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Here's your chance to make $50,000 difference

The day Kanchan, 7, was born, her father passed away. Several months later her mother went abroad for a job and never returned. Kanchan grew up with her grandmother, 70, and uncle, a retired health worker. Needless to say, life has been very difficult for the family. But when it came to educating Kanchan, they turned to a local community school – Jyotidaya. Jyotidaya provides free education to Kanchan and 40 other children. In addition, about 300 children who would not have access to quality education currently benefit school’s services.
Sarvodaya USA is competing to win $50,000 to construct school building for Jyotidaya.

So here's how this works. Three organizations that attract most unique donors using online tools for non-profit causes will be awarded $50,000. That's the "America's GivingChallenge."
With your support, we can help Sarvodaya USA win the challenge and $50,000 and build a school in Nepal.
Inspired by the Sarvodaya Movement and Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne, …

In Nepali Village No Money? Beat 'em and Chase Them Away...

July 17, 2009
Braving monsoon rain, slippery muddy road, we went to Bulaki Chaur yesterday. It had been a while since we had actually visited the village. Min Bahadur dai, a villager, had sought our help with local school, which only has class upto 2nd grade. He and several other villagers had told us that the teacher at the school never shows up. So, the children don’t get education.

We had found teacher’s, who lives in the city, phone number from District Education office, contacted the teacher. And, we requested that we go up to village together. Teachers agreed, with some reservations.

We had never been to the village during monsoon. On slipper muddy road with Shafia, my friend from Madison, riding on her first real bike ride as an adult, we left for two hours of bike ride and almost an hour of hike. Rain had slipped some parts of the trail to the village, at times, making it more narrower than I had seen in the past. Most of the green hills were covered in clouds, cloaking everyt…

Shramadana Without Dana

Sharama is a Sanskrit word for labor
Dana is to donate or to give

“Bhai (brother), why take trouble and bring your students and friends here?” Said Min Bahadur. “Just give us 50,000 rupees and we will perform the work that of 100,00 rupees,” he added.

Min Bahadur lives in Bulaki Chaur where we have been visiting for several months now to organize. The village on the hills that surround Kathmandu valley is inaccessible by transportation. The only trail that reaches to the village needed some work, especially at the point where the village begins.

Last week on our visit, we proposed that we fix the trail through shramadana (gift of labor). Villagers agreed, with some hesitation. Several days earlier they had asked whether Sarvodaya Nepal will provide khaja (snacks or food) for the work? We were non-committal but were planning that we would just go to village and beg for a handful of rice or whatever they would offer so we could cook on the spot.

We had also proposed that we would bring sever…

Conversation with an immigration officer

Feb 3, Kathmandu

As I handed my passport to immigration officer at Kathmandu’s International Airport, the lights went off. The airport’s rather dark looking immigration control area became further dark.

“Nothing works in this country,” said the immigration officer taking my passport.
“Where are you coming from?,” he asked me.
“Well Delhi on this flight but actually from America,” I said.

“Why would anybody want to return to this country?” looking for stickers to put on my passport. “No wonder everybody wants to leave.”

“Why are you back bhai (brother)?”
“I have all my family here and most people have their families too,” I said. And, “but some people think that they must return for the country,” I added.

“I fall on latter category,” I said with a smile.

He laughed out.

Ha ha ha ha

“Well everybody thinks they need to do something for the country but nobody does,” he responded with further laugh.

“If we meet here after 20 years we will have this conversation again,” I said joking.

“I wonder if we …

Peace

Peace cannot be wishful thinking, it has to be action. As long as silent majority hopes and dreams peace, violent minority will continue to rule. We must live peace and not wish for it.

Wish and hope for peace empowers the ones who seek violence, despite majority in number they are timid largely because they lack the guts to live and practice non-violence. Gandhi called non-violence a weapon of strong.