Sabitra Silwal, age 28, is a resident of Chitwan District. She always dreamed of becoming independent and starting her own business. However, at the age of 19, Sabitra was paralyzed from the waist down. For the next seven years, Sabitra was unable to walk. She was sent to a church rehabilitation center, where she learned to walk again after a year of therapy. For the next year, she walked with a cane and now is able to walk short distances without any support.

Sabitra belongs to a large, poor family with five daughters and a son. Her paralysis made her feel like she would be a burden on her family forever. Sabitra’s sister Dipika financially supported the family. She wanted to help Sabitra and was heartbroken seeing her suffering everyday. Sabitra had low-esteem, lacked confidence, and felt hopeless.

Dipika was always looking for an opportunity to help Sabitra. When she was approached by Empower Generation and its partner Kopernik, Dipika thought this was a golden opportunity. With Kopernik’s financial support, she started her own enterprise and became a solar CEO. She enlisted Sabitra as her sales agent. Seeing her potential as a future solar CEO, Empower Generation encouraged Sabitra to attend its training programs for entrepreneurs with Dipika.

Dipika (left) and Sabitra (right) at a training

Dipika (left) and Sabitra (right) at a training

Working as a sales agent was a stepping-stone towards Sabitra’s independence. Attending Empower Generation’s support programs and trainings enhanced her business skills in dealing with clients, keeping financial records, promoting her products, and finding sales agents in new communities. With her new skills, Sabitra was able to increase her income and not only help herself but financially support her family as well.

As Sabitra started becoming more involved in Dipika Enterprise, she and Dipika became partners in the business. However, as time went by, Sabitra began to take on even more responsibility, visiting various communities to promote products and recruiting sales agents. Sabitra and Dipika decided that it would be best for Sabitra to take over as sole CEO of the business, as she had recovered from her paralysis by this time. Dipika continues to work with the business, serving as a sales agent, selling solar products to customers through contacts she makes working at a furniture company. Dipika is proud of her sister and continues to support her in any way she can. Sabitra strongly believes that her clean energy business will change her life socially and financially and continues to work towards its success.