Reflecting Back to Mentorship: Six months under Guidance

 

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                                The world is changing relatively faster than expected. The growing market of job is competitive and full of talent, where failing once means losing your job. The professional life is tough already, and its graph is increasing day by day. There are hundreds of professional coming out yearly with honed skills, talents and world life exposure. You cannot be left behind bewildering other progress.

                          Traditionally, the best way to learn was to find better master and be his/her apprentice. The evolving education system changed everything developing systematic progress of student to professional life. That does not mean need of mentorship/apprenticeship is bygone things. Still mentorship is considered best way to sharpening skills before you fail or simply learning by others failure. Your life is too short to fail on every step and learn from failure.

                           I got chance to be part of WWF Nepal The Generation Green Mentorship Program Batch 2 under mentor Anil Chitrakar (Social Entrepreneur). Along with me six others participated on this journey of six months. The main idea was to work one various creative project related to environment conservation, renewable energy use, 3R principle, wildlife conservation, and other several creative solutions. As we came from different background of study, it was hard for us to manage time for meeting and finalize our idea.

                    We were lacking confidence even we had ideas in mind, that’s where mentor guided us. He showed us light beyond tunnel and believed in our ideas. Every idea will work if you have courage to pursue them. These words still echo my ear and motivate me daily. Instead of focusing on single idea we tried cluster of idea as we had limited time of 6 months, so our ending point of idea would be starting point for upcoming groups.

                                 The main objective of our project was to establish a culture with a system of recycling, reusing and reducing of waste (food, plastic, paper, rubber & water). The basic task was to help in the conversion of low – end input waste into high value output. We helped to facilitate and bridge gap between waste utilizing institutions by innovative alternatives to appropriate potential market by designing ergonomically viable products as such:

1. Reusing Rubber Tire by Giving Aesthetic Values for Parks, Schools and Communal area.

                       The tire has been real issue as it cannot be recycled (economically at low scale in country like Nepal) or reduced but can only be re-used. We had re-used tire by integrating them into environment. They were used as flower pots for large plants, swings in garden or home, decoration by giving colors. We identified certain schools formed Eco-Clubs or youth clubs with whom we worked so that the sustainability of the project will not be an issue if local young people will take care of it.

Figure. Tire Gardening at Shree Janajyoti Secondary School, Banepa 

Figure. Tire Gardening and Orientation at Sainik School, Pokhara 

Figure.  Tire Gardening and Orientation at Ratna Rajya School, Kathmandu

2. Advocated use of recycled Plastic Bags into Ropes or Fibers for Agricultural Support:

                        We helped to recycle/reuse plastic bags as rope and it was provided as sample to farmers. This was done through the re-use of plastic bags by making ropes or fibers from them. The ropes can be used for making various green house, support for vegetable growth, building birdcage, temporary shelter and even making fences. The high strength plastic rope and fibers will come in handy for farmers for daily use.

3. Encouraging institutions for Creative use of Paper:

                     Paper is widely used for various purposes like printing records, brochures and leaflets. Reduce use of paper, printing on both sides of paper and promotion of e-communication was encouraged. On joint collaboration with Women’s Dream Multipurpose Ltd we made pencil out of sample old newspaper and encouraged such initiatives from other organizations.

Figure. Training and Sample Old Newspaper Pencil, Kathmandu

 4. Rain Water Harvesting

                         Due to ongoing water crisis and larger number of family residing in small houses, it was very difficult to fulfill the water need in household use. So, being a researcher in watershed management, Mr. Laxman Shrestha had constructed a very simple yet a very effective way to use the rainwater. We conducted interview to share his noble idea for public use.

Figure. Mentees interviewing Mr. Laxman Shrestha about Rain Water Harvesting 

THE LESSONS

                         Indeed six months mentorship has been great journey of my life. We were able to work on ideas generated by us. We could see transformation on ourselves as well as we felt that our activities made some level of contribution and influence on society. We were lucky enough to travel various parts of Nepal. We made lifetime friends and created memory. Plus we learnt about professionalism, discipline, time management and respect of fellow team member.

