"Giving Back to where they belong"
On April 25, 2015, after 7.8 magnitude devastating earthquake occurred in Nepal. The whole country was in a state of mayhem and the scale of destruction was huge. Nearly 9,000 lives were lost. We found ourselves to be lucky because at the very least, our families in the capital -Kathmandu, had water and food to survive. Many others were left with dead relatives and months and months of starving. Being here in US, we contributed whatever we could through online platforms but we knew it was not enough. So, we decided to get directly involved and make a small difference.
Our first project was to rebuild the Dhotar Primary School in rural Sindhupalchowk, approximately 200 miles from Kathmandu. The village was very poor, and we needed funds. Hence, we decided to sell Nepalese handmade items to raise the funds. We were seeking for help and kindhearted people of Old South Church in Copley Square, Boston allowed us to place our table at their church yard. We got a positive response. Soon, we started to sell knitted woolen products from a mother’s group called “JAGA JYOTI AMA SAMUHA”. For the summer of 2016, these women started making organic Hemp based products for us and that continues till now.We are now able to provide continuous sustainable income for at least 26 of these women and 4 of the men all belongs to lower poverty line. Concentrating in Hemp we make embroidered T-shirts, Nepalese Lokta Paper, Nepalese Wooden Mask, Meditative and Singing Bowls etc. We feel good about the fact that after living several years in the land of free and brave, we are breaking the taboo of women earning bread and butter for their families in Nepal.
By being in trade, we realized how the business not only connects the diversities in the world but out stands self-existence of an individual race and a whole country. It connects the dot between the people, language, culture, religion and their sociology-economic-cultural aspects. Nepal is a very diverse country. Less than 60 k sq. miles, this tiny Himalayan nation is sandwich between two giants land masses and their influence. Nepal has its own unique religious overlap of Hinduism and Buddhism and it gives the over whelming message of religious tolerance to the world, we want to bring this real picture of Nepal to rest of the world through its people and product. It has 130 plus ethnic groups who speaks 120 plus languages.
These are the real people with different culture, dress, food, and way of living. In the time globalization, each of these men and women are struggling to preserve their tradition and costumes. We have a vision to touch these people's life and bring best out of these cultures. The things that will amaze world like wildly produced Hemp and Loktas (Nepalese Paper). All these cultures have something unique and amazing and there is so much potential unexplored. Our company aims to explore these possibilities in future and working with natives to upgrade their livelihood from better schools, water, electricity to the most important factor preserving their ancestral occupation. We want to become an example of a company that touches people in an individual level and encourages everyone to "Give Back to where they belong".
Vikrant B. Rana