Archive for September, 2014

UN Climate Change Summit – Lets talk about results?

Friday, September 26th, 2014 by

The UN climate change summit is over. Lots of press coverage but did anything happen?

  • Well, I loved the people power – hundreds of thousands of people marching in New York and around the globe. The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, marched with them.
  • People turned up – world leaders, actors and business people. Okay so maybe this shouldn’t be seen as a great result – but actually sometimes the right people – decision makers – don’t make it to even vital conferences.
  • President Obama said climate change is “the most important and consequential issue of the 21st Century”.
  • Economists and business people talked about the cost of delaying action on climate change and called for urgent action now.
  • There was truth – with Graça Machel (Nelson Mandela’s widow) cutting through the high blown rhetoric and some self-congratulation in the final moments of the conference saying There is a huge mismatch between the magnitude of the challenge and the response we heard here today”.

There is a mismatch.

I may be naïve but I find myself believing all of these people – I believe Ban Ki Moon, business leaders, President Obama and the millions of people who took part or who cheered on the climate change marchers. I believe they want to take urgent action. I also believe Graça Machel and find myself asking what’s stopping us from making a substantial response.

The money required is huge – but the cost on inaction is greater. The money also exists. For example in 2012 as a world we spent $1.8 trillion on weapons, that’s roughly $249 for each person in the world and 2.5% of GDP. By contrast one of the most commonly used estimates of the cost of tackling climate change puts it at 1% of annual GDP. So if we as a world find the money for weapons why can’t we find the money to protect our planet? It seems to me the money’s there – it’s about choices.

But what’s stopping action on the scale needed happening? Why do even world leaders feel powerless? I am genuinely not sure, although I worry we have systems in place that maintain the status quo and discourage change – all put there for good reasons but now working against the urgent change required.

Kenyan women march against climate change

Kenyan women march against climate change

I feel passionately about climate change because I’ve seen the impacts of the already changing weather patterns and the increasingly erratic weather on the people Practical Action works with – if you are poor and few resources you are most at risk. Not exactly a surprise!

I came across this quote from Benjamin Morrell: “Morale is when your hands and feet keep on working when your head says it can’t be done.” It seems to me with climate change it’s operating in reverse.

Maybe we need each and every one of us – from Ban Ki Moon and President Obama – to me and you to start to take action now so that it becomes a habit. Then when it gets to the difficult times our hands and feel will keep going on tackling climate change, even if our heads start to say it can’t be done.

 

 

Community flood resilience in Peru

Friday, September 26th, 2014 by

I have joined Practical Action in Peru for a six-week secondment as part of the Zurich Global Flood Resilience Program, which joins the company I work for, Zurich Insurance, with Practical Action in a common mission to strengthen the resilience of communities to assess, manage, and recover from the impacts of flooding. Just over a week into my secondment, I had the opportunity to visit Piura, a town in the north of Peru particularly at risk for flooding. While there, I joined colleagues for a regional forum on El Niño and climate change as well as a visit to the river basin and surrounding communities. This experience was both eye-opening and thought-provoking for me.

The forum was a full day of presentations to over 200 local and regional government officials, civil servants, NGO representatives, hydro-meteorological scientists, educators, and others. Through the research I am doing here, I am seeing that the common themes of a shared vision, collaboration, accountability, and engagement among flood resilience stakeholders are critical to success. It was encouraging to see the forum presenters and attendees come together resonating those same themes and voicing their commitment to building flood resilience in the region.

The day after the forum, I joined a small group for a visit to the river basin outside of Piura. Nearby, we stopped at the home and studio of Santodio, a local ceramics artisan. He led our group through his space consisting of dirt floors, a tin roof, a wood fire surrounded by bricks that he uses as his kiln, and several shelves of beautiful handmade ceramics of all shapes and sizes while explaining how he decorates his beautiful ceramics with white paint and a black resin derived from mango leaves. Santodio is no stranger to flood risk – a few short years ago, the area where he lives and works was completely flooded due to El Niño.

MairaLater that day, we also met 22-year-old Maira, who has seven siblings and two children of her own. She invited us into the family’s three-room home and small yard where they raise three pigs, two turkeys, and several hens for income. They lack so many things, like access to running water and basic sanitation, but are glad for what they have and the programs that assist them.