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Figure. The TEAM (YOUTH FOR CHANGE NEPAL)

                  I would like to provide note of thanks for Mr. Anil Chitrakar (Mentor), Ms. Shikha Gurung (WWF Nepal) and Mr. Dipesh Gurung (ECCA Nepal). It was pleasure to work with you guys: Anisha Adhikari (MBA), Bina Kharel (MBA), Nabina Gurung (Developmental Study), Senha Shakya (Engineer + MBA), Subina Shrestha (Developmental Study) and Sunwi Maskey (Environmental Study). Cheers!!!

Figure. Team Member Briefing About Project Impacts and Progress

Figure. Closing of Program. Team Member with Amrit Gurung 

Media Coverage: We are glad our work was shared on online (Glocal Khabar) and print (MyRepublica) media. Please follow link for more information.

Glocal Khabar: Old Tire Gardening By Youth For Change Nepal 

My Republica:The Generation Green: Teaching youth about nature, conservation and more

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Celebrating World Environment Day with Global Power Shift Nepal

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                           June 5, 2016: The World Environment day is celebrated with various actions for environment conservation and promotion throughout World. The theme for this year environment day was Go Wild for Life: Zero Tolerance for Poaching. To embark this day, Global Power Shift Nepal (a organization under 350.org) organized a platform for sharing complete work of change workshop and community team. The main theme of event was to display art and creativity reflected by student in various theme regarding environment conservation and promotion, eco school demonstration, stalls for impromptu demonstration of solid waste management, use of 3R solutions, video and documentary show, presentations about environment and clean energy use and many similar environmental demonstration.

            There were many stalls representing various works. The few stalls present are described below:

Bio Degradable Solid Waste Management

           The know-how and preparation methods of Solid Waste Management were displayed. And students were provided with short orientation in-group to raise curiosity and building capacitance.

Use of Reuse, Recycle, Refuse Display

                   The stall displayed various paper bags made of old newspaper, penholder and flower vase made of recycled paper, old newspaper pencil, reused plastic cup holder, mats and other creative decorations. The creativity is solution to any problem was target as waste is not waste until it is wasted.

Paper Bag and Paper based Vessels Decoration Making 

                  This stall provided hands on learning of how to make paper bag and paper vessels for decoration. The students learnt and tried making such items, which they could reflect in homes, and help to manage house hold waste.

Eco Village Development Model Demonstration by Centre For Rural Technology

                  There was stall where eco model was demonstrated and one of our representative explained concepts of eco village to incoming student, parents and teachers. There were representatives from various schools and other various stakeholders.

Eco School Solution Model Display

 

          The stall displayed a model based on eco solution for promoting eco school initiative.

Video, Presentation and Orientation to Student

                The various videos, ppt based presentation and orientations were made to display  creative and innovative approach for solving environmental issues. The prize was distributed to winner of art competition.

Creative Games for Student

    Various creative games were played for inter mixing of students.

                 The day ended with clear message that students are real change maker and future climate warrior so shaping their future is essential. This is great initiative taken by Global Power Shifter Nepal team with help of Tourism Development Endeavor (TUDE).

Let the power Shift Begin.  Changing Power Transforming Nepal.

Venue: Himalayan International Model School, Dhobighat, Kathmandu

ORGANIC COMPOSTING IN A BIN

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                        Organic waste can be recycled at the household level to produce compost manure. Composting is the most simple and common method for recycling household organic waste. Composting is the process of optimizing the environment in the waste for microbial activity to decompose organic matter into valuable nutrients for the soil. Household composting involves the following three stages: waste preparation, degradation of waste and finishing of waste.

Waste Preparation

                 Waste needs to be sorted and prepared for rapid degradation. This includes the following steps:

                   Mix the waste to ensure that the carbon to nitrogen ratio (C:N) is close to 25:1. If the waste has too much carbon (normally brown waste such as dried leaves, saw dust) it should be mixed with waste that has high nitrogen content (also known as green waste such as kitchen waste). Kitchen waste only normally has a suitable C:N ratio for composting.

