musings of a Nepali girl

By Pratiksha

Life

Meeting with this young girl, getting to know her a little bit and understanding her life was the highlight of my trip this time.

Naseem (name changed) is 17 years old. As she had to quit school five years ago, she can only do basic reading and writing in Nepali and Urdu. It is her dream to go back to school and it makes me sad to write that for some girls and boys in Nepal having a simple dream of going to school never comes true.

I am mad and upset at the situation Naseem is in. I want Naseem to go to school, not get married or have kids before she turns 20, break the marriage she was arranged into when she was three months old which she recently found about. I want her to be listened to and be able to raise her voice directly with her father and brother instead of having her concerns raised through her 10-year-old brother.

I sometimes wonder if I was born into a community like Naseems' what would I have done.

I want things to change for Naseem and thousands of Muslim girls in Nepal and other places. But I feel helpless. Change has to start somewhere and with someone. Change is not pretty- the process can be hurtful and get nasty. Am I ready though? I don't know. Does Naseem want to take the risk? Will she be able to cope? After all, it will be her decision and I can't force her.

Sharing Naseem's story to give you a glimpse of life in Nepal for some girls. Sorry if I have made you sad. :(  

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