Preparing at the bank of Tila River , Jumla

Burn the death body, ending everything 

Buna Rokaya, a Martyar: Governemnt Failed to Provide Justice
Not surprisingly, Nepal has the best policy to ensure the rights of women and girls in many ways. Likewise, Nepal is operating thousand of NGOs and Human Right/Women Right/Right Activists across the Nepal and it is increasing in trend to seen many right based organizations and individuals. Unfortunately, the ratio of killing, kidnapping, acid attack, and other forms of violence is shooting drastically. During the month of the Mangsir (November-December), 2012, 18 Nepali women killed at the name of various reasons but all fall under the Gender Based Violence (GBV) broadly. The government who is the key institutions is failed to provide safety and security even in the immigration office or within the premises of court, police office, office of Women and Child Development Office or at Safe House etc. Women and gilrs are not safe and secure at home, street, school, workplace and everywhere.
Usually the GBV cases are not heard from the west part of the Nepal specially Far West and Mid West due to lack of documentation and responsive civil society organizations and networks as well as government ignored the surveillance mechanism in entire governing mechanism largely. Only very devastating cases or cases which are not disguise at any cost, are come out for discussion  which is already too late to revive the person and become very complex issues.
While celebrating the 16 days activism in globally 2012, Nepal is paying active role, many women were killed due to gender based violence. Among them, Bunu Rokaya is one from the Badki village of Jumla district, Karnali. She is 35 years old, having three children. She had 2 years girl from the second marriage. Her husband raped him indeed while sleeping with other two children after death of her first  husband. He committed to love and marriage so she remained quite but she become pregnant. About five months, her sister in-law recognized and explored the situation. Finally, villagers made consensus and the guy and his family accept as her. She started to stay that house but her husband didn’t pay much attention as he committed during rape and after in front of the villagers. The days pass on, she had disputes with mother in-laws several times at the name of kids and other things. One day, by the help of friend, she came to Women Development Office, a government’s primary entity to address violence of women’s right. She started to stay in the `Safe House’ or `Shelter’ with her small girl. According to the safe house norms, this is temporary shelter, allow to stay only for 15 days and required special Constitution for more than that. But she was there more than 35 days.
In Dec 8, she was the chief guest along with Chief Justice (District Court) and inaugurated the program jointly. She also spoke in front of the public and ask to provide immediate support to reintegrate home. Her husband has already left home and went to Achham for taking care of goats. So she wanted to back as early as possible because of her two kids. She demanded simply to create enabling environment to initiate dialogue or mediation where her mother in laws involved and get rid of from such violence in future.
All concerned stakeholder; Women Development Office (WDO), Chief of Safe House and Police Officer, were there. It was informed to Chief District Office and almost all district organizations somehow aware on it. Instead of getting prompt justice, she observed the disputes between WDO and safe house. 
Meantime, the police, LDO and CDO also knew about it , she was waiting and waiting with all circumtances at safe house, psychological state due to her children at home. Unfortunately she losed her mental state and become depressive (as mentioned by the villagers). Finally, she committed suicide at the evening in Dec 15, 2012. Due to passing the comments to each others and families matters, again took a time even doing postpartum. After 2 days discussion, CDO, activists and others managed to inform family members and negotiated with them. In Dec 18, postpartum  done and also did the death ritual in Tila River. During death ritual, except family members, none of the activist, representatives of CDO, WDO, safe house representatives were there except Radha Paudel, President of Action Works Nepal. She was only one woman to join the deah ritual. People said that it was a first even where woman involved in death ritual.
In the morning, 19 Dec, 2012, relatives had meeting and also invited civil society organizations and others in order to inquirer with CDO about the further plan. CDO had has almost zero plan for further. Almost all participants spoke up and blamed to the CDO for its negligence. Later, CDO agreed to formed an Inclusive Investigation Committee and provide immediate relief support to three kids and their long term plan. The committee extended its date three days more that applied the end day of 2012. The relatives and neighbors were enthusiastic to support her, later the degree of support, emotions, commitment just faded up. Personally, the formation of investigation committee biased and not properly workout. Indeed, it was policy matters in working gender based violence (GBV) and its response specially safe house.The role of district women, child welfare office and safe house are critical areas to review, analysis to respond GBV.
I was shocked and can’t sleep that night, sometimes, I saw Buna and her life in dream.  I honored to meet her, assist her and participate in her death rituals and justice mechanism so far. I brought the issue in to the national policy discourse. A safety and security of SAFE House included in the demand of GBV movement including Occupy Baluwatar 2013.
 Why Buna was Martyr?
Because it is not a joke to come out home, speak up against family members in Karnali. Buna lived in such as far and traditionally faith village. Further, she was raped and managed later in rapist home. She had more two children. Due to having many dimensions within herself and her society, she came to seek support to Women Development Office but not get the adequate and proper support as supposed to get. Later, she caught severe depression and commit suicide.  she came to the government (a concerned stakeholder) for her legal and other essential treatment.
In addition, she was a chief guest during the interaction program in Dec 8, 2012. She was my source of inspiration. I got opportunity to address because of survivors of gender based violence. Thus, she was martyr for me though no one talk about it and I also didn’t like to disclose at that moment but felt guilt. So I wrote this blog for salute her contribution to women’s right movement.

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