Leading by example: the story of Susma


An 8th place for the Tinjure Tea Cooperative in the Top 74 of 2016! At this cooperative, Susma Bastola is working as she is a 'tea scientist!' Read more below, about this enthusiast and dedicated tea scientist!

Susma Bastola, 24 years    
Tinjure Tea Cooperative     
Ilam, Nepal

“The Tinjure Tea Farmer Cooperative is the first tea cooperative in Nepal and is located in the remote area of Ilam. Despite its remote location, it is producing high quality tea and exports tea to both domestic and the international market.”

With a Bachelor in Tea Technology and Management, Susma Bastola got inspired to work for the cooperatives that are related to tea. In October 2016, she became a marketing and business development coordinator for the Tinjure cooperative while working for MAAS International. She mainly does field work, where she visits the cooperative and the factory regularly.

"Women who are capable are still lagging behind because of culture and the old orthodox way of seeing women in the society”

Susma is a project leader within the cooperative, where she leads a women group. She provides suitable trainings for women of the tea cooperative. “Recently I have provided a training to women on hand made tea packaging, which are also sold in the international market.  Being a woman in leadership there are much more opportunities available.” Unfortunately, there are still a lot of challenges for being a woman with a leadership position. “Being a woman it was challenging to stay away from my family and work in the field. Women have to take both the responsibility at home and on the fields. This can make time management a challenge!”

“Women should be included in cooperatives. They are honest in financial work which contributes to the maintenance of transparency in any organization. Different from men, women have an inspiring and problem solving nature, they motivate other people to work efficiently and effectively in the organization and are good in problem solving.” In order to encourage female leadership within the organisations, an awareness program must be done to get women to take the lead in any organisation or society. “Women are shy and feel awkward from the inside to take such roles”.  Confidence should be strengthened and inspiration must be given to women who are capable to take the lead. “Women who are capable are still lagging behind because of culture and the old orthodox way of seeing women in the society. Initiation from each family and individual is of importance to encourage women”.

For the coming years, Susma hopes that in the Tinjure Tea Cooperative women empowerment will be promoted and that there will be a balance between male and female leaders. “Especially young women should not be confined within the four walls of a room, they should be able to take the next level to the height of civilization and development. There should not be any discrimination among boys and girls, equal participation is essential.”            

Susma works with full dedication and enthusiasm. She will extend the program more in order to provide more opportunities for many young women, and create more job opportunities focusing on rural women. 

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