Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

Jan 28th
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Home Global Activities Asia In Nepal, Tzu Chi Helps Village Girl to Receive Education

In Nepal, Tzu Chi Helps Village Girl to Receive Education

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There is a family living in hardship in Lumbini, Nepal. They cannot even pay their daughter’s tuition fee of US$ 4.71 per month. Tzu Chi and a local volunteer came to this home, saw their plight, and vowed to help transform their lives. 


Birthplace of the Buddha

Thanks to modern technology, Da Ai TV showed us footage of the Buddha’s birthplace, Lumbini, in Nepal.  After 2,500 years, the city still stands; however, Buddhism is weak there.

In Lumbini, 67% of the population practice Hinduism, 32% practice Islam, and very few are Buddhists. Not to mention that 41% of the houses have no electricity, and eight adults use cow dung as cooking fuel.

In 1997, UNESCO designated Lumbini as a World Cultural Heritage Site.  The local villagers have a low level of education, and most only complete middle school. The economy largely relies on tourism and related industries that depend on people from other counties and cities.

How can Tzu Chi help them improve their situation? Only education and people with a compassionate heart can turn it around.

Good Affinity

Since the devastating earthquake in Nepal in 2015, Tzu Chi volunteers have continued to care; after the emergency relief following the earthquake, they have organized free clinics and distributions with local volunteers.

In May, 2022, Dr. Chen Jimin (Ji Lian), Deputy CEO of Tzu Chi Malaysia, led a Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA) team to Nepal. In addition to providing medical aid and reconstruction, he also took advantage of the visit to go to a village in Lumbini to care for its poor residents and help Ms. Sharada Harijan to realize her wish.

Blind, Mental Disorder, Sickness and Poor

Sharada has been blind in both eyes since she was five, her husband has a mental disorder, and she has two children. The family and her mother-in-law live in a brick house built with the assistance of the city government.

May 4, 2022 was the first time volunteers went to Sharada's house. They found her three-year-old son lying on the mud floor, with mud all over his body.

Dr. Chen was shocked: "When I walked in, I saw this little child lying on the ground and looking for a milk bottle with his mouth. How could such a situation exist in today's society, so I picked him up and fed him.”

The TIMA doctor performed a simple examination of the little boy and found his feet were weak and that he could not walk. Later they found out that it was due to epilepsy caused by a high fever in his infancy.

In addition to caring for the child's physical condition, the volunteers also paid attention to the life of the Sharada family; they realized that their food was running low.

On June 19, volunteers invited Manoj Dhawal, manager of a local community learning center and a trainee Tzu Chi volunteer, to visit the Sharada family again.

Volunteers brought rice, beans, nuts, oil, salt, sugar, and coconut flour. Husband and wife smiled for the first time in a long while. The husband happily took the rice into the bedroom, and the children followed the adults in and out. The atmosphere in the house became happy.

Manoj said: "I knew the situation of their family from the beginning. In our village, the Sharada family is very poor, and the food distribution is enough for them to live on for a month."

Sharada’s Respect and Wish

On May 7, volunteers paid a second visit to Sharada. A Tzu Chi volunteer got close to Sharada and touched her face. She responded by holding the volunteer’s hands, then touched her prayer beads. The Tzu Chi volunteer told her that the prayer beads had a photo of Dharma Master Cheng Yen, founder of Tzu Chi.

Hearing this, Sharada pulled the volunteer’s hand toward her forehead to pay respect to the Master: “I pray for the Master. May she be happy and well.”

In Sharada’s village, most residents are illiterate and cannot even do basic calculations, so Sharada does not know her exact age. But she has a wish -- that her daughter who has reached school age can go to school.

She said: “My daughter Aniska is healthy. I hope she can have a very good future, become a successful person, and improve the family’s situation.”

Help Aniska Receive Education

Not too far behind Sharada’s house is a private school. But six-year-old Aniska cannot go because the family has no money. The tuition cost 600 Nepali Rupees per month, equivalent to US$4.71. They do not even have US$4.71.

After discussions, Tzu Chi decided to help Aniska. Manoj said: "I cannot help much by myself. With Tzu Chi's help, we can send Sharada’s daughter to school. I am very happy."

On June 21, volunteers took Aniska to the school to enrol. The next day (6/22) was Aniska’s first school day in her life. Her father, grandmother, Manoj, the homeroom teacher, Tzu Chi volunteers, Tzu Chi Foundation staff, and the driver formed a "Care Group", to accompany the little Aniska to school in a solemn manner.

Aniska’s Grandma gratefully said: “I never thought my granddaughter could go to school one day.”


Education Is Hope

Manoj said that he had felt helpless for a long time. He did not know how to transform the situation of these villagers or how to change their future. Now he has the answer -- allow children to read and go to school. He said: "Only education can change the life of the entire family."

Education is the hope of the society. It nurtures the seeds of the future. We also hope that the seeds of Tzu Chi will be deeply cultivated in the local area, so that the spirit of the Buddha's salvation will continue and be passed on from generation to generation.

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" We start to slacken the minute we find excuses for ourself. "
Jing-Si Aphorism

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