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Profiles from Nepal: Gundas Darji

"Being born a Dalit, we have always been dominated by everyone in higher castes. I don’t want any of my sons being dominated."

Nepali Gundas Darju talks with Aythos staff member Sujata about the struggles of working abroad and his life as a Dalit.

Gundas has had a tough life for someone so young. As one of many young Nepalis going to work abroad to earn extra money, he was allured by the chance of traveling to a new place and seeing the world outside of Nepal. He dreamt of making big money to send home to his wife to take care of their three sons. Then reality set in…

He worked in both Qatar and Malaysia and spent a total of seven years abroad. Gundas was often forced to work 20 hours a day with no breaks for meals and with little sleep. Even with so many hours of hard work it was a struggle to get paid regularly. He thought about giving up and moving back home many times, saying this was the most difficult time of my life.

Gundas is from a low caste in Nepal, a Dalit, and has few options compared to others. He thought traveling abroad and making money would allow his family to push past the old caste culture, but it did little to help. When he returned home he had enough money saved to buy some land but continues to struggle to get by. He feeds his family with sustenance farming of typical Nepali crops like corn, wheat, rice, and potatoes, but it’s not enough to sell. He works as a tailor to make enough income to give his family the basics and no more.

Gundas is very proud of his sons and wants to see them succeed. A tragedy for one of his sons has shown him the importance of instilling dignity in their minds. When a fire-related accident caused one of his sons to lose four fingers on his right hand, he had to learn to write with his left hand. Today that son overcomes his challenge by working hard on his education and does well in school.

He says, “Being born a Dalit, we have always been dominated by everyone in higher castes. I don’t want any of my sons being dominated. I want to see them living a dignified life with all the respect that they deserve as a human. My life was no more than a hell and I don’t want my sons to be going through all this. I hope Aythos will be helping us to live a life of happiness like others in the society.”

Our donors should feel proud that people like Gundas see hope through our programs in Nepal. Stories like these remind us of why it’s so important to be a way out of poverty when it looks like there is no hope.


Aythos, Inc. is an IRS registered 501(c)(3) organization and a registered nonprofit corporation in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Your donations to Aythos, Inc. are tax-deductible.

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