Suntali and Kumar were struggling to make ends meet before Tevel began working in Bhwasa, Bethan, Nepal. The couple subsisted on crops produced on their small parcel of land which they were only able to cultivate during the rainy season. Kumar was forced to travel abroad to find employment. While her husband was away, Suntali participated in Tevel’s women’s empowerment and agriculture training.
With skills gained through Tevel’s intervention including renewed social connections in the community Suntali began a poultry farm. Upon his return, she convinced her husband to stay in the village and help with the farm. The couple rented a small plot of land, constructed chicken coops and brought in 1000 chicks. The first batch was not very successful, but they were able to make back their operating expenses. This provided them with the much-needed experience and confidence to go ahead. Each year Suntali and her husband can sell 2000 chickens making a profit of NPR 300,000 ($2,200) which is a significant improvement in earnings from traditional farming. Suntali also grows green vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, eggplant on a small-scale making use of manure produced on her poultry farm. She sells surplus vegetables in her village.
Suntali is happy that she had the confidence to convince her husband to stay and explore economic opportunities in their own village. Kumar says he is amazed by the changed attitude and confidence in his wife which enabled her to start a business despite caste-based discrimination in the community. He is proud of his wife and pleased she has found an alternative for him to migrant labor in the Gulf where he earns less than they will through their joint micro-enterprise.