                    Chop the waste into small pieces. Large pieces of organic waste should be cut to small pieces to accelerate the composting process. Adjust the moisture content to about 50 per cent. A compost pile with 50% moisture should feel moist but water should not be dripping from it. Add a starter such as mature compost or effective microorganisms (EM) to speed up the composting process.

In-vessel composting

                  Compost can be made in bags or bins. Normally holes are made in the bin or bags to allow aeration. Compost bins can be made from 100 to 200 liter plastic bins or barrels. In order to allow proper aeration, the bin is normally divided into two sections with a grill separating the two sections. Organic waste is put into the top section and allowed to degrade and once the compost is prepared it is removed from the bottom section. Because of the natural draught created in the bin by the grill and the holes, frequent turning of the waste is not required in this method.

 

Why compost organic waste?

To manage the waste problem

                 We know that waste is a huge problem in many cities of developing countries and that organic waste represent almost 80% of the amount of waste. By composting this organic waste, we can help alleviate a large part of the waste management problem.

To produce a new useful and valuable product 

                 Knowing that chemical fertilizers are mining the soil and are not available for every potential client (they are often expensive and not always accessible), we can offer a more accessible product that is eco-friendly available at a stable price.

To reduce Greenhouse gas emissions


            In opposition to uncontrolled anaerobic fermentation of organic waste in landfills, compost and the composting process do not produce methane and therefore do not add any Greenhouse gas to the atmosphere. Methane has a global warming potential 24 times stronger than CO2.

To produce organic fertilizer

                     
The demand for organic food is increasing in Kathmandu valley, but organic farmers experiment a lack of fertilizer, as chemicals can’t be used in organic farming.

NOTE: Writer is no expert this are his experience as part of training on Bio Degradable Solid Waste Management  in Bin. The training was organized by Global Powershift Nepal to as training to trainer.  

Hydraulic Ram Pump : Zero Energy Solution

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               The hydram is an automatic pumping device powered by falling water. The hydram uses a large amount of water falling through a small height, to lift a small amount of that water to a much greater height.

                 Each cycle happens very quickly, about 60 times a minute or once a second (although the cycle can be between about 30 and 120 times a minute). Since the cycle happens very quickly it is easiest to explain how it works by looking at the four stages:

Acceleration

                        When the waste valve is open, water flows down the drive pipe and comes out the open valve. The water flowing past the open valve drags past it, trying to close it. The flow down the drive pipe through the impulse valve gets accelerates. As it gets faster, it drags harder on the valve until it is strong enough to drag it closed.

Compression

                         When the waste valve closes, the water flowing down the drive pipe cannot escape through it. At the moment valve closes, the water is travels very fast and suddenly it has nowhere to go. As the water increased speed, it gains momentum. Since the water cannot escape, the momentum changes to pressure-energy and the water in the pump body compresses. This leads to a sudden rise in pressure, called a “water hammer”. The water pressure rises to a much higher level that the pressure in the pump’s air chamber.

Delivery

                        Because the pressure rises higher than the pressure in the air vessel, the delivery valve is pushed open and water flows through it. The pressure in the pump body drops quickly to equal the pressure in the air vessel. The water coming down the drive pipe slows down and the pressure in the pump body drops. As soon as the pressure falls enough to be lower than the pressure in the pump’s air vessel, the delivery valve closes. The delivery valve is a one-way valve, which stops water flowing back from the air vessel into the pump.

Recoil

                              When the delivery valve closes, there is still some pressure in the pump body and drive pipe. The valves in the pump are closed, so the only direction in which the water can move is back the way it came. The water coming down the drive pipe has stopped, so the pressure energy can be released by moving back up the drive pipe. The water in the pump body bouncing back makes the pressure in the pump body fall low enough for the waste valve to reopen. The waste valve reopens because of its own weight. The low pressure in the pump body means that a small amount of air is sucked in through the snifter valve. This air waits under the delivery valve until the next cycle when it will get pushed into the pump’s air vessel. This makes sure that the air vessel always stays full of air.

                                    Figure. Ram Pump Installation at Badegaun, Godawari

                        During each pumping cycle only a small amount of water is pumped. Most of the momentum harvested from a large amount of water is transferred into a small amount of water. The high pressure in the pump body pushes water through the delivery valve and into the air vessel. It provides the power to push the small amount of water much farther uphill than the big amount of water fall downhill.

