Gauri Nepali says, “My single write-up got a lot of attention from so many people including some prominent columnists and intellectuals. This really helped me to build my identity as a writer.”
At a young age, since her school days, Gauri Nepali began writing poems and blogging about social inequalities. She also formed her own literature group with her peers to create a media space to spread their social messages. But when she realized their initiative was not having an impact in the way they had envisioned, Gauri was disillusioned. She was disappointed that she wasn’t able to contribute much with her writing. She distanced herself from her literature group, and paused her writing career.
“I wanted to become a serious writer for which I needed analytical and research skills to enrich my writing. I wanted to explore learning platforms where I could develop those skills,” says Gauri. Such an opportunity came when she was invited to join the ‘Writing for Social Justice Workshop, run by a team of writers and researchers as full time mentors. Their idea was to groom novice writers like Gauri to produce quality contents on Dalit issues and get published in the leading national dailies of Nepal.
“I finally found such a platform that I had been searching for. It was here that I got the confidence to become a professional writer,” says Gauri, who quickly progressed and successfully produced an analytical opinion piece in national daily Naya Patrika. Her opinion piece, ‘Constitutional Politics on Dalits,’ got a lot of attention beyond her expectation.
Gauri was among 12 other novice writers from both Dalit and non-Dalit ethnicities from different professional backgrounds to join “Writing for Social Justice Workshop” with an aim to learn writing and publishing Op-Eds on Dalit issues.