The Dark Side of My Peace Journey

The Dark Side of My Peace Journey

by Radha Paudel
Due to my personal background, I do not have anything in public till mid 2012 though I am working socially since childhood. I engaged fund raising program since primary school through Junior Red Cross Circle. Since 1994, I voluntarily taught the children of sweepers and doctors at Bharatpur hospital. I also started to work in NGO as voluntarily since 1995. I was a member of NGO from 1997. My passion and commitment is constantly moving as my mental, physical, financial status allows. I also started to write poems and stories from school and got various levels of awards. My poem published in campus magazine in 1992 as well as article published in 2002. However, before 2012, nothing available in public, I always focused in action rather dissemination of news. One of the reason is not having access to with media and others.  I was recognised nationally and internationally from 2012 mostly non-monetary awards. Indeed, I do not work for awards, I work for cause, I always thinking and working for saving A DAUGHTER.

I always thinking how can I protect from the sufferings as I experienced yesterday and today or may be in future. Despite having deep passion and commitment towards cause, it is not easy to work as social worker or peace leader in Nepal specially for a person who come from non- political, poor, rural family back ground. Here, I have shared few examples of other side of my peace journey. I would say dark side of my peace journey. I hope it is useful for all young daughter who like to work as me.

Blaming, Biting, Beating++++
1.       Blaming that I earned the dollars and I deposited the dollars in Swiss bank because I am with foreigners, I travelled aboard, I spoke in various international forums
2.       Blaming that I am working as lips service no action at all, I am liar
3.       Media blaming, use of my photo without my saying e.g. Kantipur TV while I fought against the sexual abuse cause in Tri Chandra Campus 2011
4.       Got encircled by the supporters of perpetrators
5.       Beaten by the conductor in bus
6.       About to beat by the protester while doing study during Boarder blockade
7.       Shouting, blaming (verbal, print) in front of hundreds of people due to talking about Chhaupadi and menstrual restrictions
8.       Sexual abuse and attempted rape (do not ask in details)
9.       Put my name here and there with various man, made so many jokes and satires
10.   Criticized, shouting in meetings
11.   Asked for donations
12.   Asked money as loan and threaten later and never pay back
13.   Emotional blackmailing and use of my money
14.   Took money for many years, had to ask several times to pay back
15.    Got threatening phone calls, text message, letters for killing
16.   Encircled by army by considering spy
17.   Press releases and aired through radios by NGO people, elites,
18.   Informal groupism and put me isolation
19.   Bypassed the channel of communications, wrote discouraging emails and put down
20.   Used the power for changing decisions for the sake of few people
21.   Not responded to my saying, my emails, threatening via emails, FB message, Twitter
22.   Got threaten to my supporters and supporters left me alone
23.   Took my name and organization and blamed me as interrupter, broker or cruel in community etc.
24.   Arrested
25.   Accident and hurt my legs, cervical collar
26.   Criticised for my ways to speaking, clothing, style, education, language e.g. Jumli, (I) didn’t know how to dress
27.   So called close friends discourage me by saying, you can’t do social work because you are single. See I have husband, he is an engineer, he earned well, he bought car, house for me and paid the fee for my children’s education. In addition, he has political background but you haven’t anything
28.   So called social workers in USA, asked me how could you become social worker? you are so young, not from political or strong family like AnuRadha Koirala
29.   In London, journalists asked me, didn’t need you money from these people, you spoke very tough manner, they hurt.
30.   My bosses usually stood in opposition in my decision in order to include his/her people during recruitment of people, NGO selection, location selection, approval of projects etc.
31.   My bosses always critiqued about my style of work e.g. Radha always liked to go field, always talking about poor and poverty
32.   My bosses asked me to allow grant as their interest, as their people or friends and even asked me to pay their personal bills, seeking valuable gifts during their birthdays and others
Transport related
1.       Do not have money to purchase the flight tickets specially for Karnali
2.       Waited for 2-12 days due to bad weather in Nepalgunj and Surkhet and 5 days in Jumla
3.       Had boarding pass but didn’t fly due to dispute and another person fly at the name of mine
