By Nepalis, for Nepalis: Malai Nepal Pyaro's Khutruke Project
KATHMANDU, Oct 16: Change happens through small initiatives; all you need is passionate change makers.
Malai Nepal Pyaro is a campaign which materialized through such small but determined efforts of a nine-member youth core team.
Prabal Shrestha, Dr. Rajendra Gurung, Dr. Sundip Gurung, Sonam Pradhan, Mohan Gurung, Susmita Gurung, Sweta Shrestha, Dr. Nanda Gurung, and Dr. Umesh Bogati are the executive members of the campaign. These young people came together because of their philanthropic nature and the desire to help bring about a change in the society.
Each member of the core group has his or her own story on how each one got involved with this campaign. One of the founding members of Malai Nepal Pyaro, Dr. Sundip Gurung’s driving force was a French volunteer in Nepal.
“I was inspired by her because although she wasn’t from this country, she was selflessly helping the children of Nepal. Hence, as a Nepali, I felt that it was my responsibility to help my fellow Nepalis,” shares he.
Another active campaigner Dr. Umesh Bogati recalls a childhood incident when his father taught him to respect and help a beggar who had no hands.
Members of Malai Nepal Pyaro decorating khutrukes to be distributed as a part of their campaign to collect money for the establishment of libraries in public schools and the education of underprivileged children. Photo Credit: Malai Nepal Pyaro
“The virtue of helping those in need was instilled in me since childhood and I have always been interested in such deeds,” says Dr. Bogati.
“We officially registered about eight months ago and have been carrying out projects on environment, education and gender equality,” he adds.
Malai Nepal Pyaro is significantly bringing in different projects, mainly to uplift the status of education for the underprivileged.
“Education is a long-term investment and hence we’ve prioritized this sector,” mentions Dr. Gurung. Malai Nepal Pyaro aims to sustain itself through the contribution of 100-150 members who have joined the campaign.
“We don’t have money coming in from foreign donors, the funds that we collect come from the pockets of our own members,” says Dr. Bogati.
“When someone else gives you money, I feel that there’s a lack of ownership and hence organizations have the habit of spending it recklessly. When the money comes from your own pocket, people are more responsible when it comes to utilizing it,” says Dr. Gurung.
The team has utilized the prevalent tradition of saving money in ceramic piggy banks, locally known as “khutruke”s, to generate funds for their projects on education.
“Individuals often donate small amounts of money and collecting the amount became difficult. Hence, we decided that we would send out khutrukes so that people can save for this campaign,” Dr. Bogati elaborates. The money from the khutrukes will be collected every three months. A total of 70 khutrukes have been distributed so far.
“With the money, we’ll be providing scholarships to students and also building libraries at schools,” says Dr. Bogati.
The campaign has been funding the education of five students at Gyanodaya Secondary School of Bafal in Kathmandu for five years. A one-room library was also built for National Pioneer Academy at Cha Bahil, also in Kathmandu.
The campaign plans to continue building libraries in public schools in hopes of improving the education of children studying in such schools.
Malai Nepal Pyaro is an example of a small but strong effort of Nepali youth who, despite being engaged in challenging professions, are still dedicated to bring in changes.