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 back 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. 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.
SUSMRITI TAMANG, HEALTH & REHABILITATION COORDINATOR AND TAI CHI INSTRUCTOR
“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, INCLUSION SPECIALIST – DISABILITY & AGEING AND HEAD OF HEALTH AND REHABILITATION DEPARTMENT
Samridhi completed her Master of Rehabilitation Counselling from the University of Sydney on being selected by the Australian Government Department of Foreign affairs & Trade (DFAT) for the Australia Awards scholarship. Samridhi is currently based in Nepal making efforts to promote effective inclusion of the ageing/ elderly and disability population through capacity building activities, building evidence and by involving in fundraising/ project development. Samridhi is a scientific based practitioner who has an added advantage of grassroots experience working in diverse rural and remote as well as urban setting. The case story on inclusive sexual and reproductive health care & rights authored by her has been published internationally. She has also recently completed a qualitative research on ‘Exploring Perspectives of People with Disability in Kathmandu on Employment’ funded by the Australian Aid in Nepal. Samridhi frequently writes for national dailies and in discussion forum to highlight issues on ageing and disability to a larger population. Samridhi is a risk taker, a culturally sensitive & dynamic professional.
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.
PRASANA RAI, PROGRAMME OFFICER
Am I Prasana? What am I supposed to do in life? What do I really live for?
These were the questions that used to arise in my mind time and again in the past. But now, I have the answers to, at least, satiate from my own level of understanding and belief. I am a graduate (Bachelors in Social Work) from Nesfield International College. And you may all be curious as to know how I found my answers though not a final one. It is all through guidance and exemplifications from the team and inspiring members of Bihani. Here, I am learning many things like idea generations, motivational factors, team work, looking life in more positive manner, being professional in work and many more. And truly, each day is “new” like the morning Sun.
RITCHIE SAMPSON, PROGRAMME OFFICER
“Success is nothing if there’s no one there to share it with”
These lyrics from a song by Ed Sheeran, my music inspiration, touched me when I first heard it. If there is no one there for us, nothing really matters. I am a person who strongly believes in companionship and friendship. I studied Bachelors in Arts specializing in Social Work. It taught me everyone is different, everyone is unique. Working in Bihani Social Venture has taught me how to feel for myself as well as for others. All the little things in life can teach you something important. Life is a journey, and I plan to enjoy every moment of this journey. Love everyone like you love yourself. Help others when needed. Respect if you want to be respected. And most of all, enjoy life.
LUMANTI MANANDHAR, PROGRAMME OFFICER
Trying out new things in life is what gets me going. For that, I attempt to grab every opportunity that comes along my way. Academically, I pursued my Bachelors in Public Health whilst my passion lies in working with the community. Likewise, I am interested in outdoor activities and travelling. Much effort isn’t needed to show kindness and compassion to any living being around us. Also, I believe that no act of kindness no matter how small ever goes wasted. Bihani has given me the opportunity to explore myself beyond my comfort zone and groomed me in ways that has enabled me to strengthen my strengths, work on my shortcomings, look for opportunities and be prepared to tackle hurdles. Contributing towards bringing even small changes in people’s life while working in the field of ageing has changed my vision of life.
AMIT SHAKYA, PROGRAMMES & OPERATIONS CO-COORDINATOR
I should have been a person who is not afraid to say, “Hey. Wanna be my friend?” But I am a bit different. I am Amit Shakya, Bachelor in Social Work (BSW) graduate from 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.
RESHMA NEPAL, PROGRAMME INTERN (Volunteer)
I am trying to make my carrier in Social Work field because I want to eradicate biasness prevailing on society and focus on equity. I joined Bihani through my college for partial fulfillment of my study thinking that Bihani is an old age home. But after getting to know about Bihani, my perspective of ageing as an issue completely changed. The concept of Bihani to Re-engage, Re-explore and Re-live the senior citizens (not restricted to only them) in various services and benefits inspired me to join Bihani. Also I found Bihani a good platform to learn and develop professional skills which will help in my long – term carrier and personality development.
SABINA KARKI, ADMIN STAFF & DANCE INSTRUCTOR (Volunteer)
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.