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 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. This makes me feel happy whenever I get the chance to interact with or help elders. After working with a couple of elders, I can assure you that it is one of the best feelings. As we age, we become physically weaker. Yet, the experiences and journeys we go through make us mentally stronger. As a Tai Chi Instructor, my work is not just something that I have to do. It is a method of giving 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 changes in the lives of those around me.
The best experience both in terms of teaching and learning has been the opportunity to work with an eighty nine years old elder. When I come across such inspiring elders, I feel that life is indeed full of possibilities, and you never know how and when your contributions will make you proud. Moreover, Being trained from Japan International Support Program (JISP) as Training of Trainers (ToTs) on “Improvement of community based Disaster Risk Management and Post Disaster Psychologically Care for Socially Vulnerable People in Nepal” for one year has been the happiest moment of my life. I was able to facilitate training for the caregivers and family because it is very important to make elders believe that we care for them. A pinch of psycho social support will go a long way in making people happy.
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 & ADMIN OFFICER
“If you want to be happy, do not dwell in the past, do not worry about the future, focus on living fully in the present”
I am a graduate in Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW) from Nesfield International College. I started as a field worker/trainee, and now I am the Programme and Admin Officer at Bihani. I also provide Home Based Service interventions to members and elders. My experience here has taught me how to see life from a multi dimensional perspective and I have stepped into a completely new path. Bihani is a place where learning never ends, every day is unique with opportunities to grow personally as well as professionally.
RITCHIE SAMPSON, PROGRAMME OFFICER – MEDIA & COMMUNICATION
“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 have completed my Bachelor in Social Work (BSW) graduate from Nesfield International College and I want to give my best in contributing to social causes. It is at Bihani, that I t came to know about the social issue of ageing and its beauty. I like photography besides, my interests in looking out for new ideas and exploring new places. The work I do, gives me the privilege of learning about individuals, exploring their interests while bringing positive changes in the society and my own self. Is strongly feel that, elders are analogous to Google where we can explore all the knowledge, ideas and information based on their life long experiences. Our elders are the best guide for us and the forthcoming generations.
PABITRA RAI, IN-HOUSE NURSE & PROGRAMME SUPPORT TEAM MEMBER
Every day, there are opportunities that help us learn and make ourselves better. However, it is up to us, whether we use those opportunities for our growth, or disregard it. I joined Bihani Social Venture as a volunteer in 2016 and currently, I am a registered in-house nurse involved with the Health & Rehabilitation team along with, supporting the Programmes and Operations department. I completed my Proficiency Certificate Level degree of Nursing from B&B Medical Institute in 2016-2019. While working in Bihani and providing services and benefits to elders, I realised how small gestures from us can turn into something meaningful for them. As a gradual learner, I wish to experience and use my skills at best, and I know this is possible because Bihani provides a platform where we get to hone our skills as well as learn new ones.
PAROOL BERIWAL, IN-HOUSE YOGA INSTRUCTOR
“Yoga as a whole is very vast, it has ‘Ashta- Anga’ It is said, to practice Yoga one has to follow all the 8 parts, however even if one practices just 2 parts of it that is ‘Asana’ and ‘Pranayama’ it has an immense impact on our physical body and psychological mind. It helps one think positively and physically feel fit and active which is the need of all the time but more during this Pandemic where the whole world is suffering and has created a lot of fear in the air It gives me a magical sense of satisfaction to share my knowledge and the lockdown gave me an opportunity to explore online sessions.”
Parool has taught yoga at the Blue Indigo Yoga Siem Reap, Cambodia and catered to diverse clients across Nepal and globally along with, assessment of yoga teachers. Parool Beriwal has Level-2 Yoga Teacher certification by Professional Quality Council of India (PQMS) under AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy), Government of India. She is also trained at Yoga Teacher Training Course (YTTC) from the Sri Sri School Of Yoga located at the Art of Living International Center, Bengaluru, India and pursued advanced YTTC from Yoga Vidya Gurukul.
SUSMITA RAJOPADHYA, COUNSELOR PSYCHOLOGIST & CERTIFIED REIKI HEALER
“We should respect our elder’s experiences and listen to what they want or have to say without being judgmental.”
I have completed my Masters in Counseling Psychology from Tribhuvan University. With over 4 years of experience working in the field of aging, I am also a member of Counseling Psychology Nepal through which we conduct different training and workshop related to mental health. I also co-own a company “Aesthetic Studios” which focuses on designing and branding along with, being a certified Reiki healer. I got particularly interested in Reiki (healing power of touch through palm healing/ energy healing) to support individuals and elders for overall mental and physical well-being.
I believe that each of us can fulfill our dreams or follow our interests at any age. Similarly, our elders deserve an environment where pursuing any dream or interest is possible. Working with Bihani enables me to work towards that meaningful purpose of enabling elders enjoy their optimum well-being and living life with dignity.
SAMRIDHI RANA THAPA, VOLUNTEER ADVISOR – Ageing & Disability Inclusion
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.
DR. RAMAN KOIRALA, VOLUNTEER ADVISOR – MD in Psychiatry, PGIMER
Dr. Raman Koirala, MD has been trained in Neuropsychiatry for 3 years from Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) Chandigarh, India. He has specialized in Consultation-liaison psychiatry, palliative care, emergency psychiatry, Dementia, Geriatric Psychiatry, Psychotherapies, Addiction, Relapse prevention therapies and Motivation therapies. He has been involved in care of long term rehabilitation and recovery model of critically ill patients and in palliative care of terminally ill patient.
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.
RESHMA NEPAL, PROGRAMME SUPPORT TEAM MEMBER (Volunteer)
I am trying to make my carrier in Social Work field because I want to eradicate biases 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.