Heera Devi Yami

Story of hiding for learning and teaching

The demise of Tyrant  Rana rule during 104 years ended due to atrocities in the nation . General public had to always spend life in terror during those days. The life of women  used to be even worse.. Besides blockage of access to education, people who performed well in life used to be the target, used to get arrested, beaten up and destroyed. Under such an extremely challenging scenario we are going to describe how a woman Heera Devi Yami managed to spread education despite all the risks involved.

This was the situation during B.S.2004. The current resident of Chakupat Ratnaeswari Shrestha is one of the sufferers under Rana regime suppression.

During her early days she was a pretty looking person and  had to move around covering her face and body. It used to be very difficult for young girls to stay safe from the clutches of Ranas.  According to her, the daughter Heera Devi of business man Heera Kaji started teaching children secretly by collecting children around the residence of Jagat Lal, master of Keltole. During those days people were banned from studying and teaching. If Ranas came to know of such secret activities they used to be arrest such people and locked them up in cell. The CIDs and police constables used to land up secretly  around the place where teaching activities used to be taking place.


During such risky situations Heera Devi used teach by shifting students from one secret location to another.  In case she sensed the Ranas being aware of the location of such a house she used to be swift in shifting the children to more secure locations.


She was also actively moving around protesting against the Rana regime from an early age. Around her neck areas there used to be Tuberculosis glands which used rot throwing smelly pusses. She was taken to India for treatment beacuse there was no medical facility to cure tuberculosis. In India she had an opportunity to read and witness the protests  against the British regime called “British Hatau Abhayan” . The movement fueled her thought about the poletical situation in Nepal. She convinced her mind that Ranas can be driven away from Nepal in a similar manner. During her stay in India she understood the ways of launching protests and gained confidence. She came back and got married to Dharma Ratan who used to be frequently  getting arrested and locked up in jail as a political prisoner.

Her own family deserted her because they were against this marriage with one who led life mostly in prison. They had to spend a couple of weeks hiding at the top of Sankhu mountain. After that Dharma Ratna Yami was once again arrested. Heera Devi started teaching in Buddhi Bikas school.  She used to go to the prisoners to deliver the beaten rice, Soybeans and vegetables she used  to receive in return for her services of educating children in the school. She who became motherless at the age of seven. She used to be a very courageous and brave.. She used to move around with her children.Later she had six daughters and one son

Whole life she spent taking care of the suffering revolutionaries who were fighting to overthrow Rana regime.  She suffered from heart problem and asthama   from the early age of forty. She used to collect her children and convince them saying "If I leave behind property and jewelary other people will take them  away.  Before dying I would like to leave behind a few words for you all “ You study as much as you want to. After my death you sacrifice your life for learning and serving society”.


She was brave enough to reject  the social ritual of Bel Bibah and Gufa for her six daughters. She also rejected the Bartaman for her son. She wanted to follow “Walk the talk” by demonstrating to the society by rejecting the Bel Bibaha and Gufa for her six daughters. Because of going against social norms the six daughters had difficulty getting married. Even the eldest daughter Dharma Dervi who had  Medical MBBS degree faced difficulty getting married. Communities were very traditional minded and were against inter cast marriage and were against people who went against social norms of rejecting Bel Bibah and Gufa. Later on Dharma Devi went for inter caste marriage with a  Rajabhandari boy.  Those days society used to be against inter caste marriage. In spite of such resistance, the educated Rajabhandari family didn’t care about such traditional beliefs and welcomed the marriage.

Now Nepali society is transformed to some extent.  People are now fully aware of the importance of education. The discrimination between genders is decreasing. However, we should appreciate the brave resistance demonstrated by the teacher Heera Devi Yami and students like Ratneswari Shrestaha, and Laxmi Pravha Bajracharya who managed to study during the suppression period of the Rana regime.