Sunita Giri 9:54 PM |

Growing up in Bal Mandir definitely meant that we were ‘made’ self aware about the fact that we were raised in Bal Mandir. Lets put it in more clear language and better way, there were people around us all the time to remind that we are abandoned by our parents, or some of them left us under the nettle-bush or in hospital because we were unwanted child and if not that, then they would never lose the opportunity to remind us that we were orphans. The ‘others’ will view us differently. There are and always will be the kind of people who will think of us with different light; regardless of what we are in reality.  We will be judged by the condition and background not by our virtue and this fact will never leave us.

To the young mind of ours it was not quite easy to grasp this kind of complicated concept, something like self awareness. Definitely not when we were growing up in Bal Mandir with two hundred children around us, all the time; whose story was not much different than ours. 

But the question keeps coming in my mind, how come this kind of self awareness gripped us from that very young age ? What made us so self conscious about our condition ? Were we always that self conscious about ourselves and our situations and people around us ? Were we smart enough to know about our conditions were different than that of the people who grew up in normal family ? I doubt so. We sure have people around us, who were working side this voluntarily and without our knowledge most of the time. When I look back and try to understand it, to know; why they did this ? What was the motive behind this when they inflicted self awareness about our desperate condition in our young minds ? Was finding us in Bal Mandir was that bad condition; that, we have to be self conscious about it all the time ? 

My mind is traveling back in my memory lane and searching its answer. Not surprisingly, I  remember one such incident when we were made self aware about us.

Let me share you what I remember, Geeta Basnet was in a team of staff  at NCO - Nepal Children's Organisation and she perhaps was the program coordinator, who used to organize programmes, that used to take place in Bal Mandir on regular basis. Once there was a singing competition going on, perhaps this was an inter-school competition. I am bit blurred in my memory about this particular singing competition because the biggest one used to take place in August or September during the birth month of Queen Mother. 

However like many children who took part in this competition Parvati was also one of the contestant. She was not just my roommate but also was my classmate. We used to share the same bench also in that cram pack seat, where seven to eight girls used to sit, back in our school days.

Luckily, at the end of the competition she learned that she was one of the winner securing her position in top three, in that singing competition. It was time for Geeta Basnet to prepare her announcement news. But; before she prepared it, she sat down with Parvati and then started convincing her to say that you took part in this singing competition from your school and not from Bal Mandir. She did not understand it first, what ms. Basnet wanted to imply; so coordinator clarified it again. See, this program will be announced in  national Radio - only one then and newspapers - at that time there was only two, one in national language, which is obviously Nepali  and another in English. It will be read and heard by everyone and everywhere. Therefore, it will be better if you say you took part in this singing competition from your school instead of Bal Mandir. Confused Parbati sought the approval of her few friends who had circled her there. They also thought perhaps the coordinator was right and meant good for her. After getting her friends approval, she gave her nod for that slight change of information. Geeta Basnet then made the necessary changes before circulating the announcement of winners to TV, Radio and newspapers. I am quite not sure we have TV then in our country, or we may have TV but it was on trial transmission then.

The very next day, at our school one of the teacher had heard the news on Radio the previous evening, so he broke it  to Parbati with congratulation. Needless to mention, she felt soo good, when her teacher said that. He added, he ‘felt so good to hear’ the name of our school winning the singing competition, which they have never prepared not sent any student for the said competition. The teacher whose name was Hari Sir, also added, admitting that he felt good to hear the name of his school on national Radio out of blue. No doubt, the confidence level of Parbati was boosted then, when she found that her name was announced on Radio [ which we missed entirely] after winning the competition. 

She was took part in that competition purely because, she was one of us in Bal Mandir. The singing competition was one of the regular program for which the opportunity was created by NCO; the managing body of Bal Mandir, part of its engaging program to all. But, the staff or people in the management felt ‘uncomfortable’ to float the news outside the Bal Mandir premises that  one of the winner was from Bal Mandir.

It might take long time for me to understand why adult inject such useless feelings in young minds and make them feel so belittle. My experience says that you really don't have to work real hard to make feel someone inferior when they already feel so. But, the question is, were we smart enough to understand what she was doing with our fertile mind, then ?  Was that just a manifestation of a behavior of  how an adult exhibit the hatred towards their work and place they work ? Or do I ever understand her true intention; entirely ?
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Damaged Subconscious Mind can this be Repaired ?

