Kanchan Jha, 33, is the founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Sano Paila, a local NGO established in 2006 focusing on youth empowerment in Birgunj. He is a freelance media producer for Al Jazeera and a pioneer in the field of youth empowerment in Nepal. Holding his firm belief to serve for humanity, Jha dedicated his life to social causes from the very early phase of his life.
Jha spoke to Republica about the inspiration to start an organization, his experiences on venturing his journey and the setbacks he has come across throughout.
Tell us more about Sano Paila?
Sano Paila is a non-profit organization that seeks to provide opportunities to improve social, economic and health conditions in Nepal. We run a diverse range of programs in 22 districts that tackle a number of complex issues, taking projects that are often ignored by the government, private sector, and the state security system. It primarily focuses on youth empowerment, drug rehabilitation, crime prevention and reformation, anti-trafficking and child protection, health improvement, access to education, peace building, livelihood enhancement, and crisis response.
What led you to start this journey?
After graduating from Beloit College in Wisconsin, earning a degree in International Relations, I decided to come back to my hometown Birgunj and serve my country in any way possible through any medium. I witnessed that the Madhesh movement at the time and I became a victim on one of those attacks. It gave me the impetus to start a personal initiative which led my journey to start Sano Paila.
How challenging was it to operate you organization initially?
It was challenging in the early phases of initiation. Because we worked as a community oriented organization that focused on youth empowerment and drug rehabilitation, many people in rural areas would take it as a taboo that would often place obstructions in our goals and achievements. But ultimately our team cultivated hope and support to sustain it.
How is Sano Paila different from other NGOs?
Sano Paila is an innovative organization that works in collaboration with the government.
We aim to focus on community issues on youth empowerment, launching various campaigns in all the districts and working on issues related to drug rehabilitation and treatment.
As a CEO of an NGO, how do you manage the humanitarian and commercial aspect of the organization?
I initiated this organization taking a little step, by collecting funds from the local people in the rural areas. If we aspire to achieve our goals, we have to manage the financial aspect.
In spite of the framed reputation of NGOs, we succeeded in maintaining our dignity, winning the trust of the people by being true to our objective which is to work for the welfare of the community.