The intense flooding that comes with El Niño can be devastating to people like Santodio and Maira. The riverbed is completely dry now, but the amount of rain that will come in a few months can exceed the river’s capacity twice over. The river then risks overflowing into town and the surrounding more informal settlements, carrying trash, construction materials, and people’s belongings with it.

In my short time here, I can already see the incredible impact that Practical Action´s work has in managing flood risk and am grateful to both Practical Action and Zurich for this opportunity to contribute to these efforts to build resilience.

Read more about the Zurich Global Flood Resilience Program

A camp for Storytellers

Friday, September 26th, 2014 by

What comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘story’?
It reminds me of the tales that grandmother used to tell me when I was a child.

These were the starting conversation of the three day storycamp held at Narayanghat, Chitwan (Nepal). The camp was a different from other story writing training as it used advanced tools and techniques of storytelling and appreciative inquiry (AI). It intended to make the participants skilled on identifying the stories, content generation and presentation. It was based on constructivism paradigm where participants learned by doing. The camp intended to make the participants knowledgeable about different forms and methods of storytelling in the form of texts, photographs and videos.

Participants making presentation

Participants making presentation

Organised by Practical Action, there were altogether 10 participants in the camp, of which five were from Practical Action Chitwan cluster office and five others were from partner organisations. The lead coach of the camp was Mr Saurav Dhakal from the Storycycle, with an expertise on storytelling and presentation. His focus area is promoting storytelling approach to cater positive change on people’s life by using new media tools and technology. Apart from him, we were a team of three in-house trainers from Practical Action communications team to run the camp – including me, Sanjib Chaudhary and Prabin Gurung.

Day one introduced the participants about the basic components of storytelling, photography and videography. Apart from that they also pondered upon their true passion and strengths, and made plans about their far away future. One of the exercises on the day was given as homework to the participants where they had to assume that they were celebrating their 65th birthday.

The second day commenced with the participants celebrating their assumed 65th birthday. They shared interesting stories of what they believed or hoped they would have achieved by then. It was fascinating to hear their about ambition and expectations from life. Day two was more of a practical day where the participants got the chance to use the learnings from the first day. They were divided in three different groups and went to the different parts of Narayanghat to collect a variety of stories.

In the day three, the participants presented the stories that they collected the previous day. The stories were presented using texts, photographs and videos. It was exciting to see that they had used the tools and techniques, which were discussed in the previous days. It was interesting to witness the visible change in the quality of the products that they presented.

The training summed up by identifying different platforms through which the stories collected and drafted can be shared to a large mass of people or to the intended target audiences. The participants can now work on a shared Google doc, listing their story ideas. The communications team will track the stories in progress and provide the support required.

One of the participants wrote as a feedback to the training, “I liked the way the training has been managed. The method of separating us in different groups and making us involved in the real practical work was very effective learning approach. I loved that fact that we were given the hands-on lessons with focus on practical approach rather than just talking about theory. The camp has made us better storytellers.”

I hope that we will get to hear many stories from these storytellers in the near future.

A group picture of the camp

A group picture of the camp

How to deal with media – for development sector/NGO professionals

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 by

Last Friday, I was in a training program on ‘How to deal with media – for development sector/NGO professionals’ organized by a National Daily. It was all about dealing with media people. Mr. Jamil Ahmed – CEO of Journalism Training and Research Institute – BRAC University was the facilitator. Here are ideas as starter on learning about media.

The Participants in the event.

The Participants in the event.

    1. A journalist database: It is very useful to have a journalist team well informed about your work but if you do not have such forum you can develop a database. You need to collect name, mobile number, official phone number, visiting time (before 4 pm), skype, email address, official address. Do not forget to include their personal information such as date of birth and anniversary date to wish them on their special days. If you have his/her spouse mobile number that could be more useful during crisis.
    2. A Media kit to tell more about your organization and work : Collate hard copies or a soft copy (pen drive) of organizations profile, brochure, annual report , policy position papers, policy note, program briefing paper, press release and other information as a media kit to give media people. Media communication person should have all this in his bag and/or in a CD so that whenever s/he meet media person can provide those documents quickly.
    3. Relation building materials: You can produce some small promotional material in advance to offer them to remember you. It could be: T-shirt, Mug, key rings, diary etc. These sorts of gift item helps a lot in rapport building. It could be provided from organization and one can put it into his/her bag always.
    4. Who are the Media Gatekeepers?: All person of a media are not the contact point to publish your news or articles. It may vary by media. So it is better to identify who are the focal people for publishing news and communicate with them to publish news.
    5. Regular Media visit: Not just at the time you need them, a communication officer should always visit targeted media house at least once in a month.
    6. Inviting, engaging media people: In your organization you have been organising many workshops, seminar symposiums. It would be better if you engage/invite a media person on those programs as ‘resource person’ or as ‘key note speaker’ or to play an editing role in your knowledge products.
    7. Press release: It requires special skills to write a communicative press release. Make a short title, place and date, organization’s short profile/overview, event, appeal for publish/coverage, contact person name, mobile number, email. If someone misses any of the above information the press release may not be published. Caring about a compelling story, understanding audience, expressing simplicity, brevity, repetition of the main issue and positivity is very important to write your press release.

