I always knew that I wanted to do something to contribute socially but was not sure how or what. While growing up, I did my schooling in boarding schools which contributed in my gaining knowledge of different cultures and issues along with my inquisitiveness to learn from others. After graduation, I stumbled in to working in the corporate sector where I had a great job and good enough income however; I had a void within me and the question that always lingered in my mind was – “What am I doing? How am I contributing?” After much contemplation, I left my job to pursue a Masters in Media and Communication Management with the aim of getting into campaigning in the development sector. After having travelled abroad for my education, I finally decided to return to Nepal to pursue my dream of “doing something.”
In my first job after my return, 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. The grass root level social entrepreneurs/ producers I worked with inspired me to take the leap. Many of them had no formal education or family support system yet; they were determined and had the grit to excel. They taught me to follow 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.
As I researched about the social issues in Nepal, I realized that there was a huge need for something to be done in the field of ageing. I also 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.
Due to the fact that I did not want to be donor dependent I decided to establish a social enterprise to address the gap in the field of ageing along with devising a business model to create solutions.
– Santoshi Rana, Founder