Sunita Giri 10:22 PM |

I do remember reading couple of articles where writers; mostly, psychologists believe that people who were raised poorly do have chances of ending their lives in crime world. Some believe inside out of those articles and the the logic put forth by psychologist. There is also preconceived notion people do have in their mind about the people, who were raised in children’s homes, like me ? When I first read one of it, I have to admit it, I believed every bit of it but then  after some time I started doubting that it being superficial instead of in depth knowledge.

Now, I am reading again subconscious mind chapter in the book, think and grow rich by Napoleon Hill and the writer’s believe about how the faith is formed and how much the said  and read words in repetition plays a huge role in forming our faith and confidence is build based the same. Positive thinking will have positive impact and negative thinking will have negative impact in our life. Before that, I have read Dr. Paul Yonggi Cho in his book, The Fourth Dimension about the power of spoken words and how and why it works in our brain. There he has mentioned about a neuroscientist, who revealed that the speech nerve is in the center of our brain; which rules all other nerve cells once the word is ‘received’ by this nerve system. Then, I suddenly understood why those psychologist do have reason to believe what they believed and wrote down on papers. Perhaps that is the reason, when I read it first and was so tempted to believe in it the concept.
Now, suddenly all the negative comments tossed carelessly in our young brain started playing in my mind and if I have totally forgotten then I know for sure that most of the people who came out from the Bal Mandir, sure do not end up in jail or acquainted to the crime world but despite all their education they do not went on to become where our education could have lead us in general.

At one hand I am happy that none of our friends ended up in jail or in the crime world [ at least not to my knowledge] and at the other hand I am wondering, why they did not enjoy the better life despite the good education and all kinds of self help training we were provided in Bal Mandir while growing up ?

Does this has anything to do with all the negative things hurled when we were so young and that was absorbed by our young minds without our consent ? Most of the staff from almost all level talked with us in such disrespectful manner its really hard to understand why they felt so comfortable in doing so as if it was their birthright to treat us like that. So they talked with us without feeling a little bit guilty about it. It took me really long time to understand what they were doing so but not why they were doing. Honestly speaking, I did not know about the words like dignity, self-respect, self-esteem, self-confidence, fragile self-esteem or inferiority complex until I was in college. Those were very unheard words in the world I lived. I wonder all the time was that in our control to protect us from all those negativity, disrespect and hatred for no reason whatsoever ?  what we did not know was its lasting impact in our our mind as well as our life ? but now I need to know the answer   what can be done to get over from those carelessly tossed negativity in our minds ?

Now a days the one question keep coming in my mind, can we do anything to erase all the negative things that once was those carelessly tossed negativity in our minds when we were so young and innocent ? and if the answer is yes ! then how much time its going to take ?

Now, suddenly I remember burying myself in books of all types and kinds as a child. Was that my way of ‘protecting myself’ from unfavorable environment. Later on when I was out from Bal Mandir I found a magazine and was hooked on to it like anything. ‘cover to cover’ as one of my boss observed about me later when she noticed how much I love reading Readers Digest. Still I did not find my answer as that was not the time I was  seeking the answer that bugs me so much now a days. the question popped up in my mind   when I started writing my blog.

Although, I was not understanding why I liked reading Readers Digest I was yet to know its lasting impact in my mind. As in due course of time, it changed my way of thinking things around me and about people too. I kept myself away from negative thinking people but to be true it really took me decades to know that too.  Again I have to admit it I am super slow unlike some who think I am extremely bright.

But then some time ago I came to read about a study by a sociologist from John Hopkins university, who had sent a group of students to a slum area at Baltimore. The first group were not so hopeful about the good life for 200 young children they have studied and predicted that most of them will end up their life in jail.

The same professor sent another group of students to track down and study the same children after 25 years later. To the surprise of the student these children had not ended their life in jail instead most of them were earning and living a decent life than, that was predicted by the first group of students.

Now, they wanted to know the answer why and where the prediction went wrong. This group of student or perhaps the professor, who was very determined to find the answer, why so.

They came to know about a teacher who taught most of these children who went to the same school of that area and her name was Sheila O’Rourke. She was a very religious by faith and believed in Jesus so she treated this young children just like she treated any of her other students. She treated them with love and respect.

Love and respect do have power to change the all the negative thought that was registered in our mind when we are so young but somebody has to keep doing so repeatedly; so that it will erase all that negativity that was registered in our mind long time back before we can even remember.

The study of sociologist professor from John Hopkins university did something good for me, which the superficial knowledge of most of the physiologist could not help find the deeper answer for person like me. At least now, I have the answer to the most complex thing; I thought I would never ever find. The only thing that pains me to say that it may have taken most of the staff at Bal Mandir to inject those negative comments about us in couple of years [ long before I was bright enough to rubbish them for whatever they said or predict about us] but it took me 20 years understand it and then work on to erase it.

