The Motorcyclist of Udayapur

“I want to make an impact wherever I go and leave a good impression on whoever I meet.” Najbul Khan said confidently when she came to our office for a meeting for the Feminist Memory Project. And indeed she has an easy and impressive personality about her. 

Khan is an activist from the eastern district of Udayapur and has led a life her society and family would consider eccentric. Born into a conservative Muslim family, she has had to fight for everything in life. When Khan’s brothers burned her books and kurta suruwal to discourage her from going to school, she vowed to only wear pants and t-shirt and took up karate lessons. She now dedicates her life to helping other women, traveling on her 123 cc maroon Enticer motorbike across Madhesh to wherever help is required. While the motorcycle is a practical option to be out and about in a moment’s notice, it also sends a message to other women about being independent and feeling empowered.

Khan also takes pride in telling us that she was the first Muslim woman tempo driver in Nepal.

By Yutsha Dahal