“15 years ago, the development of political, cultural, and social awareness was advancing in the country in the form of a movement. Further away from the political developments and post-armed conflict mainstream, Madhesh was seeking its existence. It was weaving an equitable future that included its identity and rights.
At the time, we got organized, making the collaboration with local youth and community our first priority. The ownership taken by the local community and the local political, cultural, and social context motivated us to get organized. Consequently, we unified with a few friends and seniors and became Sano Paila. Being the founders of Sano Paila gave us a golden opportunity. It allowed us to dream…to create a vision.to take “steps”… Although we didn’t know if the dream would come true, we believed it would. That Paila (step) continues to expand successfully. The diligence of the entire Sano Paila has been truly exemplary and laudable in this respect.
If the youth stand as a supporting pillar, they can serve as the country’s backbone. But if they are not managed appropriately, the same youth can turn into a destructive force. Sano Paila, which was founded in 2006 in Birgunj, has been studying, in depth, the problems of the youth and has been transforming their vigor and enthusiasm into a sustainable empowerment campaign. In addition to rehabilitating the youth indulged in drug abuse and criminal activities, they have been installed at the leadership level both within the organization and in the community.
We have taken steps towards empowering the marginalized communities by integrating them into national life and contributing towards the country’s sustainable development. The projects that the communities expect of us and that suit the soil are in our priority, about which we are all informed.
We are pursuing campaigns from the reproductive health of women and girls to their education under the leadership of the community. Our campaign to build a child-labor-free society is also ongoing. Our campaign also includes issues from the rights of workers and laborers to industrial development. The brainstorming of ideas to link the issues of the Madhesh to the state mainstream is also a priority for the Sano Paila campaign.
Established with Birgunj as its headquarters, Sano Paila has now expanded not only to Province 2 but also to the Bagmati, Gandaki, Karnali, and Sudur Paschim(Far-West) provinces. The campaign initiated by Sano Paila in Gorkha during the massive earthquakes in 2015 attracted the attention of international media. Our work was recognized both at home and abroad.
Sano Paila has also successfully reintegrated several girls and young women who were sold in India for labor and sexual slavery into society. We have been able to turn them into entrepreneurs through our socially-responsible businesses like Kaasya Jewelry. The market for the jewelry they made has also expanded to foreign countries.
In an adverse situation where the COVID pandemic has plagued the entire planet, we have learned that the initiatives taken by Sano Paila were widely appreciated. At a time when there was confusion in all areas regarding how to combat the coronavirus, Sano Paila successfully provided food relief to over 150,000 people who lost their daily bread, food for the destitute, technical support for health institutions, and isolation, nutritious food, as well as counseling, for the infected. As a result of these interventions, the situation did not go out of hand. Sano Paila is currently operating a Bhar-Pet (Full Meal) Restaurant in Birgunj for people with low incomes. They can buy a healthy and nutritious meal for as little as Rs. 50 at this bhar-pet restaurant, which has been lauded throughout the country.
It’s hard to believe that it’s already been 15 years since we first took our ‘little step’, but we are here and feel lucky to have come this far doing what we love. The love and support of the communities we work with, our partners, friends and supporters is really what got us this far, and for that, we are forever grateful.
The Founding Day of Sano Paila is a memorable occasion for all of us, especially our members and volunteers, as it reflects upon implementing Sano Paila’s founding philosophy and celebrating its success. Our members, staff, volunteers and supporters of past and present must be commended for the strides and sacrifices they have made. Our deepest appreciation to all of them on this memorable occasion.
In the course of this 15-year journey of Sano Paila, we have felt even more responsible towards the community. We were able to complete this journey because of the trust and support we received from the community and partners. We are grateful to everyone: social activists, entrepreneurs, politicians, media personnel, and government officials. We are hopeful that we will have your regular support in the days to come.
On behalf of our great Team, I would like to express the commitment that Sano Paila will always stand firm to enhance the trust you have placed in us.”
– Kanchan Jha, Founding President.