All these seems to be very simple things but very important to communicate media people.

Call to major philanthropic foundations to back move to renewables

Monday, September 22nd, 2014 by

Ahead of the global Climate Change talks in New York this week a group of 160 environmental prize winners from 44 countries called on the major philanthropic trust and foundations around the world to apply their billions of dollars of trust funds and endowments to “turn the tide of climate change”. Co-ordinated by the European Environment Foundation  (I declare an interest here as I am a Trustee), the environmental laureates declaration on climate change was published in the International New York Times, a week before world leaders arrive in New York for a UN Climate Summit.

“We, 160 winners of the world’s environmental prizes, call on foundations and philanthropists everywhere to deploy their endowments immediately in the effort to save civilization,” say the laureates. “The world’s philanthropic foundations, given the scale of their endowments, hold the power to trigger a survival reflex in society, so greatly helping those negotiating the climate treaty.”

Jeremy Leggett, founder of Sunny Money and the charity Solar Aid helped to organise the crowd sourced fund-raising for the advertisement and describes on his blog 4 ways in which the laureates think Foundations could help:. The first is to invest in zero-or-low-carbon climate-solution companies and projects, as debt and/or equity, ideally relaxing the interest rates, hurdle rates and exit timeframes usually sought. The second, relatedly, is to divest from fossil fuels, and to reinvest in clean energy companies. The third is to stay invested in fossil-fuel companies, and campaign to put shareholder pressure to end spending on exploration for and development of new reserves. The fourth option is to accelerate zero-or-low-carbon markets, new and embryonic, by giving grants – on a scale they have never before – to the multiplicity of projects that can make a difference across the greenhouse-gas emissions spectrum, including new projects of the foundations’ own design, based on the vast collective and individual experience of they and their networks.

Having made that call last week it’s encouraging to see Reuters report today that the Rockefeller Brothers Fund has announced today a pledge to divest a total of $50billion from fossil fuel investments, with one of the signatories and an heir of Standard Oil founder John D. Rockefeller, saying, according to Reuters that “We are quite convinced that if he were alive today, as an astute businessman looking out to the future, he would be moving out of fossil fuels and investing in clean, renewable energy.”

If even the Rockefellers are moving out of oil perhaps we have reached a turning point?!

Making Fast Cars and Technology Justice

Monday, September 22nd, 2014 by

Last weekend I went to the “Small is…” Festival, in Bristol, the UK. People, who know Practical Action well, will know that we have held a festival for a number of years now. What started as a small gathering of friends of an enthusiastic staff member has become quite a large event. This year it was held in Bristol, and attended by around 300 people over the course of the weekend.

Attended by people who are interested in the concepts that Fritz Schumacher espoused some 50 years ago; people centred technology, and alternative economics, it was a great place for us to host a workshop on Technology Justice.

Many of the people who read this will probably already be familiar with the concept, which simply says that ‘Everyone should have the right to access the technologies they need to live the lives they value so long as that doesn’t prevent others now, or in the future, from doing the same’.

It’s a concept that we’ve been working with inside Practical Action for some time, but we are keen to see if we can get more people interested in the ideas that build from it. Ideally, it will be a lever to that we can use to lead to wider change.

