Tilak Rani is one of the 30 women who participated in the advocacy quilting workshops in Bardiya. Each of the women had a different reason for joining the workshop: some wanted to learn a new skill, others wanted to speak out against injustice. All of them lost a loved one to enforced disappearances.
Tilak Rani made her square as a way to honor the memory of her missing son. “If I will give this good skill to my son who is in heaven,” she said, “he will be happy. He will remember us, which makes us happy.”
Learning embroidery also provides women in Bardiya with a marketable skill for generating an income. Most families in Bardiya are farmers, and embroidery allows them to earn additional money to send their children to school, or to pay for health care costs. Families of the disappeared often struggle with poverty after losing a father or son who would have been the family’s primary breadwinner. Earning additional income not only helps families of the disappeared live a better life, but it can also give them the freedom to advocate for the truth.