Nepali Times Asian Paints
Headline
Home away from home


BIKRAM RAI

Dhana Maya Gautam is 60, lives in a grand pavilion, she has police guards, a sunny veranda, lawn and a great view of the city skyline. But Dhana Maya is homeless.

The Newari-style ornate brick structure was built during the 2000 SAARC summit to welcome foreign heads of state to Patan. Dhana maya has been living here for the past seven years after her husband died and her brother-in-law chased her out of the house in Okhaldhunga.

Dhana Maya's lawn is the traffic island, and she has improvised cardboards to ensure some privacy and shelter her from the wind.

"I wouldn't go anywhere else, this is my home," says Dhana Maya, as rush hour traffic picked up on the bridge one morning this week. Thousands of people see her every day from buses and cars, and Dhana Maya represents the sorrow of Nepali widows, the continued violence against women, the plight of elderly women cast out by their families.

On International Women's Day on 8 March, there will be the predictable platitudes from ministers, lots of ribbon cutting and probably a new report. Dhana Maya will likely not even know that it is her day.

Read also:
Ups and downs in Nepal
A trekker ambassador sees the need to be patient

Orphaned at old age, PAAVAN MATHEMA
More grandparents feel less grand as they cross the 60's line

Knotting for Nepal, BHRIKUTI RAI
A woman's personal hobby is helping others become self-sufficient and preserve traditional weaving skills

They don't count, and are uncounted, ANURAG ACHARYA in NEW DELHI
No one knows how many Nepalis work in India, nor is there a reliable estimate about how much money they send home



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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