“Even if I’m hungry I’ll still provide half my portion of food to someone in need”: Krishna’s Story from Sau Gaun

22nd May 2018

Krishna Bahadur is the village respondent and head of the Water Users Committee in Sau Gaun, a village of 17 households and a population of 80. He was born in Kathmandu, Thamel, despite his family being from Sau Gaun. He moved to his village (Sau Gaun) at the age of 3 and started his education locally, moving between five different schools before studying at college and university in Kathmandu, where he studied hotel management. He went on to work in hotels for four years, in roles such as waiter and management. Hhis ability to speak English greatly improved due to the large tourist customer base. From his acquired skills he decided to open his own hotel (called Hotel Garden), running successfully for three years until he had to close because of lack of business.

When he was unemployed, he thought it was time to give back and re-connect to his community, feeling it needed development, as he says “In all of Gorkha, Sau Gaun is the poorest”. He moved back in 2014 with ambition to increase the quality of life for the people of Sau Gaun. He used his leadership and people management skills to bring the community together in such a way that they could develop as one. Thus, shortly after arriving back into community he earned the title of village respondent as he was able to lead and mobilise the community so effectively, an impressive role for someone so young. Suddenly, in April 2015 a devastating earthquake struck, affecting the Gorkha region the worst (in the whole of Nepal). Unfortunately, Krishna’s house was destroyed along with many others within the village; he even went on to say his favorite rabbit was killed. Other problems the village encountered were temporary loss of water from the village tap and then a slower flow from each tap in/around the village from the already limited supply. He then built a make-shift 1 storey house in which he lives up until this day. He is now a government beneficiary, currently in the process of constructing a new house.

After the earthquake, he mobilized the community to reconstruct/repair households, an inspiring act as the community worked so cohesively. Whilst this was happening Krishna developed his personal construction skills, learning on the job from the villagers as there was so much to do. Krishna goes by the saying “practice makes everyone perfect”, as before the earthquake he had no infrastructural skills beforehand but is now extremely competent. After years of living with limited access to water, Krishna, along with the support of his fellow villagers, felt they needed help and approached the local government. The government (municipality) put Krishna in contact with SSICDC’s Santosh, the project partner for Raleigh. This led to our Raleigh team entering the community, undertaking a WASH project. Our project infrastructure started almost immediately, with Krishna being influential in orchestrating tasks and communicating between the villagers. He has played a big part in all our infrastructural tasks from teaching us how to build and render hand wash stations to water source intake and collection chamber construction. Krishna has been extremely supportive during our time in community. He is really appreciative of the work we have done, especially bringing a sufficient amount of water to the village. He says, along with the villagers, they plan to use all the skills and communication networks that Raleigh has taught and provided to continue developing Sau Gaun after we’ve left.

Recently, the next Raleigh cycle was approved to come into the village and undertake a livelihoods program; Krishna is extremely excited by this prospect and plans to be fully supportive as he knows this will benefit the village and its inhabitants. Apart from the direct infrastructure we have constructed, Krishna is really glad we have done numerous training and awareness programmes on topics such as Hand washing, Menstrual Hygiene (sanitary pad making) and youth development, which he has seen a big improvement in since before we arrived: he feels the village kids are more concerned about village issues and relevant health practises. Krishna says he owes a lot of his motivation and perseverance to his wife, who is a teacher in Gorkha, who looks after herself and his child whilst he works in the community. With the food and resources sometimes being scarce, he is inspired to help his community, saying “even if I’m hungry I’ll still provide half my portion of food to someone in need”. In the future Krishna wants to remain in Sau Gaun where he feels much development is still needed and he wants to ensure that it happens.

 

Written by Sonam, Storm and Jamie
ICS Spring Cycle, 18R
Sau Gaun

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