                        While a hydram is working, water flows out of the waste valve. This happens during the ‘acceleration’ stage of each pump cycle. It is the noise of the “water hammer”, the splashing of water, and the closing of the waste valve that people notice when they see a working hydram. The noise varies from pump to pump. The water leaving the waste valve is often called ‘waste’ water. Although ‘waste’ water is not delivered by the hydram it is the movement-energy harvested from this water that pumps the water that is delivered. A better name for ‘waste’ water would be ‘used’ water.

                                     Figure. Ram Pump Installation at Badegaun, Godawari

Components Of A Hydram And Their Functions

  1. Intake: structure at source that diverts flow of water to the hydram system;
  2. Feed pipe or canal: delivers water from the source to the drive tank;
  3. Drive tank: provides storage to ensure a constant flow to the hydram and removes sediment from the water;
  4. Drive pipe: feeds water to the hydram;
  5. Hydram: pump unit that delivers a small amount of the drive flow to the delivery pipe;
  6. Pump house: to protect the pump and fittings from accidental damage or theft;
  7. Delivery pipe: delivers water from the hydram to the delivery tank;
  8. Delivery tank or pond: stores the water pumped by the hydram. Can be a cement based structure or a lined pond;
  9. Distribution system: distributes water to the users. Piping can take water to households, tap-stands or fields.

Starting a pump

                Although ram pumps often start very easily they can require a little coaxing particularly the first time that they are run. Procedure varies according to drive head in the system with large drive head requiring extra care to starts a pump.

  1. Open the waste vale fairly quickly.
  2. Water will flow out through the open waste valve until it suddenly shuts.
  3. If waste valve automatically reopens, the pumps should continue to run on its own. Some time you need to reopens the waste valve until it creates delivery head.
  4. If waste valve does not reopen automatically for long time, you must prime the delivery system manually by filling the delivery pipe until sufficient delivery head is available for the pump to operate.

    Figure. Installed Ram Pump at Dhungkharkha, Kavre

Source: Centre for Rural Technology/Nepal(CRT/N). All right reserved to CRT/N.

Checking Emissions

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                                 Nepal imports all of its fossil fuel for transportation, Liquid Petroleum gas for cooking and hydrogen fuels for airplanes. The country is also heavily dependent on foreign country for procuring vehicles. There are various stages of emissions generated by vehicles by type of engine they are equipped with, so accordingly they are categorized for rural or urban use. The different countries have different types of emissions standard based on pollution generation and assimilation of same in particular environment. The petrol engine powered vehicles produce less smoke as diesel engine due to some extent of complete combustion.

                            Hulas Motors is sole automobile manufacturing house of Nepal enjoying monopoly in domestic markets. The hulas jeeps being used for off road transportation on rugged and rural terrain may not have significance of emissions as city counterpart do. But there should be certain standard employed to check emission. Mostly vehicles are imported form India, China and rarely few other countries. There are distinction on emission level on both countries. In India Bharat Stage I, II, III, IV, V are emission level attached with chassis of vehicles when they are manufactured. According to population and pollution level of city various stages vehicle are granted permission to operate. The green sticker on vehicle provide status after emission testing whether particular vehicle can run on city or not. The crowded capital city of India: Delhi has strict regulation for such. The use of CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) , electric vehicles are on rise replacing fossil based transportation which is raising grim hope for cleaner & greener city.

                              There will be day once we will completely switch from fossil fuel to clean energy. But at one time giant step is not possible at any cost. The emission is not so much regulated in Nepal. The century old bus, trucks, cars, vans and others are plying on roads sputtering thick smoke and grunting sound. The mandatory green sticker has been game play for acquiring with corruption and connection. There is authority to regulate, look after implementation but they turn blind eye with excuses and blames. The challenges lies on both end of policy executer as well as users. The regulatory bodies should check, verify old vehicles. The replacement of such vehicles is to be done by clean energy powered vehicles. This will be gradual phase of replacing fossil fuel based vehicle once at a time.