One of the co-panellists shared an interesting story of the wikispeed car. The car looks like it is pretty fast, though actually I don’t know how fast it goes. The thing that’s exceptional about the speed of this car is the speed that it’s being developed.

car

It’s being developed through support from “crowd sourcing”. So they receive funding from people around the world – and ideas from people all around the world. Rather like Wikipedia; or Firefox, or Libreoffice, but for cars. Since it’s developed by people collaborating all over the world, the speed of development is way faster than traditional private sector approaches. In traditional car manufacturing it can take over twenty years to bring a concept to production. In wikispeed they can take the whole car through redesign iteration in seven days! If you want to know more. Have a look here http://wikispeed.org/

“So what did this have to do with a discussion about Technology Justice? I hear you say.

Well the primary aim of the not for profit company is that the car produces maximises fuel efficiency. Which has to be a good thing for the planet, and reducing our addiction on fossil fuels? OK, but then again aren’t loads of commercial car companies doing the same. The difference with the wikispeed car is that the since the design is open source, anyone can use the design, and build a car for themselves. A technology for everyone, which seems absolutely what Technology Justice, is all about.

I am sure there are loads of other technological challenges that would benefit from a similar collaborative approach. How about a clockwork cooker? If it were affordable, it would reduce Co2 emissions, and reduce many of the 4 million deaths per years from indoor air pollution in one go. Does anyone have an idea we could start with? If wikispeed can redesign their whole car in seven days, we should have the clockwork cooker ready for Christmas!

How a view tower is helping to save lives?

Thursday, September 18th, 2014 by
The view of Fewa Lake.

The view of Fewa Lake.

Pokhara is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Nepal and my favourite place of all times. It is a kind of place that makes you forget all your troubles and mesmerizes you with its unparalleled natural beauty. And no visit to Pokhara is complete without a boating trip on the amazing Fewa Lake. Most of the people visiting Pokhara definitely take the wooden boat and enjoy the beauty of this fresh water lake – the second largest in Nepal. Though not highly risky activity in itself, quite a number of people have lost their lives by drowning while boating in Fewa – an occurrence which could have been easily avoided.

The weather in Pokhara is unpredictable and changes drastically during afternoon. Powerful wind starts blowing, making the boats unstable and filling it up with water. People who have gone to the farther corners of the lake find it hard to come back to the shore in time; at times causing them their lives. The lake stretching into the corners of the hills makes it hard for the rescue team to reach the needful on time.

Sub-inspector Padam Pandey at the view tower.

Sub-inspector Padam Pandey at the view tower.

But according to sub-inspector Padam Pandey, things have changed for better now. “Going for rescue has been much easier after the establishment of the danger alert system and the construction of the view tower. We blow the danger siren as soon as we feel like the weather patterns are getting dangerous. The boats rush back to the shore when they hear the siren,” he says. Sub-inspector Pandey is a part of the rescue team under the Armed Police Force’s disaster risk reduction unit, currently posted at Pokhara.

The view tower constructed on the shore of the Fewa Lake is a part of the Building Disaster Resilient Communities in Pokhara Sub-Metropolitan (BDRC) project. It is a DFID Nepal funded consortium project of Practical Action and Action Aid with local partners Siddhartha Club and Community Support Group. The project has been conducting various activities to build the capacity of communities to respond and prepare for disasters – the view tower is just a small part of it all.

Sub-inspector Pandey seemed very enthusiastic to be able to work from the view tower.

“We can have a wide range of view from the tower. We also use binoculars to spot appropriately. As soon as we see that someone is in danger, we rush out for rescue. In the past, it was difficult to locate where exactly the people were. Sometimes, we used to reach the place a bit too late. Now, it has become easier to save lives.”

He further adds, “I never thought that a tower could make so much difference! It has made our work so much easier and effective.”

I will definitely feel safer while boating around the Fewa Lake next time I visit Pokhara, all thanks to BDRC and brave life savers such as sub-inspector Pandey.

 

The view tower constructed with support from BDRC

The view tower constructed with support from BDRC project

 

(Find a news about the life saving rescue work in this link – http://www.myrepublica.com/portal/index.php?action=news_details&news_id=73116)

A brighter future for the Himalaya community

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 by

Cornelius MayengamhuruThe children in Himalaya community in Zimbabwe’s Mutare were all smiles after witnessing the hard work their parents went through during the construction of the Himalaya micro-hydro and irrigation schemes coming to fruition.

“At first I thought this was a joke but now I can see that it is real. I was so happy to see the lights being switched on for the first time at the powerhouse when the engineers were testing the scheme”, said Cornelius Mayengamhuru, a 13 year old form 1 student at Himalaya Secondary School.

