Every person in this world has the dream of a better life. This is our nature as it should be. People go to the temple, to Gumba, to Church, and to Masjid to be blessed. The Universal Temple is the human mind and body. The Almighty God is the heart. That heart carries the one impulse that is God’s impulse: “Helping”. For a life to be truly better each of us must, I believe, always be helping.
My parents always told me, “God bless you and the way you love to do things for others.” Because of my young age,I did not completely understand. However, I continued to do what I was used to – I just followed my heart, remaining humble, thinking of the betterment of others, expressing compassion, understanding that I have no enemy, remembering that which we all carry – a heart.
We are born with nothing. We leave with nothing. But we can leave a legacy. The Surya Secondary Boarding School is my gift to the people of Khandbari. We will build this legacy together.
The Surya Secondary Boarding School was born out of a visit to my home city, Khandbari, in 1986. A decade before, I had left my hometown for the United States. This was my first return. I came to see my beloved family, but my heart dropped upon seeing the village classrooms with no books, no furniture, and only one teacher.
While hiking in the Himalayas with a group of Boulder, CO, citizens, we encountered a 13-year old boy. His chin was penetrated by a stick which had remained in place for many days. Our group doctor spent five hours operating on him with minimal tools and managed to save his life. The next day, a five year old girl, carried by her mother, was going to a hospital to save her child’s life. However, she did not know she was carrying a child who had already died. The crying of the mother for her dead child gave me energy, a whole new power, and a new idea. I decided I must do something for the people of this valley.
Thus, Surya Secondary Boarding School was born as the pioneering English-based school in the Eastern mountain region of Nepal in 1988. Given the many obstacles posed by the country (and even the Maoist insurgency), this was a miracle.
Now the political situation of Nepal looks promising and we trust that Nepal will move forward. The Surya Secondary Boarding School carries this spirit in its motto: “Ever Better, Better More”.
Without the trust and support of my wife Sreejana, my work in Nepal and other countries could have never reached the level it is now. She currently manages Old Tibet in Boulder, Colorado, USA. She once said to me, “So long as you help educate the children of the world and take care of people’s health, I will keep working hard in Boulder to support your work.”
I would like to thank all the people of Khandhari and the surrounding area for trusting in us by sending their children to our school. I do believe that teaching children from the earliest stages of their lives empowers them to become students forever. We all recognize our children are the pillars of our future.
I send my sincere thanks to Mr. D. N. Shrestha who worked from the inception of the school until its hard times during the Maoist era. There are many teachers and principals I must thank for making the school successful – most of all, ex-principal Mr. Padma Raj Tamang and the current principal, Mr. Tirtha Raj Panta. There are endless teachers who have made this school’s name so high and bright. I appreciate and recognize their hard work, loyalty, sincerity and trust to glorify its name, operation, and fame.
I ask the parents and the community leaders to show us where improvements in Surya Secondary Boarding School can be made. Please give us your advice and suggestions so that we can improve our quality education.
We cannot forget people such as Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and Nepal’s own great poets such as LaxmiPrasad Devkota and Lekh Nath Poudyal. They have left their legacy by upholding the people, their nations, and the world.
“It seems impossible until it’s done.” “After climbing a great hill, one finds there are many more hills to climb.” These are the words of the great Nelson Mandela of South Africa.
In conclusion, I find more hills to climb in my journey for Helping Hands Health Education (helpinghandsusa.org). My hope is that people will not need to seek Heaven after death because they will have made Heaven here on Earth.
Let us not shy away from even the smallest act of service. Each small act will lead us to do the larger things.
We do not separate ourselves by levels of wealth or class. Each of us is a part of one HUMAN cast. Let us empower the highest potential of all Surya children and let each of them spread their light to hearts throughout the world.
Narayan Shrestha, Founder and Chairman
Surya Secondary Boarding School Sreejana Nagari, Khandbari – 1 Sankhuwasava, Nepal