Rama Tamang was born into a remote village of Nepal. Her father passed away when she was an infant, also leaving behind her mother and 12-year-old brother. Years later her mother eloped with another man, forcing the siblings to fend for themselves. At age 12, Rama moved to the city at the request of relatives to work in a carpet factory. She knew nothing about making carpets and spoke a local dialect and had to learn Nepali language. With dedication and practice she learned both at her young age.
Eventually, Rama met a man, fell in love, and got married; but his other side soon came out. He had a drinking problem and became physically and mentally abusive nearly every day. She initially stayed with him because of the stigma of divorce in her culture, but later stayed for the sake of their two children.
As the abuse got worse, against the threat of social stigmatization upon her and her children, Rama got the courage to leave. She got separated from her husband and took her kids with, but now she had to raise two boys on her own. She said she felt very happy without the daily torment of her husband, and especially for her boys, but it was difficult raising them on her own. When her older son turned 10 he said he wanted to study at the monastery as a monk. For a mother struggling to provide for her children, it may have helped ease her financial burdens, but now at 17 years old he visits her and his younger brother on holidays.
At 43, Rama still works at the carpet factory while raising her youngest son, now 15. Her dream is for her boys to become educated, have good hearts, and treat people well and she works hard to keep them from becoming like their father.
Aythos seeks to foster health and sustainable livelihoods in Himalayan communities. By sharing stories of those that we come across, we hope to inspire others to want to make a difference in people’s lives. We encourage your comments on these issues and your encouragement for the subjects of these stories. Please also take time to donate to make sure we can make a difference in their communities.