Sunu Chaudhari, Restaurateur
Sunu Chaudhari, 50, originally from Dang moved to Kathmandu in 2014. She worked in the cafeteria of the Trade and Export Promotion Center in Lalitpur with her husband but left the job in 2020 to start something of her own. Sunu opened Chaudhari Khaja Ghar, a small restaurant near Pulchowk, Lalitpur where she sells a variety of Tharu cuisine such as Ghongi (delicacy made with water snails), Dhikri (steamed rice flour dough) eaten with spicy chutney or curry, Anadi rice (sticky rice) locally known as Andik, and many more.
Having just opened her restaurant in January 2020, the pandemic hit a few months later followed by the lockdown in March. She was devastated as she had spent all her savings and even got a loan to open her restaurant. Her husband had left his job to help so they had no other source of income. She says she doesn't even recall what it was like then as she was in utter despair. As soon as the lockdown was loosened she opened for business. She says it’s the only thing that kept her going.
Though business is slow, she is happy to be working again and has new plans for her restaurant by expanding the menu to include more varieties of fish and Tharu dishes. She is hopeful for the future.