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Sanga Development Learning Resource Center (DLRC) New Elected Officials Welcome Ceremony

By Saru Duckworth, Fulbright Scholar

On June 7, 2022, DidiBahini's Sanga Development Learning Center (DLRC) and Women’s Forum members came together to welcome the newly elected officials of Banepa Municipality. As a pillar of local support, the Sanga Women's Forum and DLRC have provided critical mutual aid to the community in Sanga in close collaboration with government for over 10 years. Gathering in a community yoga building, jointly constructed thanks to a local government grant, the group welcomed members including the new Municipality Chairperson Shanti Ratna Shakya, Deputy Chairperson Bimala Sapkota Dahal, and other representatives.

Following a welcome puja ceremony and distribution of gifts made by the children and staff of the DidiBahini Development Learning Resource Centers (DLRCs), speeches were delivered by political officials, members of the Women’s Forum, and DidiBahini staff. Mr. Shanti Ratna Shakya delivered remarks on the important work of the Sanga Women’s Forum and the need to free up women’s time spent on care to enable them to turn towards productive activities. Ms. Bimala Sapkota Dahal followed with a speech reflecting on the challenges for women and girls during the COVID-19 pandemic and the necessary steps towards repairing and resuming progress on these issues.

Sanga DLRC boasts an excellent relationship with the local community and government, and credits this open collaboration for producing almost two decades of fruitful programs for the community, particularly women and girls. Thanks to a local grant from the Tulsi Meher UNESCO Club, the Women’s Forum is able to operate programs for the community rent free in exchange for the upkeep of the premises. The ceremony highlighted the importance of the Women’s Forum in the local community and the collective power of women to advocate for political support for their issues and programs.

The event concluded with attendees sharing a homemade Newari meal of samay baji, reflecting the cultural traditions and hospitality of the community.

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