SANTOSHI RANA, FOUNDER
After attaining a Master’s degree in Media & Communication Management from Middlesex University, London and getting a chance to work as a Campaigner, Communication Intern, Media Reader & Training Consultant besides being involved with organisations like OXFAM and Haemophilia Society, after much contemplation, I decided to come to Nepal. While working with ChangeFusion Nepal supporting social ventures and organizing the Surya Nepal Asha Social Entrepreneurship Award – the first ever Nepali award of its kind which recognised hidden heroes – I finally got the courage to move out of my comfort zone. It was always my dream to start something of my own and during the course of time I tried to figure out what I really wanted to do. I realised that my fear of ageing had to do with the fact that it is not taken in a very positive manner in our society. There were deeper issues related to ageing and the problems one faces along the way. Over a period of time, I also got to meet a lot of inspiring individuals who were still living their lives despite their age and that is when Bihani took shape. It has been created as a platform to provide the support system that our elders needed, where unfulfilled dreams can take shape or where experiences would find a way beyond individuals through various activities. At Bihani, we believe that one should re – engage, re – explore and re- live to have a rewarding life till the end.The main thought being, one should have lived their life to the fullest and not let any regrets ruin it.
SUSMITA RAJOPADHYAYA, ORGANISATIONAL SERVICES COORDINATOR
There is a saying that “No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying”. I believe that it is those individuals who work hard, believe in themselves and do not give up easily are the ones who enjoy their life to the fullest. And I fall in this category. Ageing is not a bad thing or end of life. It is the issue of mind; if you do not mind being old it does not matter at all. You can fulfill your dreams or follow your interests at any age because our heart is never too old to do anything. I am Susmita Rajopadhya, student of BSW who thinks no one is too old to set another goal or to dream new dream. I feel sad when I see individuals throw their parents out of their life and send them to old age homes because they want privacy and are busy with their life. We should all think of our parents who have brought us up, given us time, care and love despite their busy life. No one deserves or wants to be lonely and depressed and that is why we all should take time out for our elders.
SUSMRITI TAMANG, HEALTH & WELL-BEING, COORDINATOR
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” I believe that every work we undertake or lead, should grow with happiness and confidence. I am Susmriti Tamang, a National Tai Chi player (Young Dragon Team) and a graduate of Bachelor in Business Studies (BBS). For me ageing is a beautiful step towards life so I feel happy whenever I get a chance to interact with or help elders. I have worked with a couple of elders and I can assure you that, they are the best. As you age you do become physically weaker yet the experiences that we as individuals have to go through makes us mentally stronger. As a Tai Chi Instructor, my work is not just something I have to do but it is also to give elders more strength, power and hope focusing on their overall health and well-being. It always gives me pleasure and makes me feel privileged when I am able to bring change in the lives of those around me. Till date, the best experience both in terms of teaching and learning has been the opportunity to work with an eighty nine years old client. When I come across such inspiring elders I feel that life is indeed full of possibilities and you never know when and who will make you feel proud of what you can contribute.
SAMRIDHI RANA THAPA, HEALTH & REHABILITATION CONSULTANT (VOLUNTARY)
Recipient of the prestigious Australia Awards Scholarship 2014, awarded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Australia. Samridhi is passionate about disability inclusive communities, developing local and international partnerships to improve the quality of lives (QOL) of people with disabilities (PWD).
“I see sustainability in the application of World Health Organisation’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability & Health (WHO ICF) to address any health or disability issue, as daily activities happens in context to our environment. My style of work is applying the bio-psycho-social approach as its holistic. As a Project Head- Disability & Rehabilitation what I like most about Bihani, is that Bihani’s work is very dynamic and inclusive. We not only engage our elderly members in enterprise development, but in addition to that we also organize musical events facilitated by our members themselves, provide health services, classes on using mobile phones, emails, social media et cetera. Bihani is all about social integration and addressing the issue of loneliness and social isolation in the ageing population by facilitating their immense existing potential and interest to take form when needed. Some of our elderly members enjoy reading a book or having a cup of tea under the Pomelo tree, and call the space their own at Bihani. While some bring their friend along to buy and promote their peer’s enterprise such as green tea and raw silk scarves. For my colleagues and me, the members of Bihani are achievers through their life experiences and one of our members, Mr. Prem Subba, believes that there is a better word for “retire.” It is “re-tyre” suggesting it is but another life’s phase ready to ride on.
