I was born and raised in a poor neighborhood in Mahottari district where most of the children of my age didn’t go to school. They had their obligations for not being able to study. However, I got the chance to goto school and learn, which later on led me to do many things that I am proud of today.
I used to own a book store in town which was making good money but somehow that was not enough for me. I had a hunger to do something for the children who were deprived of education for one reason or another.
And the nearest school from the community was still too far for small students. So, I saw a need for a school in the community. I took the initiative to gather enough community members and convinced them that we need a school. The concerned people of the community realized the urgency of the situation and agreed to help me in building a school.
Working together, we built classrooms made out of mud and stones. Then I started legal processing and organized all the paperwork required to run the school. After 6 months we received an official approval from the government and opened our school.
The early days were tough. Lack of teaching material, teachers, capital and enough classrooms was a big problem for us to manage. That is where FIDA International and Relative Nepal have been of great assistance to us. These organizations have put a lot of effort in educating children in the terai region. Apart from the school resources and continuous support they provide each year, they have constructed a building with 4 classrooms with more reliable structures than we used to have. FIDA and Relative Nepal have indeed played a crucial role in the development of our “ Ram Janaki School “.
One of the main reasons for lack of education amongst the children here is poverty. Due to the financial conditions in their family situation, the students quit school and join their family to work on the farm and other household chores. The families who involve their in these chores are not aware of education as a long term solution for poverty. Another main reason for dropping out of school is the gender discrimination in less developed areas in Nepal. Especially the girls in Dalit(lower caste) communities, they are forcefully married off to while they are still underage. It is one of the major consequences of illiteracy and lack of general awareness.
To counter such issues we launch an annual campaign of “ send your children to school” supported by a big rally of students and teachers to raise awareness about education.
I personally also go and approach the parents by going to each and every house and talk sending their kids to school. I explain to them the potential of a person with a good education and how they have the power to change their lifestyle and the community around them.
I also tell them my story of growing up which was also full of struggles, but how education opened doors for me and I believe people can relate their story to mine.
I feel such an approach has been very impactful. I receive a lot of positive response from the parents and they send their children to school with hopes that they will have a better life.
Things certainly have changed a lot in the present day. We now have a total of 388 students out of which 195 students are from Dalit communities. This is the biggest numbeI was born and raised in a poor neighborhood in Mahottari district where most of the children of my age didn’t go to school. They had their obligations for not being able to study. However, I got the chance to goto school and learn, which later on led me to do many things that I am proud of today.
I have tried to uplift the educational status of our area. I work around the clock trying to involve myself in the community development as much as possible. I always felt that if I am not able to help people of my own community despite of my education, my life will probably go in vain. But seeing all the educated children around me with bright future ahead of them makes me feel like I have achieved my dream.