Blog post by Ayush Joshi and Ganga Pyakurel
“As I grew up, I realized that the heteronormative society had already decided our paths - to get married and settle down. My rebellious nature of questioning these norms frustrated my family, as the society kept reminding my parents that a girl was judged by her demure - which mostly meant being shy and keeping quiet. But I was just the opposite,” reminisced, Shubhakama Mandal with a smile.
Her observation of the patriarchal and gender restrictive norms motivated her to challenge stereotypes and motivated her to pave her own unique path. “From the very beginning, I have wanted to change the lives of girls and women and being a part of Save the Children empowers me to reach out to the most vulnerable.” Working in the frontlines, Subhakamana has never flinched or doubted her motivation to help people in need. Her inclination to support the most vulnerable was validated during the COVID-19 pandemic. “COVID-19 is a new crisis and the fluid situation has made us all anxious. But, when I took up this job, I knew that to do nothing wasn’t a choice.” She further explains, “from the very onset of the crisis, I, along with my colleagues have been on the grounds, helping children and women in quarantine centers, and aiding the marginalized communities with critical life-saving messages,” shares, Shubhakamana.
‘Subhakamana’ in Nepali means ‘Best wishes’, and her work with Save the Children reflects, gratitude, respect, and best wishes, further strengthened by profound ownership towards the community that Save the Children works with and for. She concludes, “Nothing can compensate for the feeling of gratitude and love that people have for you when you dedicate yourself to helping people. This further encourages me to strive and work for the people despite the adversities.”
Joshi is the Communications Manager at Save the Children in Nepal
Pyakurel is the Media and Communications Coordinator at Save the Children in Nepal