Looking Back…to Move Forward

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at the airport-feat image

Happy first re-birth day to me!

A year ago today, I had a new lease on life. When the pain and suffering endured during my tenure at Qatar Academy was topped off by incarceration, friends and others around the world won my freedom. I knew even before I landed in Kathmandu on May 13, 2013, that the only way forward was to use the gift of my freedom for positive change. That’s what prompted me to make the following statement on my Facebook Wall that day.

facebook post May 13

I followed that up with a post on my blog a little over a week later. In it I reiterated how using the generosities, kindness and support of everyone involved to effect positive change was the only way forward, fully aware that the only constructive option for channeling all my pain, hurt, anger, and rage was as a force for good. I had also figured that pursuing a dream I had nurtured pretty much all my life, I would be able to do just that.

And what a year, what a journey, it has been from a Qatari jail to today…to Grinnell College!

A year of working on education-related projects for the children of Thangpalkot and for the students of Dolagiri School in Changu Narayan.

A year of running sponsorship programs, supported by friends and others, for some children of Thangpalkot and for some of dead migrants.

A year of friends and supporters around the world coming forward to help and aid COMMITTED’s and my work in other ways as well.

A year of people assisting us organize events or organizing events independently — notably in Sydney and New York.

A year of people such as the Shrestha family — Bimala, Arbin and Rekha — running “Run to…Stop Child Trafficking” fundraising and awareness campaign to, again, partly benefit COMMITTED and its programs.

A year of also working on the side on migrant labor issues; doing what I could to raise awareness about social justice issues; and also doing what I could for children from backgrounds similar to mine to have the privilege of attending a UWC.

To cap it all up, I write this sipping coffee at Spencer Grill in Grinnell College, where I shall receive an honorary degree on Monday, May 19.

As small as they might seem, the accomplishments this past year would not have been possible without the ongoing support from all of you out there!

There are lots to be done, still! We, in Nepal, have a long way to go! As expected, bringing changes has been and will continue to be very very challenging — exciting and frustrating in different measures at different times. No doubt about that!

Regardless, to all those who contributed, thank you for making my first re-birth day possible. I look forward to your continued support and also to many more returns of the day!



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