Gayatri set up her tailor shop while she was nursing her second baby.
In Chuchekhola, Nepal there are very few jobs – and they’re nearly all reserved for men. Women have to rely on their husbands, or anything they can find from the forest, for money.
But Gayatri wanted to be able to send her children to school. As a girl she had to leave education early to support her parents, and she wants things to be different for her little girl and boy.
She also wanted to provide for her parents-in-law so they would no longer have to enter the forest in search for firewood. It was a frightening task as they risked being attacked by animals or fined by forest officials. Done by much of the community, it also damaged wildlife habitats.
When Gayatri first set up her shop it was really hard. But with ZSL’s help, she was able to take out a very low interest community loan. She could buy supplies and sewing machines, train others, and expand her business.
Now her parents-in-law no longer need to go into the forest, which helps to protect it from damage and, thanks to the new ‘pangolin conservation park’ set up with ZSL, there’s more awareness of the importance of protecting the forest and its animals.
Gayatri loves nature and spends her precious spare time in the park. She hasn’t yet spotted a pangolin but says that, from photos, it’s her favourite animal anyway.
She’s now trained 12 people to tailor in the last two years and wants to help empower even more women to provide for themselves and protect the forest around them.