A resident of Melbisauna VDC-6 of Bajhang district, Dipendra Bahadur Malla aged 28 is now a trained mason to build the earthquake resilient houses. He lives with a 13 members joint family comprised of 2 wives, 2 sons, 3 daughters, his parents, a brother, brother-in-law and a nice. He is now able to feed his family with the earnings from his profession as a trained mason.

Earlier, he had to rely on the limited food grains produced from his small land and he used to work as an ordinary mason to earn the money for his daily expenses including education for his kids. Dipendra, an SLC graduate was always been nervous to think that how to support his family with a very low income from traditional farming and work as an ordinary mason. 

Rural Reconstruction Nepal (RRN) implemented Community Development Programme (CDP) in Bajhang district from 2015. Melbisauna VDC has been selected as one of the CDP working VDCs. CDP Bajhang formed the Himal Citizen Awareness Centre in Chhatenbada Tole and started to run the REFLECT classes through a Local Resource Person. Many issues along with the vocational training were discussed in the CAC sessions. CDP Bajhang decided to organise a mason training on earthquake resilient building as per the strong demand raised from the groups. Though it was not easy for Dipendra to be selected as a participant for this training, however, the group recommended his name after he expressed his strong desire and determination to work in this field. The training was held from 12 June to 11 July 2016 in Chainpur, Bhajhang. 

Dipendra said, "I participated the 30 days training passionately and back to my village with a strong determination to use my skills on minimising the risk of the earthquake in my district. I was hopeful it could also be beneficial for me."  He further said, "Then I started to work as a skilled mason to build earthquake resilient buildings at Rs. 750 per day. Later on, I also started to work as a contractor. I have earned Rs. 153,000 within the period of last four months which is sufficient for household expense as well as for education of my kids. Besides this, people are now recognising me as a skilled mason, which ultimately helped to claim more wage and gained social respect as well."

- Bikram Shahi

Field Supervisor and Community Motivator, CDP

Melbisauna VDC, Bajhang