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I want to make all the women relieved of worries about answering the call of nature: Yashaswi Surana


Yashaswi Surana, a student of BBA at Kathmandu College of Management, was felicitated for being one of the winning change-makers of EmpowHER 2016, a competition cum leadership and girls’ empowerment programme organized by Ujyalo Foundation.

He impact project, S.H.E. (Sanitation Health Environment) seeks to create women friendly restrooms at public spaces in Kathmandu valley via professional sanitation marketing.

In a conversation with Glocal Khabar, she shared about her experiences from her 3-months into EmpowHER, how the project will take a momentum and the journey ahead. Excerpts:

How did you come to be part of EmpowHER 2016?

My journey into EmpowHER started with a luck. A luck to be called by my respected Principal sir of Kathmandu College of Management, Mr. Bishnu Raj Adhikari to meet Ms. Amuda Mishra, the initiator of EmpowHER, when she was there for a meeting. It was his direction and support which led me to filling up the form, and being selected as one of the cohort members of EmpowHER 2016.

Would you please briefly share about your 3-months of the journey in EmpowHER?

Young women all over the world need a vision to know who they are, where they are heading to, and what they are to achieve in life. EmpowHER’s journey has been more like a guide to achieve my vision. It allowed me to work through my own thoughts, also giving a newer perspective to look at things. It was no less than a roller coaster ride, where you have all the challenges, yet fun too.

How does it feel about becoming a winning Change maker?

Becoming a winner and getting to collaborate with Ujyalo Foundation once again is an honor. It is more like getting another chance to serve the society, uplifting the condition of the general environment we live in. However, it is also a boost to my confidence level to take a step further with my project S.H.E, making the environment more women friendly and healthy.

What do you consider is the special quality in you that made you the winner?

Rather than a special quality, I would say that my resilience and dedication is what that brought me here. Every Saturday’s trainings weren’t easy, I would say, as it brought along something new to learn and do every time. But the passion and commitment of being there, getting things done, and being heartily related to my project are something I feel made me hold the title of the EmpowHER Ambassador.


Talking about your impact project, what was the spark that caused you to choose that particular project?

S.H.E was a result of my self-experience backed up by the idea of my dad. It was a self-realization that toilets in the public spaces in Kathmandu are the need of the hour, and I cannot stress enough on the need of safe, hygienic and clean place for sanitation.

Now, you have received the seed fund money that you had been waiting for, to kick start the project. So, how will you initiate the project, and how will it take a shape?

As said, my impact project shall start via sanitation marketing, i.e. sanitation awareness and gradually shift towards using the pre-existing toilets in private spaces for the benefits of women and of course, everyone in need.

How long do you think the project will go ahead? Have you already made plans to scale up the project area and make it reach to a wider community? And, do you also see the possibility of taking the project nationally in coordination with the authorities and organizations concerned?

With the saying “Dream big, and work harder” as my motivator, I am hopeful to build as many public toilets as possible by joining hands with the authorities. I have a strong desire to see no dearth of toilets in public spaces, and relieve all the women of their worries about answering the call of nature.

What is your reflection about EmpowHER and in what way was it able to bring about a change in you? And, what do you want to say to the girls out there about the project ‘EmpowHER’, who might have not known about it?

EmpowHER teaches you a lot of learning through different perspectives. It gives you a whole new lens to look at things. One should become a part of this journey, not only for the seed fund amount, but with the aim of impacting other’s life in a positive manner. It shows us the direction beyond what academics teach us, and help us ingrain the social perspective towards the society. EmpowHER in itself is of a great value added programme, teaching not only leadership, but also doing things in a managerial way, yet keeping the sense of service impact to raise the standards of women in the society.