About a year ago, members of LitClub Nepal and Rukmini Foundation had the idea to gather together the mothers of Rukmini Scholars to participate actively in the changes their daughters were part of. This idea led to the birth of our Mom’s Club. This initiated a movement where mothers were working in their communities, learning and promoting women’s rights and education alongside their daughters.
This year, on the occasion of Mata Tirthe Aaunsi (Nepalese Mother’s Day), the Mom’s club got together to celebrate in an unique manner.

It was great to see scholars, mentors and moms working together to celebrate this day.

Traditionally, Mother’s day in Nepal is a celebration honoring the mothers of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. The difference with this program was that the Mom’s Club celebrated not only within their families, but looked out towards the community to include people who may not have the opportunity to celebrate.

Scholar, Smriti Balami serving one of the ladies of the Center.

A clear opportunity was for the Mom’s Club, Scholars and Foundation staff to celebrate this day at the local Senior Citizen Care Center. The resulting event was a day of cooking and eating together and celebrating all mothers present. There were also gifts given, songs sang and dances danced. The day started with a community breakfast prepared by the members of the foundation. For lunch the elders (4 men and 6 women) of the Senior Center joined the members of Rukmini Foundation in preparing the meal. This simple act of cooking together invoked a sense of community and familial togetherness among the elders at the center who either live away from their family or have lost all their family.

While some scholars were helping with lunch, others scholars and mentors were helping groom and care for the elderly mothers. The care shown and the company the Bahinis provided the elders gave them a sense of comfort and connection to their own children and family.

Foundation mentor and leader, Ms. Lalita cares for an elder by cutting her nails.

The Bahinis also organized a formal celebratory event after lunch for the celebration of Mother’s Day. Usha Didi opened the ceremony by welcoming everyone to this unique Mother’s Day celebration and led the Bahinis in honoring the mothers and the other seniors with flower crowns.

Crowns and gifts made the mothers feel extra special.

Lalita Didi also encouraged several scholars like Swastika Karki, Smriti Shresta, Divya KC and Sadikchya KC to read out beautiful poetry honouring mothers, their love, dedication, support and influence in the life of their children and community. These poems read by the scholars were heartwarming and honoured mothers everywhere for their undying love and support.

The scholars also presented the seniors with a care package that included various first aid items and hygiene products that will make their life at the center a little better.

Another wonderful part of the event was having Ms. Shova Gajamer, a mother of two daughters,  sharing with everyone her experiences and views on education and the influence of the caste system upon education and opportunity. Ms. Gajmer is an advocate of equal opportunities for all members of Nepali society regardless of their caste or gender. She herself was unable to continue her education beyond grade 8 due to gender and caste discrimination when she was young. However, she has passed her passion for education onto her two daughters and she is furthering her own education dreams through her daughters and by strongly advocating education for everyone in her community.

Ms. Shova Gajmer shares her powerful story with the audience, and asks everyone to fight for equal rights and opportunity for all.

After Ms. Gajmer’s powerful words, we continued our celebration by sharing sweets with the mothers of Moms Club and the elderly mothers. Scholar, Anu Shrestha made everyone smile with her beautiful dance, and even got everyone participating on the dance floor.

After the lunch, poetry recital, dances and various other programs, some of the participants took the opportunity to share their feelings about the event.

I have been living at the Senior Citizen Care Centre for the past 5 years. I love my daughter very much and I spent my life ensuring her well being and good education. Now I stay at the centre to not be any trouble and hindrance to my daughter who lives in Australia with her family. My daughter would prefer that I stay at home with her, but as I grow older everyday they can’t progress as a family while taking care of me. Today I was able to meet many daughters here in this care center, which made me very happy. I wish all of these daughters to get success in their life. This program fulfilled the absence of my own daughter.

Ms. Nanimaya Tuladhar

Resident, Senior Center

This event reinforced the strong bonds between the mothers and daughters present. The story shared by Aama Nanimaya was inspiring to all Moms and their daughters and we were happy to be able to fill some absence of  children felt by the elders of the Senior Care Centre through this unique celebration of Mother’s day.

Ms. Laxmi Pudasaini

Member, Moms Club

When I realized that some mothers would not be able to celebrate this auspicious occasion with their children or family, I really wanted to be a part of it. I was able to share a breakfast and lunch with mothers who are living far away from their children. I know that in such day they would love to have their children around them. We hope that we have fulfilled their desire even a little by spending our day together. Despite being far away from my mother, this occasion is difficult for me, but helping to take care of the elderly mothers at the center made me feel connected to my own mother.

Pooja Balami

Graduate Scholar

I spent this day expressing my love and gratitude to mothers who are living far away from their children.

Tsultrim Sangmo Lama

Scholar, Rukmini Foundation

The sharing of stories, cooking and eating together not only strengthen the bonds between the mothers and the daughters, but also provided the members of the Senior Center with a sense of communal belonging. This made the mother’s day celebration a huge success in our eyes. The sense of joy and happiness shared by all present made us happy, and we look forward to other positive changes that the Mom’s Club can bring into our community.

About Pallavi Gyawali

Pallavi aspires to work towards social development in intercultural communities and currently works for a non-profit organization to promote healthy lifestyle in different cultural groups of her community. She has a degree in Sociology and hopes to further her education in the field of social development and social justice. She is an avid reader and takes inspiration from various world literature, which reflects in her writing and thoughts on community development.
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