AAYUSHA THAPA, ADMIN ACCOUNT & HR OFFICER
“Life isn’t about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself. It is not about where we are but where you stand.”I am Aayusha Thapa currently studying BBA-BI in Ace Institute of Management. Being a business student, I want to be an entrepreneur along with, giving back to the society. Bihani is a platform where I have learned most of the things and a good platform for me to grow as an individual. You can learn about entrepreneurship, social impact and how it helps the society. You get to lead a group and work on that as well. Ageing is inevitable, but the problems that come along with it can be reduced to replenish the joy of life of the senior citizens. I wanted to be a part of that joy which Bihani has given me the right experience. This opportunity has led me to a better understanding of life.
NARAYAN AGASTI, VOLUNTEER
Narayan Agasti is a student of Bachelor of Social Work studying in Kathmandu Model College, Balkumari, Lalitpur. His stream of study includes English, Nepali, Social Work and Rural Development Narayan has also been actively involved as a volunteer through Volunteers Initiative Nepal (VIN). Interested in traveling, meeting new people, photography and learning new things, his aim is to bring a change in the society by helping others. Narayan is most happy when he is able to bring a smile on people’s faces.
SUMAN RAI, SOCIAL ACTIVITIES COORDINATOR
And here I am. Going through the patches and matches of life, through my experience at Bihani, I am trying to find myself rather than, just creating an idea of who I am. From a Literature and Journalism graduate to Social Entrepreneurship and Ageing, life has expanded my horizon greatly towards every subtleties of the social and business world. In order to bring change, to the dogmas and certainties of ageing as a global issue in the world, a humanly concern has been aroused in me. Instead of enforcing changes of the uncertain future, living life to its fullest from moment to moment is what tickles me the most now. Connecting every dot and making a path towards infinity is an interesting phenomenon that drives the very process of ageing with dignity. Learning never ceases whatsoever happens. So never give up on life- there are definitely many interesting things waiting to happen, just breathe and experience- the time and surprises are awaiting. To every ‘New Day or Morning (Bihani)’!
PRASHANT KALAUNI, PROGRAMMES & OPERATIONS COORDINATOR
Nepal is a developing country with lots of problems. As a student of Development Studies, it is my aim to take these problems as challenge and solve them. At Bihani, we try to solve issues related to ageing using a social enterprise model. Ageing is a topic which fascinates me, there is so much we can learn from our elders. People learn from committing mistakes but smart people learn from others’ mistakes. I am involved in this social enterprise to build my own future by helping others to build theirs, learning from each other and facing every problems as challenge.
SABINA KARKI, ADMIN STAFF & DANCE INSTRUCTOR
I, strongly, believe that people would live a bit longer if they did not know how old they were. Age puts restrictions on different aspects of life and living. But Bihani is there to create positive outlook for those restrictions addressing the problems of our elders and tries to resolve their issues to an optimal level. I am Sabina Karki. I came to Bihani Social Venture right after my high school studies in order to gain experiences I had never before. It has been the motto of Bihani that has attracted me to work more for elders. I believe that elders, too, can live in an environment dancing with new changes in society and enjoy their lives to the fullest.
SHERRY SHERPA, PROGRAMME OFFICER
The reason why I joined Bihani is because I just love the vibe of it. Before, I used to attend events hosted by Bihani as a guest and I felt very welcomed and felt a positive vibe. After working here, it made me think and feel that ageing can be difficult to go through if one doesn’t know how to accept it and deal with it. In Bihani, there are many senior members who are still very active and have desire to do a lot in their lives. It is very inspiring and motivating to see and learn from them.
Since I joined Bihani, I have learned many things. We often take our loved ones for granted and tend to be a little carefree and don’t give attention to them after working. At Bihani, I have started realizing that it’s even harder for parents who have become widow/widower.
Yes, ageing can be challenging. However, you should not think that you are old and can’t do anything. You are still a valuable member of the society and can give back to your family and community.
AMIT SHAKYA, ADMIN AND ACCOUNT MANAGER
“Hey friends, wanna be my friend?”
I think I should have been a person like that. But I am a bit different. I am Amit Shakya, currently studying Bachelor in Social Work (BASW) in Nesfield International College. Being a social work student, I want to give my best for the social causes in the society. Bihani Social Venture- this is where I came to know about the social issue of ageing and its beauty. I always like to look out for new ideas and explore new places. I also like photography. So I would like to make people joyful by exploring their interests while bringing positive changes in the society and my own self. To me- elders are analogous to Google where we can explore all the knowledge, ideas and information. I, strongly, feel that we can reach out to the elders for any information and data since they already have the first-hand experiences and can guide the forthcoming generations in the long run.