Build Nation Through Education:
I am Anurag Thapa and nickname “Deepak” founder of Pashminas Nepal. I am very aware of education as it plays a very critical role in deciding the growth of the nation. I know the significance of education that’s why I wanted to develop the education sector in rural areas for the children.
Pashminas Nepal started a project named “Build Nation Through Education” with the objective of providing educational needs for poor children in rural areas. I started this project with a school named “Shree Janachetana Adharbhut School” located in Bardia. With the contribution of the valuable customers of Pashminas Nepal, we were able to donate one set of desktop computers to the school including UPS.
The school is located at Barbardiya – 2, Bardia District, Bheri Zone. Bardia lies in Province No. 5 in mid-western Nepal. This village has a number of people with male 705 and females 862 living where 98% of people are an indigenous tribe that is Tharu and the other 2% are Dalit (lower caste). Tharu people are an indigenous ethnic group who have lived in the lowlands of Nepal for centuries. Their relative isolation led them to develop a distinct and self-sufficient society with their own language, religion, and culture differing from the other people. Whereas, Dalits are the people of the lower caste usually expressed as untouchable (termed as backward caste). Personally, I am against this culture. These people living in the village areas have only one way of surviving which is agriculture. Almost 99% of people are engaged in it.
My experience was full of meeting great people, students, teachers, and a beautiful place. The place was so underdeveloped that there was no local transportation, the only source was a bicycle, you can count on your finger has a motorbike, and people have no choice but to walk. There is no single health post in a whole village but has only one ambulance which covers many villages. People there lived in a hut and had fear of wild animal attacks sometimes because of Bardia National Park, which is well preserved compared to Chitwan National Park, but this village has no advantage at all in tourism.
Regarding the school, I found out that there are only 3 schools in a particular area which runs by the villagers, not even by the government. what a shame? Teachers’ salary was even paid by student’s families till the last few months. And there are no private schools where every subject is taught in English. Anyway, out of three schools, I chose this school because of its poor circumstances. The school provided education up to grade 8 only consisting of a total of 300 students with 6 male teachers and 5 female teachers including 1 Principle. While communicating with the students I found that out of 300 students only 6 of them have seen a computer. What a surprise in this 21st Century, isn’t it? There is a computer subject in the Nepali course and taught but no practical for students, cause the school doesn’t have even a single computer with them. So, it was a great opportunity for me to provide them with one computer set at least.
The village is so remote that they are out of internet access, have no drinking resources, and people drink water without filtration. Almost every people’s occupation is based on agriculture, the children engage in school in the morning, and in the evening they are forced to work with their parents, such as going to the forest to collect wood for cooking or going to the forest to take their goats, buffaloes or cows for grazing. The children have barely any options for their future that including working abroad when they are adults or moving and working in the city or getting engaged in farming.
The village recently was replaced by the municipality but looking at the situation it’s not even worth all too mentioned Village Development Committee. The government had promised them to give away a computer one and a half years ago but they haven’t heard since then. So, Pashminas Nepal was pleased to provide a computer in that school. Since converting to the municipality the government has started to pay the salary to teachers but they have been working for many years without a salary. This school was established in 2004.
In the context of the city such as Kathmandu and Pokhara etc, we are living in a paradise compared to those places. There is no cafe or restaurant, from one shop to another shop we have to walk half an hour and only once a week the local market is placed if they need to buy something extra have to travel 50 to 70 KM away. I was really shocked to see this situation in my life in that village (I had experienced this situation almost 35 years ago in my village) and I had never been there before so far in the western part of Nepal.
The highlight points in this village were from the ward chairman named Khusi Ram Chaudhari, who forced villagers to educate their children, if not he shall not approve any official documents to the families if needed. This is what I am proud of him and glad to meet and well Principle of the school Sumitra Gyawali and the rest of the teachers and other important people.
We are planning to open a computer lab in that school for children’s providing a few sets of computers and wanted to ensure they would have a better knowledge for their brighter future, as where I stand today. But due to the COVID-19, our aim has failed since that period but hope in the coming years we can achieve our target. Lend me a hand with this education project and let all the children have equal opportunity to make a bright future with the help of education. Your contribution will help provide children’s tools they need to flourish and reach their God-given potential.
However, I would like to take this moment to thank everyone who helped me in this project, especially my valued customers from all over the world, my friend Kshetra Chaudhari who had taken me to his village in that school and gave me that opportunity to help and many many thanks to my old friends Steve & Jan Filipiak from the US, who helped me to be the founder of Pashminas Nepal today.
Some pictures of that moment!!!
Date: – May 19th, 2019