More Okhals - No More Disputes
Story from Mugu under Resilient Livelihoods
Milling grains using the Okhal which is a traditional and common method in Mugu.
Some villages in Soru Rural Municipality are still deprived of electricity, which also prevents them from running a mill. Consequently, most women here still prepare rice, millet, and corn using the Okhal, also known as Dhiki, the traditional, manual method of milling grains or crops.
In this community, there was just one Okhal, meaning that village people had to wait for a long time for their turn. Often, frustrated neighbours got into fights. With such a lengthy process, other work was affected, which then caused quarrels at home; meals would not be cooked on time, children would be late for school and mothers-in-law would get angry.
Some people even walked to neighbouring villages if they didn’t get their turn. But due to the rain, the muddy, unmade road would be slippery and sometimes, even by evening they still hadn’t had a chance to use the Okhal; women had to set out very early in the morning in the hope that they could get their job done. Overall, this issue caused much suffering.
UMN and its partner GSS* extensively discussed this problem and made an action plan to construct more Okhals in Wards 1 and 2 of Soru Rural Municipality, contributing NPR 836,000 (USD 6,560). Group members collected wood and stone and also, by digging and carrying, contributed their manual labour. With this joint effort, eventually, 15 Okhals with tin roofs were built in the villages and settlements of Soru.
Now women in this community no longer face problems with grinding their grains and preparing their food. They no longer have to go to another village, and this has saved them a lot of time. It is no longer a cause of quarrels between women, and timely cooked meals have reduced chaos in the family. The group members clean and repair the Okhals from time to time. With more Okhals in the rural municipality, the challenges and realities of daily life, especially for women, have been significantly improved.
* Gramin Samudayik Sanstha