Parbati Giri

I was born and brought up in a village where menstrual hygiene never received the kind of attention it demands. Realizing that safe and effective menstrual health is a critical component of women's sexual and reproductive health, I attended a hygiene products training in Dadeldhura where I learnt how to make reusable pads, despite the stigma attached with it. In my quest to break taboos around menstruation, I conduct 9-10 training sessions every year as requested of me by the Ward Office and Community Welfare Association, involving women aged between 20 to 60. Until now, I have trained 300 women in my village and women are using reusable pads. Four women have started manufacturing these pads on their own. However, school going girls are still facing difficulties because they have to change pads frequently. The alternative to reusable cotton cloth pads is using polyester fleece, which is very costly. To resolve this problem, I have appealed to the local school to provide enough water and clothesline rope in their washroom so that they can wash and dry it. I want my work to have an impact on people’s lives however, due to financial limitations, I haven’t been able to keep up my passion for social work. But like a famous Nepali idiom “खाने मुखलाई जुंगाले छेक्दैन (for those who have a will, there is a way). I started Achaar Business, mainly to finance my social work. I received training for Achaar making and initially in a group of 6, started this business. Later, my partners backpedalled due to family problems but I continued the business with my husband. My husband has returned back after working for 15 years in India and Dubai although I always wanted him to work in our village. I am committed to contributing to my country and I only use nationally manufactured products (labels, bottles, ingredients, etc.) to make and sell my products. Now my husband looks after Achaar business and I have started a registered Floristry– production, commerce, and trade in flowers. My customers are mostly my relatives, family, friends and people from my village. I have not employed additional human resources and also haven’t commercialized my business because I want to continuously run my business without taking any loan and slowly, with the profit gained, I want to expand my business. Daayitwa supports rural growth-oriented entrepreneurs to accelerate their innovations and incubate other entrepreneurs in their local communities through its Rural Enterprise Acceleration Program (REAP). This year we have selected 20 entrepreneurs from Tilottama, among which Parbati Giri is one of them.

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