He added, “I used to think that my parents were wasting their time and energy coming to work at the project site almost every day. It was so much hard work but they soldiered on. I am so happy because I am seeing the results of my parent’s efforts with my own eyes”

Since 2011, his parents, along with other community members from Himalaya have been working on the construction of the Himalaya micro-hydro scheme and two irrigation schemes in the area. This work was done under the Rural Sustainable Energy Development project being implemented by Practical Action in partnership with Oxfam with funding from the European Union. The four year project, aims to increase access to modern, affordable and sustainable renewable energy services for the rural irrigation communities in Gutu (Masvingo province) and Mutare (Manicaland) districts of Zimbabwe.

children from Himalaya with irrigationEven though the children were not participating in the project activities, they know about the project and the benefits it will bring to the community. They witnessed all the effort their parents went through to get the project to where it is today. The terrain in Himalaya is so hilly and this makes it even difficult to do any sort of construction work. Women had to carry sand, cement; stones on their heads up to the top of the mountain where the weir was being constructed. Men worked on the more labour intensive tasks such as lifting and laying of  heavy penstock pipes , hauling electric cables to erect the electricity supply grid and digging trenches to lay irrigation pipes amongst other tasks.

Despite this hard work, the community was driven by the spirit to develop their area and also secure a future for their children  Even in doubt as been said by Cornelius above, they still had hope.

“I am so happy with the project because it will also help generations to come including myself. I wake up every day and walk to school 5 kilometres from my house. It is far but the fact that I want to be educated and become someone in life keeps me going. Before I go to school I eat sadza and any relish available that day. I hope my parents will start to grow potatoes now that there is plenty of water being powered by electricity, so that I will be able to eat healthily before I leave for school in the morning. I study agriculture at school so when I grow up I want to be a farmer, own a piece of land here and develop my community. This project just came at the right time”.

micro hydro turbineThe project is promoting the use of micro-hydro in Manicaland and solar energy in Gutu by rural people around the irrigation schemes. By promoting the use of micro-hydro and solar energy in the targeted remote communities, this project will enhance the accessibility of rural communities to modern renewable energy for productive use.  Energy plays an invaluable role in social and economic development as it is a critical factor of production, whose cost impacts directly on other services and the competitiveness of various enterprises. Every productive sector in the economy relies on the provision of energy, and agriculture being the back-borne of the economy in Zimbabwe, is no exception.

Farmers know better

Monday, September 15th, 2014 by
Women involved in group rice-duck farming

Women involved in group rice-duck farming

I was at field trip to rick- duck project sites in Chitwan and Nawalparasi districts last week to observe how well the farmers have been adopting the project ideas and approaches. But, as I concluded my trip, I came to the realization that the farmers know better. “Addressing Malnutrition through Integrated Rice-Duck Farming in Nepal”, is being implemented in Chitwan and Nawalparasi districts since April 2014. This is 1.5 years project funded by Grand Challenge Canada. The major objective of the project is to increase the income of the farmers and make the availability of protein rich duck meat to small holder farmers in order to address the problem of malnutrition.

The principle behind rice-duck farming is integration of ducks in the rice field to exploit the symbiotic relationship between rice and ducks resulting into increased productivity of rice. The project has set a target to reach 1000 small holder farmers within its time frame.

I was really impressed to observe that the famers are not only adopting the project ideas well but also bringing forth the innovative ideas themselves. Group farming was one of the ideas which caught my attention.

Instead of doing individually, some of the farmers have chosen to be united in the group of twos, fours or fives to do the group farming. This was observed in many Village Development Committees (VDCs) including Khairaheni, Kathar, Kumroj, Kumarwarti and Nipeni. A group of five Tharu women: Draupati, Sunita, Krishna, Mina and Poonam in Kathar became enthusiastic when they knew about rice-duck farming through Practical Action. Four of them did not have rice field nearby their home due to which they were unable to meet the criteria set by the project.

Where there is a will, there is a way. These four women finally came up with an idea to do it together in their friend’s rice field which is close to their home. Now, they are doing rice-duck farming together.

The women expressed that rice-duck farming is superior to traditional rice farming in many ways;

“We are happy to do rice-duck farming. In fact, it is more than farming. We love these ducks like our kids. We have also built the small shed inside the rice field to allow ducks to rest when it is very hot in the afternoon. We keep a vigil on the ducks whole day to protect them against predators. We have also placed a tin in the corner of the rice field. When we see some predators coming to attack ducks, we sound off the tin to chase them away.”

