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Setting new norms: Tara learning to drive in Bama, Mugu

Tara Baniya, working as a Social Mobiliser at RAP3 MHLR, came to Kathmandu for the first time in 2020 to attend the, “20 years of RAP” event, organised at the British Embassy, Kathmandu. She was full of curiosity about what the capital city would be like. As soon as she arrived at Tribhuvan International Airport, the sight of women and girls on scooters surprised her, and she kept looking at them until they crossed her path. At that very moment she wished she could also ride a scooter like those women, but she knew it was a long shot for her, so she pushed her desire away.

All this time, while working in RAP3 MHLR, Tara would sit behind her male colleagues on a motorbike to reach project sites. This means at times when no one was around, she would have to walk a long distance on foot to reach the work sites. Combined with her aspiration to learn to ride a motorbike and the encouragement of project staff, she made an attempt to materialise her ambition. Tara has now learned to ride a motorbike. This is indeed a very commendable instance as the society where Tara belongs, a woman riding a motorbike is not a norm. Tara is yet to get an official driving license which she is hoping to get soon.

This new skill will surely give a lot of freedom for Tara to tap into wider opportunities and grow. This is a moment of pride for Tara, as she is the first woman to learn how to ride a motorcycle in Mugu.