4.       Had paid already but hadn’t have ticket and boarding pass and another person fly at the name of mine
5.       Paid more than actual cost, sometimes directly and sometimes indirect way
6.       Spent whole day in waiting and waiting in airport without having anything and any information
7.       Got satirical comments from passengers, brokers and airlines
8.       Sometimes, even didn’t get response while doing greetings by airlines staff
9.        Flew without boarding, without ticket, without bills
10.   Door opened after took off the flight and during flying
11.   No seats, just seated like sitting in flat in few planes which had only 7 passengers
12.   Usually fly with sags while flying with cargo
13.   Police did unnecessary check and asked so many silly questions
14.   Women police touched the private parts at the name of checking
15.   Police hold 45 minutes when he saw the symbol number of my niece SLC examination, doubted that I was Maoist
16.   Had to walk about a kilo meter for checking
17.   Had to get punch even from on duty police at night
18.   Had very hard time while travelling via night bus due to only one female passenger in bus, get so many vulgar words, songs +++ alcoholic passengers including same row of seat, followed during urination, even after the get off from the bus++++
19.   Asked to drop off before the destination, change the route
20.   No seats, sat just over the engine or standing or in stool
21.   Attempted to touch private parts
Work Related
22.   Threaten by government people including LDO, made jokes and asked for privileges
23.   Threatened by political leaders and often asked for donations, recruitment of their supporters
24.   Walked 3 days to 17 days, maximum 3900 meters high
25.   No food, no value of money
26.   Got sick diarrhoea, food poisoning
27.   Falling down about 50 meters down due to slide while walking over snowed foot trails
28.   Can’t walk due to blisters, broken shoes,
29.   Police and Army caught due to walking during curfew
30.   Do not get opportunity to take bath for 5- 10 days,
31.   Took bath and washed clothes in river
32.   No toilet (open defecation)
33.   Had eaten dirty food in dirty place (few times, flies come one after another while eating milk, lentils, yogurt, tea)
34.   slept in cave, forest, shed
35.   Slept by sharing bed with men (cover of sleeping bag were considered as wall of room)
36.   Slept by sharing the room with alcoholic and unknown person and drivers, conductors
37.   Strangers knocking the door or entering in to my room at the middle of the night
38.    No water, so drank the water from river without any treatment
39.   Had lice’s, bed bugs, mosquitos,
40.   Missed many opportunities in Kathmandu and aboard due to no proper communication as well as transport
41.   Missed many opportunities at family including severe sickness of family members due to no communication
42.   Got isolation from family members due to working freely as well as no income
43.   Use of wood for light
44.   No telephone, no electricity, no internet
45.   Hard to get asleep due to cold -30 degree Celsius without any measures for warm
46.   Hard to get asleep due to extreme hot 44 degree Celsius without any support mechanism
47.   Use of firewood and sunlight for combating with coldness
Personal Sacrifices
1.       I quit the government permanent job
2.       I quit other high paid jobs
3.       Despite having triple master’s degree, working voluntarily in village to village, trying to give attempt, cultivate the culture of hope and action
4.       Donated my fellowship money to Action Works Nepal e.g. study and program on sexual violence in public transport. $2000 was provided as fellow of SANAM 2011
5.       Trying to bring the voice front from voiceless from rural, west northern and central terai whereas I born and grown up at Chitwan
6.       Enjoying with used clothes since started Miteri Recycle Clothes though I used second hand since my childhood from my sisters
7.       The land, royalty from book and award money for book, money from stipend, lecture everything donated to Action Works Nepal till 2015 and then to Radha Paudel Foundation
Overall Summary
·         We shouldn’t compare the social worker or activist with each other because there is always individual difference
·         Those who work in Kathmandu, in any issue, they have so many privileges. If someone work for children and destitute got more attention from supporters
·         The politicians, media people, actors, artist got more privileges too. I was in Iowa in USA along with artist such as Rajesh Hamal, Saroj Khanal, Karisma Manadhar etc. I was talking about poverty, injustices and rural women but no one listening me even talked with me except organisers
·         If we really seek for social transformation, need to address the underlying cause of poverty and injustices with sustainability and impact rather spreading dollars here and there.

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