For her courage to step into a male-dominated industry, Rukmani had to endure gossip and even curses. After the 2015 earthquakes, her husband Krishna, who is skilled mason, encouraged her to sign up for the month-long unskilled masonry training organized by Habitat Nepal. “Women used to work only as laborers but now, we have realized our capacity and have changed according to the times. Even the thinking of the community people has changed over time. They used to curse and talk behind my back, saying that ‘she has lost her mind; she wants to do the work of men’,” said Rukmani.
Despite the negative comments and with the encouragement from her husband she persevered to complete the training. As a result, Rukmani has noted significant changes. She used to be reluctant to speak to a large crowd but she is now more confident. With new livelihood skills, she has earning power and can save money too.
Her competence in masonry has led to recognition from the local community. Instead of dismissing her, people are praising her for her work. After being trained as unskilled manson, she built 2 houses with her husband as a support hand. She has worked on five houses and is helping to build more homes. Now she has technical knowledge and shares her knowledge with her husband, and technically competent enough to give her own views.
Rukmani has become a role model within her community. Rukmani wants to further develop her skills and become a skilled mason.