Combining multiple roles of shop keeper, involvement in shelter project works and working as a house wife, appears all in a day’s work for the remarkable 50 year old Mrs. Sukuni Devi Mukhiya. She was landless and selected for the resettlement project. She is now a proud land title owner of 2 kattah of land and bamboo core house. She also cares for her two young sons 11 and 10 years old and her 75 years old mother in law. Her four daughters, who are 20, 19, 17 and 14 year old, are all married.
From 2008, just around the period of the Koshi flood, Sukuni decided on a career change and became a social worker. Indicating, “She was and remains an active political worker of communist party of Nepal. This brought about a complete life change, with a feeling of needing to do something different within the social field”. Fortunately, the shelter project for landless families (under implementation with support from UNDP/UN-HABITAT and Lumanti, a national NGO) provided the ideal opportunity for her to provide meaningful assistance and support to landless communities and the resettlement project. From the inception of the project, Sukuni has played a prominent role in motivating the community and landless families to actively participate in the shelter construction project. She remains an active member of Nepal Basobas Basti Samrachan Samaj (NBBSS), Haripur Unit. Nowadays, she has multiple roles within the project, to include, encouraging landless households to resettle in the new house, organizing HH lead activities, such as earth backfilling and compressing, mud plastering, monitoring on mat weaving and increase membership of saving and credit group. She is also a coordinator of the Disaster Management Committee and Women’s savings and credit group for the landless community of Haripur. When asked how she finds the time, her reply whilst modest, was loaded with conviction, “my priority is to devote all my available time to these extra activities.
Question: She was asked for her reaction to receiving the 2 kattha land from the government and shelter from UNDP/UN HABITAT/ Lumanti.
Response: Prior to resettling in Haripur, I was tenant to a landlord and felt extremely vulnerable. On several occasions we were forced to flee the property and felt helpless. Now with my own 2 of kattha land and core shelter, I feel rich. I simply never envisaged ever owning my own land and property.”