Once Again the Adhikari brothers!!! Irresistible and unstoppable examples of volunteering inspired society.

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Once again the Adhikari brothers!! They are really unstoppable and incontrollable as champions of what at ENGAGE we call the volunteering inspired society, a society where responsible people do care for the society. Basu Dev and Sushil Adhikari are really good at that.

Recently I attended a program at Alapot VDC a quite, country side location in the Kathamandu Valley approximately 5 kilometers from Sundari Jal.

During the recent dipawali festival, the two brothers had organized a deusi bailo program within Alapot community and it was decided that the money raised would go to Nepal Heart Foundation to continue its work to support vulnerable persons with heart conditions.

Therefore the event organized last Saturday with all the major community representatives, including the local Member of Parliament.

Here an extraordinary example of two persons living with disabilities who become amazing community organizers and philanthropists, not in issues related to their own conditions but in a particular issue of public health like heart related conditions that are causing many premature deaths all over the world.

The event was held in a local school where Basu Dev and Sushil invited Dr Regmi from Bir Hospital and one of the key initiators of Nepal Heart Foundation in order to offer some insights on heart conditions and very importantly, receive the money raised.

Dr Regmi indeed delivered a passionate and also fun “community lecture” about health related diseases. It was quite amazing to see fifty plus members of the local community listening very carefully what Dr Regmi had to say in order to maintain healthy life styles.

All this was organized by the Adhikari Brothers together with local Red Cross chapter an interesting partnership between responsible citizens and NGO sector.

It was a warm sunny Saturday afternoon and everybody was carefully listening to the lecture. Basu Dev and Sushil did not even take much of the time allocated for them to talk. They are actually not after visibility nor do they want to be in the front page.

What they simply care about is doing something useful for the society and they are keeping doing it with so many ideas and concrete initiatives.

During the program I had the opportunity to meet Dr Sharad Koirala, a young physician that few years ago lost his sight. Sharad also made a very interesting presentation on non transmittable health diseases, nutrition and healthy life styles.

Despite this loss he did not give up and decided to focus his career as academician and he is currently lecturing in a famous medical college in the Valley. There are such amazing guys around. Despite huge challenges, they do not get knocked down, no way, they persist and show how life moves on. I was impressed by Dr. Koirala positive attitudes and great smile.

These are really great examples on how disabilities are not an impediment to play an active role in the society. Persons living with disabilities can have a very important role in the society not only advocating for the implementation of their rights but also to advocate for a better society for all. This is to me the foundations of a real inclusive society. Regardless your abilities or disabilities, every single one can contribute to a common cause.

While I am write these few lines, the two brothers are here in the ENGAGE office to deliver the second training on Braille script. This is part of our leadership and training package that we are offering to our volunteers, the ENGAGE Corps.

Another example of compassionate activism and civic leadership happened yesterday with Sagar Prasai, a well renowned right activist, addressing the Corps in our first Monthly Lecture Program held at Thames College. We wanted to start BIG and STRONG and there was no better person that Sagar to talk about his life experience.

Sagar talked about his life, his achievements and also lessons learned along the way. We came to know about his experiences in the USA where as State Department Fellow, completed some research on disability at TUFTS University. All Corps were impressed by Sagar’s work, including the recently establishment of Sangai Hami, a new NGO promoting a new narrative about disabilities, bringing able bodied and persons living with disabilities together.

More recently ENGAGE wrote a public apology letter to Sagar in relation to our inability to provide an accessible training venue for a lecture where Sagar was invited to attend.

We need to learn day by day. Even yesterday at the lecture program with Sagar we had quite a few friends who have visual impairment and are currently part of our Guiding Hands Program.

Having them at the lecture was itself a milestone as we are trying to involve them as much as possible not just as passive service users but as active citizens and leaders. I admit we are still very much at the beginning on this regard. Ultimately we want them to volunteer too, the way that the Adhikari brothers, Sagar and Dr Koirala are doing. Unfortunately we were not able to provide neither the feedback’s form nor Sagar’s bio in Braille script. Once again we have to acknowledge our own limitations and we need to improve.

For me and for our volunteers, the stories of persons like Sagar, Sushil and Basu Dev and Dr Koirala are really inspirational and truly transformative.

Volunteerism is easy way to help those in need but also a way to prove that everybody, with no exceptions, can contribute greatly to the society. Just follow the Adhikari brothers’ way.

Position: Co -Founder of ENGAGE,a new social venture for the promotion of volunteerism and service and Ideator of Sharing4Good

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