Visiting Sushmita:
Report by Rasmita KC and Pramila Gajmer. Composed by Nabin Aryal

“Didi (elder sister) is that you?” a familiar voice in a surprised tone came from a dark room. It was Sushmita,  who seemed very surprised to see two mentors (known as Didis), Rashmita and Pramila at her doorstep. “Yes, we have decided about home visit and personal report in our last meeting but I was not sure that Didi would really come to visit the scholars’ home”, exclaimed Sushmita.

After a glass of welcome Chiya (Nepali milk tea), Sushmita introduced her mother. Her mother was also surprised  to see that someone would actually come to her house to learn more about her daughter’s education, hobbies, problems, etc. Our mentors explained to her about the importance of mentoring, a vital part of Rukmini Foundation. She expressed her gratitude for the scholarship and was  also very happy to see that someone genuinely cared about her daughter.

The day of the visit was Saturday, the only holiday of the week for Sushmita and most of the students in Nepal. Like most of the girls in Nepal, Sushmita was busy with her weekly household chores, such as cleaning and washing. Even though Saturdays are holidays,  it is particularly busier than other days for Sushmita. “I have to do my regular school work (home work) and  I also have to help my mother in cleaning and washing clothes of all family member”, she explains.

According to her, she likes to help her mother, but she would also like to have more time for visiting her friends and watching television programs. “We give plenty of time for Sushmita’s study but I will not be able to do all household chores by myself so I always need her help”, says her mother. “We would like her to solely focus on her study but this is not possible for someone like us”, she further states. Sushmita agrees with her mother by saying “I know my mother needs my hand around the house and I do not mind doing that. Her mother praises Sushmita by saying “my daughter is very kind, loving and respectful to the elders, isn’t she?”.

After this  touching mother-daughter moment, we asked Sushmita about her hobbies. She says she likes to play cricket, mainly a male sport. “Even though, I am a girl I like to play cricket and I think more and more girls should engage in this sport”, she adds. We also asked Sushmita about her studies. She said that she is working hard this schooling year as it is very important to do better in grade Nine. My grades in grades Eight were average but I am vowing to do better this year, especially in Science. According to Sushmita, her frequent  illness have hampered her studies.  We told her that she needs to take care of her health, and if she has any issues, the foundation will help her in any way possible. Concerning her future plans, she said she wants to be a social worker and work for the betterment of her community. However, her mother has different plans. ” I want her to be a nurse because there is money and respect in this profession”, Sushmita’s mother tells us. Sushmita also thinks that financial issues are crucial when deciding what profession to choose and said “I will decide what field to choose after grade Ten”.

Sushmita seemed very happy with this small visit to her home and she told us that she is very happy to be a Rukmini Scholar. She stated, “Until now, nobody cared about what we think, feel, or about our problems. This kind of conversation is very helpful to us”. Lastly, but certainly no leastly, she told us, “as a scholar, I have a sense of duty to do better in classroom, and it will make both my parents and the donors very happy”. Well said Sushmita!

We will be publishing more home visits in the coming weeks and months so please stay tuned.

Rasmita, Pramila and Nabin
Rukmini Foundation

About Nabin Aryal

Dr. Nabin Aryal led the foundation’s work in Nepal from the inception till April 2015. He is now serving as a special adviser from his new home in Myanmar where he works with the US and Nepal Teams to provide strategic guidance for the foundation. He received a PhD in Economics from Hitotsubashi University and has been managing NGO programs in underdeveloped areas in Nepal, India and Sri Lanka and has extensive experience in grassroots development efforts.
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