When Mr. Chakra Bahadur Rai took charge of Shree Mahendrodaya Higher Secondary School, Haleshi Khotang, he had vowed to establish a well-equipped computer lab and library. He was only successful with his plans when the group of students from Budhanilkanta School reached the village with hundreds of books and 6 set of desktop computers.
Similarly, when numbers of people in Pashupatinath were helplessly palpitating heart beats and dreadfully shuddering body caused by the frosty ceiling beneath, group of students from AJ Wild College approached them with warm clothes to wear.
The feeling of ‘giving back to the society’ has inspired many college students in Kathmandu to get involved in different service oriented activities. Along with their curriculum, social services activities have become integral part of student’s life. To encourage the students, numerous colleges in the valley have established Social Service Clubs where students work in a team to plan and execute their ideas. Library establishment in different rural districts, blood donation programs, distribution of stationery materials, fund raising events, rural camps etc. are conducted with student’s enthusiastic participation. This clubs have become the platform to formulate, execute and review the ideas aimed to have impact in the society.
Students have even managed to collect the budget for the club themselves. Social Service Club of Chelsea International School organized a charity program in Patan Durbar Square to help the flood victims in Rajbiraj. They were able to collect Rs.14000 by clicking the photos of the visitors and sending it them via email. Also, they set up a food stall in college premises earning them Rs.11000. “There were many people who were impressed with our idea and readily helped us. Those who could, they helped us with money and those who couldn’t, motivated us with kind words,” remarked the club president Ashutosh Mishra.
Shailendra Sah who pioneered the community service program in St. Xavier’s College Jawalakhel believes that for high school students, service based works are necessary. “Advocacy comes only when you have true sense of feeling of what one goes through. We help and encourage our students to reach out different orphanages and schools in rural parts of the country. When they return, we have observed them being more responsible, humble and sensitive towards the people in need,” said Mr. Sah. One of his students, Apekchya Pandey shared how her team managed to work through all night in an earthquake damaged school of Sindhupalchowk, in attempt to give school a new life. The journey also helped her experience the hardship and poverty in rural hills. She returned with the confidence, ‘working in a team will surely lead to success of bringing change in the life of the people who deserved much better life.’
Day by day, the number of college students working with the determination to help the society is increasing. Their small initiation can bring smile to the faces of hundreds they have never met before. They learn about the society, people, culture and lifestyle. Additionally, the gap between the youths in town and in remote area can be narrowed. Proper guidance, encouragement and appreciation will help to cultivate the trend of giving back to the society.
By: Prashant Bhandari