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Adhikaar: Nepalese Women's Voice in New York



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यस भित्रका खुराकहरु:
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Nepalese Orgs in NYC
न्‍यूयोर्कमा नेपाली ब्‍‍यावसायहरु

Nepalese Business in NYC
अमेरिकामा नेपाली संस्‍थाहर
Nepalese Orgs in USA
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न्यूयोर्कका नेपाली महिलाहरुको आवाज 'अधिकार'


Luna Ranjit of Adhikaar, New York based Nepalese social organization. Photos: eEyeCam

New York, September 14, 2008- साढे दुई बर्षसम्म 'अधिकार' कि लुना रन्जितले बिना तलब दिन रात संस्थाको हित र आप्रबासी नेपाली महिला (र पुरुष) हरुको लागि काम गरी रहिन्‌। न्यू योर्क शहरको महङ्‍गो बसाइ र हरेक घण्टा डलरमा हिसाब गरिने अमेरिकामा यहाँ कै विश्व बिद्यालयबाट एम.ए. गरेकी लुनाले किन यसो गरिन्‌?

नेपाली मानब अधिकार संस्था 'अधिकार' (Adhikaar.Org) ले तेस्रो वार्षिकोत्सब हिजो साँझ धुम्धामसँग मनायो-साथमा मार्मिक नाटक, कबिता र लोक नृत्‍यको प्रस्तुतीसँगै ।

र, कार्यक्रमको बिचमा 'अधिकार' कि संस्थापक मध्ये कि एक तथा अहिले कार्यकारी निर्देशक लुनाले अङ्‍ग्रेजी भाषामा तर असाध्यै मार्मिक पारामा भनिन्-

"I have the honor of serving as the first Executive Director. I have been doing the same work since Adhikaar started three years ago, but for the first two and half years, I worked without pay...I was a full-time volunteer, and I have often been asked-why am I doing this? With a master's degree from a well-known university, good English skills, and work experience, I could be doing anything I wanted, so why this?"

लौ सुनौं उनको प्ररणादायी कहानी:

"When I'm feeling self-important, I say because Adhikaar needs me...because I am in this unique privileged position to be able to bridge the two worlds..of being a Nepali with American experience, because Adhikaar would not function without me. But honestly, I do this work because I need Adhikaar as much as, or may even more than, Adhikaar needs me. Because in spite of my privileges, I am still vulnerable because I'm brown, because I am a woman, and mostly because of my foreign-born status- because I am an immigrant seeking freedom, seeking a better life for myself and for my loved ones, because in this country legal or illegal, I am still an ALIEN. But Adhikaar provides a safe space for me...it gives me strength to share with you today--my own story."
  उनी अगाडि भन्छिन्-"
I came to the U.S. twelve years ago, a wide-eyed teenager with dreams, hopes..After 11 years and 11 months of living in the U.S., working here, paying taxes, I was told that I do not belong here, that I have not done enough to deserve a small space in this big country. my greencard petition was denied... I was devastated to say the least... and especially to know that a person in Nebraska who does not even know me has so much power over my life, my future. With a stroke of a pen, he can undo what took me 11 years and 11 months to build - little by little.

In the midst of it all, Adhikaar has helped me keep things in perspective. One thing is that I realize that my situation is still much better than most. I still have viable options. I have a very supportive and loving life partner & family members and many friends close to my heart. And I am also very lucky to have amazing bosses - Adhikaar's board of directors. When they heard the news, they not only gave me hugs and encouraging words, but also jumped in to take on additional responsibilities so that I would have time to sort my life out. I can say the same about our great volunteers. And also my co-workers, especially Rinku and Narbada. Rinku came to work every single day last year, even when she was not getting paid. She is always ready for a challenge, and always with a smile. And Narbada didi -- she is fierce yet kind, outspoken yet respectful -- even when she was worried about her daughter, she found time to help others.

And of course all of you - we know there are so many other things to do in New York City on a Saturday evening.... So, thank you, all of you....

Going back to my story, keeping my perspective does not mean I have not shed tears or felt helpless and angry - I am not that strong. But I have been able to smile again, and on at times laugh again. And all of my didis and bahinis and daju bhais at Adhikaar - the stories and food and the love they have shared with me - give me the strength to continue...I have decided to appeal the decision... and yes, personal is political - it's more than just a slogan for me, but I'm not talking just about myself but a bigger picture - because this story is not just about myself...there are so many of us in similarly vulnerable situations - many of us are here in this room... and many of us have it worse... we haven't seen our family members in a decade, we run after other people's children, we keep this rich and powerful city up and running and take home pittance, and if we ever try to question any of this, we are told to go back to our countries, go back where we came from... sometimes even if we were born in Texas or Florida or Queens...

At Adhikaar, we will continue to work for positive changes... Joining our hands together, we will have the strength to keep fighting, to keep speaking up, shouting if needed, until the day when we do not have to be separated from our children or parents, until we do not have to live with the uncertainty of whether or not our employer or our spouse will file for our green cards, until we get paid a living wage, or heck, at least the legal minimum wage, until we do not have to live in terror of workplace raids or yelling bosses, until we can afford to see a doctor when we are feeling sick... until our bosses cannot get way with sexually harassing us... well, I could go on... but I believe change is possible... some may call it a utopian dream but if we believe we can make it happen.

