Female contractor busy building quake-hit villageAs the people in the earthquake-hit Salyantar VDC, Dhading, are building homes, masonry and general contractors are high-in-demand jobs.
As the people in the earthquake-hit Salyantar VDC, Dhading, are building homes, masonry and general contractors are high-in-demand jobs. Construction workers hardly get time to take a breather in Salyantar these days. And no one knows this better than Sarita Pandey.
The 34-year-old is the only female and the most sought-after contractor in Salyantar. Villagers say she is competent and reliable.
She was entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing the construction of houses of five villagers soon after the government distributed the first tranche of the housing reconstruction aid in the VDC. “Sarita and her team have been building my house at as per the design specified by the government. I have no complaint against her work. The house is turning out fine and there has not been any delay,” said Ram Bahadur Giri.
Ram Bahadur admitted he had initially doubted Sarita’s competence because he had never seen a female builder.
With around 500 families starting house construction at the same time, there is a shortage of construction workers and contractors in Salyantar. In such circumstance, villagers like Ram Bahadur decided to give Sarita a chance, despite their doubts.
“She turned out to be very adept in the fields of carpentry and masonry,” said Ram Bahadur.
Most of all, the villagers are taken by Sarita’s sincerity. Under her, they say, there is no delay in works unlike other builders working in the VDC.
Sarita has been working in the construction field for the past nine years. She said she learned the trade from her husband.
The couple are no longer together and it is up to Sarita to look after the needs of her two daughters.
“This work has helped me educate my two girls,” she said, adding that her elder daughter is pursuing her bachelor’s degree at a Capital-based college.