Late Edition : you might find this link very helpful to understand about the above article more. How Dr. Hew Len healed a ward of mentally ill criminals with Ho'oponopono
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Prem Dai

Sunita Giri 10:33 PM |

During initial days of dashain the first thing that used to happen in Bal Mandir was to bring green bamboos and then erect two swinging pings, one is big and one is small for children. This would make the work of adults in indirect ways as it used to keep hundreds of energetic children busy during fifteen days of school holidays.

Normally, adult male staff who used to work as a peons or the dish washers used to lend a hand to make a swinging ping as they were bit handy in this kind of work. But because most of these males used to be from the remote part of the country and had seen hard life, so they used to climb the bamboos as if, they had been doing this for their whole life. I mean to say they used to climb bamboos like a money used to climb tree. To make a swinging ping one need to climb up the tip of the bamboo and then tie it up from fist two and then join the other two at one point so that they can hang down the thick and sturdy rope to make a ping.

Honestly speaking, here I am not talking about the methods of making the ping, I have a whole lot of different memory that is refusing to leave my mind even after all these many years also.

One particular year, when I was perhaps around nine years or so, Prem dai was up in the bamboo and trying to tie the two end of bamboos with rope. On the other side of the bamboo, may be Kanchha Dai was doing the half work and we children were watching it from the down, hoping it to be ready and then play it as soon as it gets ready. It was the work one needed to keep his two thighs in wide gap to do the complex work so, he too was doing it as the work needed it. One naughty eyes of a big boys or maybe of a girl noticed that Prem dai was not wearing anything inside his shorts, and some not so pleasant scene was on sight.

Suddenly, all eyes were up and with that the roar of laughter caught viral and it took time for Prem Dai to get why children were laughing down there. Maybe he was not smart enough to get it all by himself, until, one of them put it in words. Looking at my childhood and its culture, I bet it must have been a crude way of breaking the news to him but then again I just can't remember now, how the news was broken.

He then tried to keep his both thighs in close contact to avoid the unwanted laughter as well as to protect his ugly private parts. But harder he tried, faster he forgot to keep his thigh closer because he was up there to do tough work to tie the top ends of bamboos to convert it into swinging ping.

It really was hard to understand why he did not climbed down and then changed his shorts or put another pant, if in case he was not the one who used to wear undergarments and then climb up again so that it really would have been easier or him to do the remaining part of the work.

Strange as it may sound to my readers, but, the truth is that he never climbed down during the whole process of making a ping; meaning he kept the naughty children amused with his little brains exhibition.

When I was child I used to think that adult are brainier and smarter than the children and they will never ever do the kind of stupid things, which normally are the core part of children’s life. But maybe this is where I made a mistake. Reading some adult whose body grows into the adult yet their brain never grows as with the size of their body. He was a junior staff of the Bal Mandir and was a no brainier, to get the simple fact straight. It was a lot better solution to come down and then change his shorts and then go up again and then make the swinging ping instead of staying there like monkey showing his open gap of thighs and ugly private pasts and giving opportunity to children laughing who were watching him from down, rather than secretly hoping, they would close their eyes and would not see his ‘things’, so that he could focus on his work.

That day he stayed up there, completed his work with his on and off wide gap of airy shorts and then he became the subject of laughing matter for all the children, who were there waiting for the ping to be ready in just a matter of hours.

What ever said and done, the fact remains that, that was one of the most funny day for some big children. And this is the incident refuse to go from my memory after all this years.

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Truth Must Prevail

Sunita Giri 11:40 PM |

Just a couple of days before, I read a news in Nagarik about a social worker who has a heart of Gold and her name is Dil Shova Shrestha.  But this front page news defamed her as sex offenders. It was so hard to believe that a social worker like her was caught in deep scandal like that. To support their front page news report, Nagarik has clinged on to a phone record a little more than a three minutes long, claiming the voice was of Dil shova with some unknown person to supply  a minor girl child who was in her shelter.

The next day other news hit the headline, rescuing thirty-four children who were in her children home, citing they were kept there without legal process. The rescuer was none other than but an NGO [national human right activist] whose bus was shown in the news picture. The bus took the children with them. I yet have to read where they were located. They said the condition of the AmakoGhar was so pathetic, kind of home which seem to be inviting many disease. What is griping about the condition of the Dilshova’s shelter home is revelation of its condition by a Doctor, a friend of Reshma Singh a student social worker who has been associated with Ama Ghar for about a month  at the same time when this news of sex abuse surfaced in the media. Her doctor friend said, it hygienic condition was almost the condition of one of ‘our government hospitals’. Scary it may sound but it was mentioned in the news that it looked like home to many disease. In her article which was published in setopati Reshma writes, “I have talked with them, even brought a kid to stay with my family for a couple of days, taken some clothes and chocolates for them, put shoes on the feet of some bare footed kids, build a kind of rapport with them, and I know their situation is dire, extremely dire which needs immediate attention, but nowhere could I smell the rat about anything like sex abuse. That is way too farfetched and dishonest thing to say.”

