By Madan Rai
The human world is becoming more and more complex and difficult to live peacefully and happily. Our wishes (greed) led us to discover so many things to satisfy them through the use of so called technology. Our discoveries gave immense comforts to your physical body. At the same time they also gave us equal and opposite discomforts. We discovered toilets, air conditions, electricity, cement, chemicals (including fertilizers), dress (including shoes), engines, wires and so on. All of them gave us immense comforts. But they also created other complex problems such as global warming, water, air and soil pollutions, soil infertility and compaction, new kind of illnesses and so on. Many new discoveries also created disparities and inequalities among rich and poor individuals and nations as well. Millions of poor people do not have access to new discoveries that are so useful to all.
Understanding the problems created by new discoveries, we at Subhadra-Madan Foundation (Subham) based in Lalitpur and Khotang began to work on “Education System” that can address almost all the problems created by humanbeings. We have started this with the belief that all the current problems are created by humans, hence humans must be educated to mitigate the problems created by them. Currently we do many activities in education but I am listing two of them for this write up.
Low cost/Zero cost education: Education is a basic right of all citizens. We believe that all citizens must have the same kind of education no matter how rich or how poor a citizen is born. We have established a school called “Naya School” in Diktel of Khotang district. In this school we want to educate students with most minimum cost so that all rich and poor can have access to our kind of education. In this school neither we read book s for children nor we force children to read books throughout the class as we do in government and private schools in Nepal. Instead we ask the students to learn things by doing during the light hours and read and write after the sun sets (dark hours with electric light). We make students to learn by hand and use their brain while learning things.
To minimise the cost of education and help mitigate all the current climate change and pollution related problems we have initiated number of ideas and activities. Among many ideas, last 5 years we undertook ” CLOSTHES COLLECTION CAMPAIGN”. This has helped in minimizing the clothes/fabric pollution as well as it help immensely to provide dress/fabric to our children and teachers which otherwise we would have had to spend a lot of money in clothes purchase. The BELIEVERS and SANKALP charity organizations were the largest donors among many who to took pain to collect and donate the clothes. This year we have started “SHOE COLLECTION CAMPAIGN”. Among many kinds of pollutions, shoes also is being seen as a serious pollution as many people are using more and more number of shoes each year in Nepal and around the world. Shoes are serious polluter mainly for two reasons-first it takes long time to decompose, second toxic chemicals are used to make the shoes that can harm all living things including humans. As in the clothes, we also want to collect used and unused shoes as donations and provide our students and teachers that will help us to minimize the cost of education. We have been using the donated clothes in wearing and learning how to stictch, cut and design the fabric to impart the skills of fabric designing to our students. We also have the same intention in the case of shoes-we want to teach our students how to stitch, mend different kinds of shoes and wear them decently for the comfort and protection of our legs.
We are happy to note that this year Mr. Raman Nepal, a very nergetic and famous trainer and entertainer in management and lifeskills, Rotaract and energetic entrepreneur Anit Thapaliya, believer and advocate of working hands Bipin Tripathi have agreed to help us in this SHOES COLLECTION CAMPAIGN. Hope this campaign will bring some positive results in minimizing the shoe pollution, reducing the cost of education and improving the shoe making skills (working hands) in Nepal and around the world.