My Family, My Future By Raskin Maharjan
Raskin Maharjan, lives in Siddhipur, Lalitpur and is currently studying Information Technology at Cosmos College of Management and Technology. He is now a full-time volunteer for Thrive Projects.
TO KRISHNA MAYA MAHARJAN, BELOVED MOTHER AND GRANDMOTHER.
My grandmother was 82 years old and had asthma. She passed away a couple weeks ago.
Growing up in Nepal my father and mother together handle my family. They keep everything going for my 10-year-old sister, Pratikshya Maharjan, and me.
My father wants me to be an engineer and is really concerned about my education. I want to make my father’s dream come true. He always tells if he had gone to school, our family would have been better than what we are now. He keeps reminding me the responsibilities and always encourages to study hard.
Another part of that responsibility is taking care of the family, especially elders like my grandmother.
It was all going well till ‘that day’, the day that I’ll never forget in my life: 2072-01-12 (Nepal calendar). It was a cloudy and cold Saturday morning. If I recall, my father was out to work as always. My grandmother needed oxygen and was at home. I went to my Aunt with my little sister.
As soon as clock neared 12 pm, it started. I was on the top floor. I saw walls of the house made of mud and wood torn apart. I saw the fear raging on everyone’s face. Then I realized my sister wasn’t there. I couldn’t do much but thanks to my cousin my sister was safe and we got out safely.
The moment I got out I tried to reach out at my home but all the connections were dead. The shaking had not stopped. One after another the houses collapsed. The sky was as cold and dark as night. The wind carried the scream and cried of children and people. We heard people getting lost. Everyone was asking for help. Everyone was trying to do whatever they could. While everyone was running, shouting and crying, I was sitting there on the bare cold land holding my sister in my arms and trying to stop her from panicking. She was scared and tears rolled down her face.
Night was as mean as the day. We had nothing: no food, no blanket and no water. No one had courage to get to their torn houses and get any of these. We slept on the open sky on the bare land. The cold rain poured down and the aftershocks continued.
Fortunately, my family survived. I returned home to see my house on the ground, mother and father out on the fields. Many people were still searching for their family members, any were dead and many were lost.
Help came and they went. Slowly we settled down and started our new life on the temporary tents. My grandmother’s health became worse while we were out there. Not only her, many children and old people suffered. But the time afterwards were not as before. Whenever I tried to think what to do next, I remembered that day and felt the horrible feeling that I can’t do anything about it.
That is how I felt again a few weeks ago when we my grandmother passed.
In Nepal things happen we can’t change. It is hard to fight that feeling.
Honestly, I never thought I could do it. I heard about the Thrive Project and met new friends who suggested the use of solar energy, I thought to use it as the alternative energy and providing that energy to the community.
Brian kam, Ryan Nicholas Brinkerhoff, Emily Dang, Tsering Sangmo, Karma Wangyal these amazing people inspired me to take the first step towards our journey of solar energy. (I would like to name it as S.P.A.R.K).
Hence we started Knowledge sharing process. We formed a group of youngsters currently mastering their knowledge in their respective fields. Brian and Ryan shared their knowledge and skill with us. We were given a great opportunity and along with the insightful knowledge, skill we realized everybody can learn anything with a little curiosity. We built a SPARK unit, used energy from sun to charge our phones and felt the thrill competing with each other.
During the training, I learned about electrical current, electrical energy and moreover the teamwork. We tried to figure out the best way to use the electrical energy. We researched about climate change and various applications for solar energy and built ideas to use it.
It was so fun to learn, inspiring to see friends working hard to make good use of the system and motivating to be guided in our works. Now I have skill and knowledge. I want to share my knowledge and take it to the next step. I want to make use of it. I’m grateful that Thrive have given me opportunity to make use of my knowledge. I volunteered to the next group of youths. I’m thankful for the guidance, help and support from my teachers and friends.
Slowly we are evolving and we want world to use our idea and help us develop it. We have taken one step towards sustainable energy. We aim to provide aid to energy crisis and at the time of need, we want to be there for help through our spark unit.
Together as a community we are learning that we can do anything and make change.
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