In October, 2009, Rob and I visited Upardang Gadi, a small village in north east part of Chitwan, Nepal. It was a rough 4 hours walk from Shaktikhor to Upardang Gadi. Scattered houses along the way and beautiful landscape made our walk little easier. We reached the top to see the sunset from Gadi. Sky above the eastern part of Nepal looked yellow and red while sun was hiding behind those mountains and slowly it faded to soft pastels. It was one of the most beautiful places that I have ever seen in my life. My friend Rob looked little tired that evening but he was so touched by the people and the beauty of that place that he stayed up late just enjoying the silence on those hills. Next day we distributed school supplies, backpacks and shoes to children at Upardang Gadi School and the joy from these simple gifts was touching. We decided to sponsor a lunch program there in the future.
While we were at Upardang Gadi we met few folks from nearby village Chandibhanjang. It is a rather large village compared to Kirantar and Upardang Gadi, the two villages we first started helping. There are about 200 houses and they have a school that runs up to 8th grade. After finishing 8th grade, students either have to move to nearby town to continue their education or drop out from school. They requested us to fund for the High School at Chandibhanjang village.
Upon our return to Tampa, we discussed our future plan with rest of the Global Action Coalition (GAC) board members and decided to expand our help in Chandibhanjang village. We funded the high school project and decided to help three other schools in the area with the lunch programs.
I made a recent trip to Upardang Gadi and Chandibhanjang village in May 2010 to see the progress and results of our donations. It was a two days walk to reach to Chandibhanjang village from Tandi Bazaar, weather was hot and humid during the day and the monsoon was already here with lots of rain in the evening. I was accompanied by Rupendra Karmacharya, a young, energetic social worker who has devoted his life to preserve the natural beauty of Chitwan province and few other village elders from that community. They all appreciated GAC’s help to run the lunch program at the several schools we had started. I was also very glad to see the increase in attendance of children at the school because of the lunch program. I also saw with joy how Chandibhanjang School’s 9th grade was working. There was 39 students enrolled for the class and many of the children were girls.
Even though, I had walked almost 8 hours that day to reach the Chandibhanjang village from Upardang Gadi, my feet were hurting a bit and a little tired I was refreshed from the warm welcome by villagers, teachers and students there. I spent the next day at Chandibhanjang village visiting school, talking to teachers and students. I was overwhelmed to see the progress that we have made within a year knowing that it will make a profound difference in their lives I felt proud to be a part of Global Action Coalition and the work we are doing.