Rai woman educating Chepang children in ChitwanGyanita Rai, who is married to a Chepang man in Chitwan district, has been teaching at a school in a remote Chepang village for the past five years. But Rai does not only teach at the school.
Gyanita Rai, who is married to a Chepang man in Chitwan district, has been teaching at a school in a remote Chepang village for the past five years. But Rai does not only teach at the school. She also donates almost all her earnings to the school to provide students a chance at a good education.
Originally from Okhaldhunga district, Rai got married to Bharat Chepang, of Siddhi village in Kalika Municipality, five years ago. After their marriage, Rai moved to her husband’s hometown and started teaching students at Antodaya Aadibasi Janajati School.
She later moved to teaching English in another school, Nibuwatar Basic School, in Siddhi, where she currently teaches. Nibuwatar Basic School is a primary school, which runs classes only until grade five. Students of Siddhi have to go to Majhwang Secondary School after they reach sixth grade.
According to the students, reaching Majhwang takes them at least two hours on foot. Keeping in mind students’ problems, an NGO had built a building in order to start a hostel in Tin Dovan last year. But, Majhwang Secondary School could not manage sufficient budget to run the hostel. After coming to know the dire situation of the hostel, Rai donated Rs 100,000 to keep the hostel running.
With Rai’s help, 36 children are currently living in the hostel now. Sharmila Chepang, of Chherwang village, one of the students who have been staying in the hostel, said that she had to walk for almost three hours to reach her school in the past. “I have been relieved of walking so much every day,” said the eighth grader.
At the hostel, Rai also gives English and Maths tuition classes. Her husband Bharat, who runs a grocery shop in the village, says, “My wife uses her salary for herself only once in four months. The rest, she spends on the welfare of Chepang children in our community,” he said.
“Chepang people live in the remotest areas. Besides being deprived of the most basic facilities, they are also deprived of education. That’s why, I am helping educate their children here,” said Rai.