                         This will take time but it is only viable solution in present context. There will be complete emission check when we replace all fossil fuel based vehicle with clean energy based. The introduction of e-rickshaw, Safa tempo, electric cars like Mahindra Reva, Tera scooters and many ;such are good gesture to indicate change is coming, slowly and progressively. The government should welcome such initiatives with right supportive policy framework. The conscious level of public is also increasing which will make such project more sustainable with visible impacts. This will help for generation of cleaner, greener and eco-friendly Nepal.

Photo Source: www.tandbmotors.com

Swarga Dwari: The place where Spirituality Meets Technology

                      Nepal, country of mountains and holy places, boast on natural beauty and wilderness. The holy shrine of Swarga Dwari lies in western Nepal of Pyuthan district. It is one of popular destination for hindu devotees as one can feel in temple premises. Hindu devotees flung as far as from India to get blessing from shrine.

                 The holiness of temple traces back to discovery of ancient hawan area and related puja materials. The young shepherd traveling from far western part happens to be resting on bajh(a 100 year old tree located nearby) saw a vision that place is blessed by gods and once was place for worship of god. He asked fellow herders to dig around premises to discover ancient leftovers of hawans, vessels and other holy materials. It is believed he had supernatural power of healing, spent most of time in meditation, started school for teaching holy scripts, procured land for cultivation so temple attendees and follower will never be in scarcity for food. He is regarded as very holy person, you can see his statue inside temple.

                         The other story is: this was last place visited by Pandavas from Mahabharat before moving to heaven. The Pandavas were thirsty and Arjuna took a bow, aimed in ground to withdraw sprout of water to quench thirst. Still the sprout known as Kunda is visible downhill from temple. As Pandavas spend one night here before departing to Heaven (Swarga), often devotees spend one night here.

                          The Swarga Dwari Trust arranges food and residence for devotees in various Dharmashala in periphery of temple. The per bed cost is Rs. 30 and per plate food is Rs.100. The residence hall are primitive Nepalese mud house but decent one with mattress, blankets. It is wise to carry your own bedsheets. The food is normal vegetarian which includes rice, lentil and vegetables popularly know as “gods food”.

Major Attraction

Hawan Area with Eternal Lamp

              There is 24 hours, 365 days continuous hawan. The nearby was eternal lamp, I could not see lamp but was given through instruction how it was brought by pathak (priest are called so here). It is scared place where you give ghee, rice, oil and charu (mix of various grains especially made for hawan). No photos allowed here.

Main Temple

                This is place where you worship lord Shiva which is built upon grave of guru, founder of temple. The initial worship on this temple follows with multiple temple presence on the premises.

Bajh Tree

              The tree is supposed to be more than 100 years old. The importance, holiness trace back to resting place of guru who discovered this area so holds greater significance as you can see vermillion smeared all around.

Cowshed

              There are more than 250 cows reared in cowshed. The cows are supposed to be very holy and devotees throng to feed them flours (especially Satu) and salt. The excessive feeding of salt caused death of many cow so its forbidden to give salts these day. You can just deposit it in near by specified place.

Cave (Gufa)

            The cave is place where guru use to mediate. Supposedly it was place where Pandavas took shelter before going to heaven. It is naturally built place around 20 mintues walk around the hill.

School (Pathsala for holy teachings)

             The pathsala teaches student holy scriptures for continuity of tradition. The young boys keep chanting mantras, sloks, hyms, vajans from early morning. Usually they teach 3-4 years for student with compulsory 1 year practice as priest in temple.

Water Sprouts (Kunda)

          The Kunda lies 15minutes downhill walk. The water (jal) is brought from kunda for offering to god by pathak on barefeet without being touched by anyone. The water sprouts is believed to come into existence by piercing of arrow via bow by Arjuna from Mahabharat.

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Bhairavi Temple

          The 10 minutes uphill walk will lead to Bhairavi temple. From here you can have great view of surrounding area.

Technology

         The temple houses large solar power station providing and supplementing electricity for temple premises. The solar street lamp provides durable light throughout night. The solar lightening has been helping to keep life in night as main stream supply is so infrequent. The night life felt so lively with flashing white light around premises.

