Woman in infrastructure

Ms. Rojina Shrestha is an active Village Maintenance Worker (VMW) at Chap Khola Nagthali Lifting Drinking Water and Sanitation Committee of Sahidlakhan rural municipality in Gorkha. Under Purnima programme, she also worked as a skilled labor during construction phase of the water supply schemes.
Rojina had earlier worked with different drinking water intervention in her community to strengthen her financial condition. However, it grew as a passion to actively serve her community. She was able to hone her skills with involvement in Purnima water supply project, during which she also received seven-day training of VMW that gained her knowledge and confidence to work amongst male counterparts in the community.

“When User Committee decided to give me this responsibility of VMW, many people disagreed saying that the job required lots of hard work and a female may not be able to do it. However, I broke all their stereotype and was recognized as the first woman to learn finest in training sessions among all participants.

During construction period, I worked as skilled labor. After completion of this scheme, three of the VMWs including me, received complete responsibility of operating the system, controlling pumping system, distributing water to community, joining the pipe when required, meter reading and collecting the water tariff among others.

I have more responsibility among the three of us and community people are happy with my performance. They feel comfortable in telling me their issues. Female community members ask me whether this work is very difficult, and I tell them that if we learn well, nothing is difficult.”