At our event, “A Night for Nepal” you were given a glimpse of several stories of the lives of villagers in Archale, Nepal where Shining Three Star Academy is. Saprinu volunteers, Biswas and Basanta interviewed these people, translated them into English, and produced these stories.  Over the next few weeks, months, and hopefully years we intend to follow students and their families continuing to tell their story. These stories may be heartbreaking, but reality often is. Through the work of Saprinu and its supporters we hope to see a shift from hopelessness, to one of hope and prosperity. It is not just about education, it is about creating a sustainable community by which education is only the beginning.

 Yam Datta Bhatta

I am Yam Datta Bhatta, a farmer from Archale. As a child I studied till class five at the village school, but dropped out due to family problems and a lack of interest in studying. I have two sons and a daughter. My eldest son and daughter are studying in a government school while the youngest son is studying in Shining Three Star Academy.  My youngest son is doing very well and I am very happy that there is a good school in the village which provides quality education. Earlier, we had to send our children to a boarding school outside the village to get quality education and we could not afford that. Now, our kids can get good education in the village itself. I have two brothers. My youngest brother is a laborer in Saudi Arabia. My other brother is thirty-five years old and is mentally disordered since childhood. We have to take care of him, feed him, take him to the toilet, etc., and have problems doing that because of his mental condition. We used get Rs. 1,000 (about US $12) per month as relief to look after my brother but that has also stopped now. We hope an organization working with cases like my brother will help us take care of my brother in the future.

I went to Saudi Arabia to earn some money to support the family. The work there was not that hard but the pay was very low. I was earning around 700 Saudi Riyal (about US$180) per month. I had very little savings from my salary, since I had to pay for food as well as spend on calling back home. While I was there, my brother also reached Saudi Arabia, and has a relatively better job and is earning around 900 Saudi Riyal (about US$240) per month. He saves around US$140 – US$150 per month.  As both of us were abroad, there were only women and children left in the house and they were facing problems, especially in farming. Our relatives were helping them, but it was not like when there were men in the house. Since I was not satisfied with my job in Saudi Arabia, and someone had to be home to look after the family and the farming, I returned after spending 32 months there. Now, since my brother is the only one working there, he sends money home and supports us while I look after the family.

I hope my children will become successful in future. According to his teachers at Shining Three Star Academy, my youngest is very talented. I hope that the school will eventually become a high school and that my son graduates from there.