             There is large bio-gas plant which provides cooking fuel for people’s kitchen. The cow poop is used for making bio-gas which is very helpful for conservation of local forest and keeping far from LPGs. The bio-gas is enough sometime supplemented by firewoods for cooking.

            The temple is located in top of hill. It is quite challenging to fetch water for people. Although pumping is done by electric motor from downhill. We can still see rain water harvesting done around top of official building of temple.

        This is great gesture of adaption of technology for facilitating devotees. Thus Swarga Dwari is holy place with blend of spirituality with technology. This can be benchmark for other holy shrines to replicate in them.

MYTH’s

  1. It is believed once temple ran out of ghee for hawan. The guru asked his follower to go to ganga (Madi River) and burrow few tin cans of ghee. The follower being surprised went to river, drew few tin can of water and came to temple. The guru asked them to pour them hawan. The follower despite being reluctant to pour, poured on gurus command, to surprise it turned to be ghee. Again after couple of months when temple had surplus ghee, guru asked them to pay back ghee to ganga. When followers poured back ghee in ganga to their surprise it turned to be water.

  2. The guru was having discussion with his follower. The very eccentric bird yellow in color came from Northern side, guru spoke in birds language with birds. The bird flew back, curiously follower asked what he had spoken with bird. The guru said that his time on earth has come to end, the bird came to notify him. After few days guru became sick, called his follower gave them all responsibilities. There was some bright yellow spark glowing out of guru which rose high above temple, and rushed into northern himalayas. The guru was found to be dead by then.

  3. There was hunter who injured deer. The deer entered temple for sanctuary. The hunter asked guru to return back deer to him. The guru said “ I cannot offer you deer as it came for sanctuary in my asharm, ask anything other I will give you”. The hunter being adamant on his claim of deer and misbehaving, manhandling guru. The furious guru gave curse(srap) for hunter that he has to die of some disease. As matter of fact that happened.

About Guru

                       The couple in some far western Nepal did not have any son or daughter. They worshipped god and were believed to be blessed by god. That they will have son who will be actual incarnation of God. The mother gave birth to son, who was glowing with light since childhood. On 6th day when mother ate meat, son refused to suck milk from mother. Since child guru was supposed to be holy. Even it is believed that we could see universe inside the mouth of Guru.

First Ever Facebook Developers Meet up Kathmandu

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                         April 3, 2016 #fbDevKTM is first ever meet of Facebook developers at innovation hub, Teku. The meet up highlighted about Facebook not only merely a social networking platform but beyond. The Facebook has hidden arena still left for exploring especially on country like Nepal. The developers meet was to break myth and propel better contribution, networking among Facebook enthusiasts for development of better user platform.There were four sessions as below:

Session 1 – Facebook and Social Plugins

Session 2 – Open Graph API

Session 3 – Facebook Start up

Session 4 – Facebook as Marketing

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Session 1 – Facebook and Social Plugins

                 The sessions discussed about what is Facebook and types of social plugins used. The basic plugins are:

  • Like, share and send

  • Comments

    • Moderation

    • By app (Preferred)

    • By Defining (Moderators Profile)

  • Page plugin

  • Follow Button

Session 2 – Open Graph API

                   The sessions was about open graph API (Application Program Interface). The basic discussion was based on how to use open graph API. The use of query data, post status and stories and others. The terms like nodes (everything such as users, photo), Edges(Connections between things) and fields(info about those things).

Requirement

Access Token

Get Facebook login or one’s SDK’s

Getting Familiar with Graph API explorer’s

Session 3 – Facebook Start up

                         The session was about using Facebook as for promotion of startup. The sessions discussed about making and using services provided by Facebook for business potential. The following can be learnt from following sites:

Fb Start.com

Types of Track program:

Pre Launch Track

Boot Suite Track

Accelerator Track

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Session 4 – Facebook as Marketing

                 The session provided details about how can we use Facebook for marketing and advertisement. The Facebook is effective proven tools for marketing. The various tools, hours for posting advertisement, dos and donts were discussed.