Before this article was published, I knew that this is the condition of dire financial need she face, as Dilshova do not have the marketing skill of BBC journalist and front face of Help Nepal - Mission, Rabindra Mishra to go around the world to raise money to run his children home, where only about 40 children are sheltered. However he is raising money to run it, as if he is on the path to run a nation.

July 12, 2012 Dil Shova was in DishaNirdhesh, a talk show by Bijay Kumar. Something triggered me so much after watching this show, I have written about her in my blog before also; just like the show host Bijay Kumar keeps coming in my blog, although mine is not a news base blog site not even contemporary subject. You can read my prior post about her in a cultural difference. The real problem in her shelter home is not hidden but ignored by the media, as a whole; instead its a dire need of financial, which is causing problem there. Ironically, instead of making it as an issue, media really went for the hygienic issue or hyped the news in whole different direction. Let me make my point here, that unhygienic and stingy environment should not be accepted in any children's homes, but even to keep  clean place one needs little bit of money to pay the cleaning staff,  but then again it seems to me that the dire need of money is forbidding her to hire people who can  giver her clean place to breath fresh air. It is not hard to understand that with limited number of staff, who are there to lend her  much needed extra pairs of hands to run her shelter home are not making it an issue to keep it that clean, which will be accepted to some child right observer.

It was really hard for me to swallow the hard truth, which she was sharing with the talk show host about the death and financial matter. Suppose if one of her ‘mother’ dies and the last rite cost about 5-6 thousands only; but, that means the whole month goes by  without lentil for the rest of the members in her shelter or tea without sugar for all. I myself grew up in Bal Mandir and did not have a knowledge about the existence of black tea forget about a tea without sugar, when I was child. Besides as a child, I really had not seen in my life anyone crying for lack of finance.

She being the lady with a golden heart wants to help so many people beyond her capacity, and at times more than she really can accommodate and feed them. She can not say ‘no’ to anyone coming in her shelter home, mostly sent by some kind policemen or civil citizens. At times she also started accepting children who were mostly maobadi victims. To add her problems she is not a rich lady who has a plenty of money in her bank balance to pour on her kind work; to provide shelter to those who are abandoned or needy nor she is educated enough to write fancy proposals to ask for donation from foreign aid agencies. She accepts, whatever she is given from kind hearted people within the country, which is not sufficient to run her shelter home and there was also a time when one of her acquainted used her building as collateral. However DilShova is the one who found herself in deep soup to  get her home back from the bank when it was supposed to under hammer. When the news hit the  headlines, she was partially rescued by the Government of Nepal. Tear freely had flowed down from her eyes, when show was sharing this story with the TV host.

It is very clear that the reason she can not run her shelter home with minimum standard which is acceptable to those who are there to observe the condition but not her good intention it is because she never goes out anywhere asking for money to run her shelter home. She however accepts whatever comes in. We can blame it mismanagement issue but not her intention here and news should have rather focused on the need of finance to run the shelter home not the pure intention to abuse or exploit anyone who are there in her shelter home.

If we diagnose her real problem wrong way people will never ever  trust the kind hearted social workers, who knows nothing about management and art of marketing skill. That sure will cause so many unwanted problems in society. And this news which appeared on the front page of Nagarik is  one of them. Bijay Kumar from Kantipur found himself defending Dilshova because we know about her after her appearance on his show.

We keep hearing story about people giving her foods, goods and small cash but not the big money to ease her big project.  Here people think Rs 100,000 is big money, try to buy grocery for the 100 people for a month. Then this much money do have power to make you feel dwarf and its not like running a family of four to say that much is enough money. Besides it takes lots of money to run such shelter home and education sure do cost more than sheltering them under a roof.

That news tarnished squeaky clean image of a social worker with a heart of pure gold. It may have taken her work to be recognized time but it is gone in a day with such negative news. But, I am sure, her tainted image will be resorted sooner than later and journalists and media will play a substantial role to get her image back intact. All I have to do is wait and watch for this to happen.


Late edition : this link is must read to get the clear information about Dilshova and her charity work.

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