Gita Pariyar is a fearless woman who keeps pursing her dreams despite the challenges she faces. She wants to live a life with dignity, advocate for her community, and change common perceptions about her caste. Despite obstacles, Gita never stops and takes courageous steps whenever she is challenged.

Gita belongs to the Dalit (untouchable) caste and is co-CEO of Ashmita and Laxmi Saurya Urjah Traders, a clean energy business in Empower Generation’s distribution network and supported by our partner the Unitarian Universalist Committee (UUSC). Gita also works as a community health worker, training people to use clean cookstoves, and is always looking for ways to help other people.

There is a lot of discrimination against Dalits in Nepal, and it is difficult for people from other castes to get over their prejudices, which results in not allowing Dalits to enter their home or refusing to touch anything a Dalit has touched. Because of this, people are reluctant to invite Gita into their home for cookstove-use training or to listen to her clean energy product sales pitches. In order to overcome these obstacles, Gita partners with people from other castes. For example, she co-runs Ashmita and Laxmi Saurya Urjah Traders with Danul Ale, who is from an indigenous caste.

Gita at her election victory celebration

Gita gets disheartened by people’s perceptions of her and other Dalits, but she reminds herself that though, she cannot enter their homes, they see the work she is doing through her business. She is not only earning money but is also earning respect as a business owner, creating jobs for others in her community.

With her determination to help others and with the encouragement of her husband and the Association for Dalit Women Advancement of Nepal (ADWAN), Gita decided to run for local office. She won the election in May. In her newly elected role, Gita wants to become a voice for the voiceless and change the fate of the disadvantaged. She wants to bring the government’s attention towards the problems faced by her community and work for the betterment of the people. Gita’s hard work and her selfless attitude helped her win the local election and get elected as Ward Member in Taklung, Gorkha district. Gita’s political rise has opened the doors for other women from her village to enter local leadership positions.

We wish Gita all the success in her future endeavors and are so proud of her!