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Another update from CM Yogi

This email entails the beautiful progress they are having from the new Girls Camp and a program called Room to Read... in Nepal. Love and blessings to all, Jim.

December 29, 2008
Dear Azeliya Ranjitkar Ji
Program Officer
Room to Read

Thank you so much for giving us such a fulfilling opportunity to work with Room to Read. It was truly an honor for all of us and we all gained a deep feeling by working with very unprivileged community. Sometimes service gives a very holistic vision to our life and makes our life purer and more gratified. We ourselves are truly blessed by the program - Girls Camp in Gualirya (from Jan.18 to 21st). All the trainers / youths are moved to be part of such an awakening program. It was absolutely inspirational for everyone to be with Kamlari's who are innocent but pure, uneducated but civilized, unskilled but well-behaved and well determined. So the question comes up: Are they Kamlaris or Karmayogis?

Spending 4 days with these very lovely children in a remote area like Gulariya was quite different and enlivening experience for all the youths / trainers. I am really glad that they were all quickly mixed up with all the children. It was like a grand family in which everyone was trying to respect and support each other beyond any barriers. All the programs - yoga, talks, interactions, satsanga, games, arts, etc - seemed to be quite new for all these young participants; yet they were very smart to follow all the things quickly and surprisingly with lots of interests. It was amazing! Honestly speaking, the pace of learning of the children we found a bit slow, but their dedication, enthusiasm and discipline was superb (!), which we hardly find in the children growing in the so-called modern society.

Though the weather was quite dreary and the management was not that comfortable because of various reasons, but the whole environment of the camp was fabulously lively. Therefore no one got a chance to make any criticism and did not have any moment to become frustrated, tired and negative. In fact the 3/4 day-long camp was of like 3 hours only!!

All the trainers of Shanti Sewa Ashram (SSA) and Youth Society for Peace (YSP) did their best to accomplish the camp. If truth be told, I greatly appreciate their devotion, dedication and determination coupled with the quality of teaching and ability to develop such a close association with these native villagers. There was no any discriminatory or uncomfortable kind of environment. All the trainers themselves were like participants because a good teacher is a good learner, too.

All the SMs were helpful, accommodating, and highly curious to benefit from the camp. They all participated in each and every program and I hope they have returned to their workplaces with huge amount of lifetime experiences. This program has been able to install a good hope for brighter future in every participating individual. The local representative of RTR, Shakunatla Chaudhari ji was extraordinarily helpful. They all put their sincerest efforts into making this camp successful, for it was entirely a new program for them.

Actually, we should go to the community with different kinds of packages for empowering the girl students particularly from the unprivileged sections of society. We should not waste our time, money, strength and resources in the name of conferences, as well as for drafting proposals and making plans, and eventually we end up with no concrete results by wasting our precious resources just by sitting talking and planning. This is the reality in the context of Nepal; this is why we are centuries behind the other developed part of the world. As a matter of fact, we have wasted lots of time through organizing various brain storming sessions, but we could not become practical. Therefore, we need to dedicate ourselves to execute practical things, which can awaken our youngsters and children in totality. In this regard, the Girls Camp was, no doubt, a special example. Room to Read provided us with this wonderful opportunity to work with those children, especially girls, who are marginalized, ignored and exploited. So we are really very thankful to Room to Read. The path the RTR has taken up is an example for all of us. No doubt the only value-based education with life skill trainings can shape our children's life as desired and thereby save our community. We need to reach out the ethnic communities in particular because they have a lot to share with this modern world and possess a lot to contribute to New Nepal; but they need to be heard, they need to be shaped and respected. We very much ensure that we, all the members of SSA and YSP, are always with RTR.

What we hope is that whatever they have learnt in the camp, they will continue to apply in their families, communities and at schools. Especially we hope that they will shape their life, and cultivate themselves in a way that they will of course make admirable contributions to the process of nation-building.

What do we actually need if the children make their life better through following good values and building up their own potentials and skills? We all hope that the local SMs will continue to help the participants so that they can be encouraged regularly and will carry on the good things which they have leant in the camp. We are aware of the fact that we need to light many lamps with the help of one burning lamp. We have now already 50 burning lamps! A wonderful start!! A good success!!! They will be preparing their reports weekly, which I hope can give us some vision and we will then be able to make more plans in the future to help out the needy and disadvantaged children who are still looking forward to a ray of hope and waiting for a light which can remove all forms of darkness of their life. Every child needs a room to read, values for their life and right to live, grow and enjoy every moment. May god bless and strengthen us so we can serve them without any selfish motive. Service is the greatest form of religion. Let's live with the spirit of SEWA, only SEWA - Sa Vidya Ya Vimuktaye...

Once again, we, the members of SSA, YSP ad HVP, are very thankful to the entire RTR team. A Very special thank goes to you Azeliya Ji because you were an inspiring person for our selfless cause. We truly and deeply appreciate it. Thank you SO VERY much.

Love + Peace + Service

Dr. C. M. Yogi

Founding Principal - Hindu VidyaPeeth-Nepal (HVP)
Founding Chairperson - Shanti Sewa Ashram (SSA)
Patron - Youth Society for Peace ( YSP)
Founder - Society for Value Education (SVE)
Chairperson- National Inter-faith Coordination Movement (NICM)

P. O. Box: 6807, Kathmandu, Nepal
Ph. 00977- 1- 5006224 / 5006125