They have found that group farming has yielded several benefits to them and all lead to saving the cost and labor of the production. Instead of fencing a small plot of rice field individually, fencing the larger field minimises the cost, time and labour for fencing.
In the same vein, farmers can supervise the field turn by turn to protect the ducks against predators. They can do the things together like transplanting rice, collecting fencing materials and local feeds (sewar and karkalo) and taking care of ducks.  Farmers also expressed happily that learning and sharing is more pronounced while working together. The presence of ducks in the rice field has brought smiles on their faces.

“They play in the rice field joyfully. Eat all the weeds and insects. It is incredible to see how they loosen the soil around the rice plant. It makes plant grow faster and also increases the number of tillers. We can clearly see the difference between ordinary rice field and rice-duck fields. Rice-duck field looks more green, clean and healthy.”

Farmers thanked the Practical Action for bring the technology them, But, I felt they deserve it more  for coming up with new ideas to make rice-duck farming a better farming technology.

Hiking in the Shivapuri

Monday, September 15th, 2014 by

Hiking in the Shivapuri – memorable moments with the office colleagues!!

 

Rain didn’t stop the whole night. I couldn’t sleep well with a fear whether the hiking scheduled for the next day would get cancelled. Of course, I didn’t want to miss reaching the second highest hill around Kathmandu Valley with its peak 2,730 meters above the sea level.  Not only for this, I always loved the company of nature and Shivapuri is special, being the youngest national park of Nepal.

Woke up with full excitement – I could still hear the rain outside. Am I really doing this? Yes, I am. I geared up myself and rushed; the vehicle was supposed to pick us up from the office. I saw very few people, less than the plan but each one with full enthusiasm and excitement!!

Around 9 AM, our group of 11 started the journey hoping that the rain won’t accompany us during the day. We chose the wilder route, could easily see leeches on the wet vegetation and damp paths – my blood being sucked by them was the biggest fear. And indeed, I was the first one to have leeches gnawing into my lower ankle. I shouted as if I was attacked by a dangerous wild animal – finally brushed it off. Thereafter, others started checking and found them inside their shocks too!! Despite this, we continued climbing up – the higher we went, the lower was our energy level and speed.

Dinanath shouted every 15 minutes – “Are we together”?  As long as the answer was “Yes” – we continued, otherwise we would have stopped to be in the group. The lunch pack arranged by Rubina was sort of a surprise pack; it had so many things in it and was enough for several bites that kept us fueled throughout the day.

The sounds of insects and distant birds were just perfect for that jungle environment and our team to keep moving. At times, we kept quiet and suddenly somebody makes a joke – “Sankuchy, did you tweet that we have crossed 2.5 miles?”

We sort of bonded ourselves with the nature, the vegetation and the landscape with a feel of a walking meditation. It was a group of office colleagues, but we didn’t talk about work, pressures, tensions, deadlines and so on. We enjoyed fogs at places, the frequent showers, the insect noisescape, and views of forest as if it just came from the dark.

At around 3 PM, we celebrated reaching the peak. We missed the view from Shivapuri peak due to gloomy weather, but we had the adventure! “How long will it take us to get back?” I asked our trip guide, Saurav. “Around three hours,” he replied. We looked at each other’s tired faces, they seemed as if they were seeking sympathy from each other.

We had no option; we started our journey back from the peak. Our joke topic then was “TODKE BABA”, a religious person from India staying in this forest since long. Some of us were even thinking of staying with him for sometime and meditating. We took pictures at his place of meditation and moved on.

Among our group, we talked about things which we never did at our office that not only brought us closer but helped us understand our real personalities. Our hero of the trip, Gehendra, who didn’t look tired at all throughout the journey, provided us energy to move on. As Shivapuri is the major watershed for water supply in the Kathmandu Valley, we dropped by the source of Bagmati River, the famous religious river of Nepal. We regretted – we have made it polluted as it crosses the urban centres.

Our speed was higher on our way back – with the excitement of celebrating the victory. And surprisingly, we completed our journey just in 2.5 hours. I looked up to the peak I reached and congratulated myself, “Yes you did it – a complete journey of around 25 KM!” The journey was just the means, I made many friends out of my colleagues with whom I can now easily work, argue, and deliver!