Golden morning will come by Rakesh Prasad Chaudhary

Photo: Rakesh Prasad Chaudhary/

GOLDEN MORNING WILL COME: Rekha Mahato, 40 has been running a small cafe in Jaleswar’s Cinema Hall Chowk by herself for a decade. Mahato is the only woman from the Pasi community in Jaleswar who runs a food business. The early days of the cafe were challenging, “People used to abuse us, and say that they would not eat the food touched by a Madhesi Dalit woman,” she says.

Mahato did not give up, “I am equal, so I decided to challenge our society’s rigid rules,” says Mahato. Her hard work slowly started paying off, her customer base started expanding and people started flocking to her cafe. She was making a good living for her family and had saved enough to send her kids to good schools. But that changed due to the coronavirus pandemic and the nationwide lockdowns. Her customers decreased from 200 to a handful. “I fought against the abuse of society, but now I am fighting with this pandemic,” says Mahato as she pulls the deep-fried pakodas from the frying pan. She is not giving up yet, and firmly believes that bad days will pass, “Trouble comes and goes, I am now waiting for the golden morning.”

Photos and Text: Rakesh Prasad Chaudhary @rakeshsenior

Copy Edit: Nisha Rai @nishastoryteller

Edit: Mallika Aryal @mikaness

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