I feel incredibly lucky to have Adhikaar in my life, and have all of your support. Today, I want to make a personal appeal to all of you to support Adhikaar in whatever way you can to make it grow so that there is a safe space and a support structure for every Nepali-speaking person (or for that matter, any other person who needs it) in New York City. Once again, thank you."


Rinku Bastola, Development Coordinator of Adhikaar.

कार्यक्रममा सपना पाण्‍ड्‍या र नानी भण्डारीलाई समाज सेवा गरे बापद सम्मानपत्र प्रदान गरी हौस्याउने परम्परालाई यस बर्ष पनि कायम गरियो।

अधिकारले यस अघी सन्चालन गरेको ६ वटा स्वास्थ शिबिरहरुबाट ३०० भन्दा बेशि नेपालीहरुले शिबिरको लाभ उठाइ सकेका छन्‌ भने हरेक बर्ष ५०० भन्दा धेरै नेपालीहरुलाई स्वास्थ सेवाका अलाबा नि:शुल्क ट्‍याक्स, इमिग्रेशन, श्रम अधिकार, दोभासे लगायतका कार्यशाला गोस्ठीहरु र तालिम दिदै आएको छ।

यो बर्ष 'अधिकार' को कार्यक्रमको बजेट १ करोड २६ लाख रुपैयाँको छ, जुन अमेरिकामा कृयाशिल नेपाली संघ संस्थाहरुको लागि एउटा उदाहरणीय हो।

'अधिकार' को हालको Board मा Malabika Das (chair), Rajani Adhikary, Amy T. Paul, and
Tina Shrestha छन्‌। यसका अन्य सदस्य हरुमा Rinku Bastola, Satendra Shah, Narbada Chhetri छन्‌।

'अधिकार' को स्थापना ४ जना महिलाहरुले गरेका थिए, ति हुन्‌- Luna Ranjit, Tafadzwa Pasipanodya, Rashmi Shrestha र Srijana Shrestha ।

'अधिकार' ले बिभिन्न नेपाली संघ संस्थाहरुका साथै Chaya, Drum (Desis Rising Up and Moving), SAYA (South Asian Youth Action), Sakhi (South Asian Women), Safe Horizon, ROCK New York लगायतका NGO हरुसँग पनि सहकार्य गर्दै आएको छ।

'अधिकार' कि कार्यकारी निर्देशक लुना रन्जित भन्छिन्‌- "हामीले New York Foundation र North Star Fund बाट अनुदान प्राप्त गरेका छौं तर अमेरिकामा बसोबास गर्ने नेपाली दाजु-भाइ, दिदि-बहिनीहरुको सहयोग र सहभागीता नै हाम्रो आधार श्रोत र कार्य क्षेत्र हो।"

सन्‌ २००५ को जुलाईमा स्थापना भई न्यूयोर्कका नेपालीहरुबिच कृयाशिल नेपाली महिलाहरुको नेतृत्‍व रहेको 'अधिकार' ले आउँदा दिनहरुमा अझ राम्रा काम गरेर नमुना संस्था बन्ने आशा गर्न सकिन्छ।

-Pradeep Thapa Magar in New York. Comments? 551-358-7726


Musician Nhuchchhe Dangol and Shisheer Shrestha.


Amy Paul reciting her poetry.


One Act drama being performed.


Namaste! performers after the drama.


Adhikaar honoree Nani Bhandari with MC Tina Shrestha.


Adhikaar honoree Sapna Pandya with her mother.


Malabika Das, Board Chairperson, Adhikaar.






Swechhya Pant and Saloni Agrawal performing a Nepalese folk dance.




Susan Hansen, Ph.D. candidate in Nepali Lok Dohori songs, music, Anna Stirr and Prerana Shrestha.


Renu Sapkota, Chairperson, Nepalese Women Welfare Organization with her husband and daughters.


Luna with Sukti Dhital and Eunice Lee of ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union).


Luna and Dr. Tara Niraula, former Chairman, America-Nepal Friendship Society. View more at: Faces of the Week साताको अनुहारहरु-१७


Adhikaar's Executive Member Narbada Chhetri (in pink saree) with her daughter Priyanka (on her left) and other Adhikaar members and supporters. View more at: Faces of the Week साताको अनुहारहरु-१७


Adhikaar's Executive Member Narbada Chhetri (center) with her daughter Priyanka (on her left) , Indira Rana Magar, Chairperson of PA Nepal (Prisoners Assistance Nepal) (on her right), Usha Tamang and a friend of Adhikaar.


Saloni and Divya. View more at: Faces of the Week साताको अनुहारहरु-१७


Volunteers at Adhikaar's 3rd Annual event. at CUE Art Foundation in Manhattan, New York.


Ichhya (center) with her twin sisters Pratichhya (left) and Swechhya. Photos: eEyeCam
View more at: Faces of the Week साताको अनुहारहरु-१७
 
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