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Self-employed and Proud

Maya Gurung, 41

Ward No. 5, Madhuwan Municipality

Bardiya District

Maya’s family is land-poor. To earn a livelihood, her husband worked menial jobs in India and earned NRs. 10,000 a month. Let alone, affording a good education to their two children, this meagre earning was not even enough to buy exercise books, stationery, and uniforms for them. Desperate to get out of poverty, her husband returned from India six years ago with a plan to start buffalo farming but with no money whatsoever.

Puja, Maya’s daughter was with GNI Nepal’s sponsorship service program since 2012 and received support yearly to continue her education. Maya joined a GNI Nepal funded agriculture cooperative in 2015 and the same year, she got a revolving fund support of NRs. 35,931 and grant of NRs. 15,399 with which she bought timber, stones, sand, feed, trough, and a buffalo: Maya got started on buffalo farming.

These days, the buffaloes and three calves remain tethered in her barn. Two of them give milk enough for the family and to sell. Maya’s husband does not have to do ‘slave labor’ in India any more. Now, he happily lives with his family and takes care of the buffaloes. In a span of two and half years, the Gurungs have earned a net profit of NRs. 157,000. Maya has paid back all the costs incurred while starting and running the buffalo farm.

Maya stated, “Raising buffaloes has been good for us so far and transformed our lives. I want to continue and expand it”.

The Gurung family does not suffer from economic problems any more. Neither Maya nor her husband suffers from cycles of employment, under employment, and unemployment. They are occupied throughout the year and proudly self-employed.

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