Joy Springs from Fierce Struggle

Her stories evoke the eloquent peace of a simple life in the countryside when she speaks of her modest routine. One may not have imagined that Biju’s fulfillment with her serene environment today was borne out of years of intense conflict and fierce struggle.

Biju Khand, 34, is from Bardaghat, Nawalparasi District, Nepal, a community composed of different ethnic groups such as Musahar and other minorities such as the Dalits. Landlessness is a major issue. Most residents work as laborers who till fields they do not own. The nearby community forest is an alternative source of livelihood, firewood timber and grass-fodder for cattle. Raising livestock is another source of the people’s income. Land, however, is increasingly being utilized for agricultural and commercial development by the so-called elites in rampant cases of landgrabbing.

Biju’s entries to the Women’s Travelling Journal project provide meticulous details of her day starting from the exact hour she wakes up, up to the specific succession of daily tasks she has set herself to accomplish. She views her world with a keen eye as she vividly writes down notes on rural life and struggle.