Panna Lal Bishwokarma
“Three years ago, I came to Kathmandu from Khotang to pursue my further studies. I remember fighting with my parents as they didn’t want me to come here all by myself. But I wanted to study. After many days of discussion, my parents finally agreed to send me to Kathmandu. After I came here, I joined Jana Uddhar School in the year 2073 B.S. I found English, Maths and Science really difficult in the first year. Science was the most boring of all. But something changed after Dipesh Sir from Karkhana came to take classes. In his first class, he handed us an LED and asked us to light it. I didn’t know what to do with it in the beginning but it definitely caught my attention. Everytime Dipesh Sir came to class, he brought materials and made us do interesting things with them. We made balloon powered cars and learned to balance two pencil tips. I slowly started developing an interest in science and started tinkering on my own. Dipesh Sir used to encourage me and give list of materials I would require for my projects. The first project I made was a prototype of an eco friendly battery powered vehicle. It’s so strange for me to see myself change in past few years. Young boys from my village used to go to Saudi and Qatar to earn money and I always thought I’d end up doing the same but now I feel like I have more things to look up to. Now I’ve discovered my interest in science subject and I want to become a scientist in the near future. All of this wouldn’t have been possible without the support from my teachers and Dipesh Sir is undoubtedly one of them.”
– Panna Lal Shrestha, Grade 10 student at Jana Uddhar School is a regular member of KIC Open Hours. He loves tinkering and making projects with his friends. He even secured 3rd position in Second Young Scientist Summit in 2017. Apart from his interest in science, he also organizes clubs in his school that supports other students’ learning in different ways. Panna Lal and his friends initiated a “Happy Club” in their school where they collect copies and clothes and distribute it to students who are in need. These days he is busy preparing for his SEE exams. The Karkhana Innovators’ Club team wishes him all the best for his exam. 🙂
“We gave her dolls to play with when she was small. Most of her toys included barbie dolls and soft teddies. She didn’t get to explore beyond that. And now seeing her expanding her boundaries, it makes me really proud. Last week, she accidentally deleted the game she had made at Karkhana. So she spent the next day making it again from scratch. As a parent it was surprising to see her doing it all on her own. Now that she’s remade the game she invites her brother, father and everyone in the family to play the game. It just feels so good seeing the excitement in her face. I know she has grown a lot through this change as she was able to make it herself.”
-Binita Pandey, mother of Ojaswi Pandey (Student of KIC Class)
“Football and gaming are two things I love the most. I’m a big fan of Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid. He is my inspiration. Every Saturday evening, I go to play football with my friends in a club where we talk about football players and practice together. Saturday is the day I get to do things I enjoy the most. I want to combine my passion for football and gaming. In near future, I want to create a football game for laptops and tablets. I just started to learn how to make a game with the help of my teachers but I would love to create a game on my own using Unity Software someday.”
-Bishesh Kachhapati (One of the students of Karkhana classes- is a wonderful singer too)
“Being an introvert I always had problem communicating well with people. I used to spend a lot of time alone. My sister recommended me to join Karkhana as all I used to do was sleep and watch Animes the whole day. When I first came to Karkhana, Suresh Dai was the one who guided me through everything. I found him really interesting as he used to come to me with a hand full of batteries, LEDs, buzzers, motors and ask me to make it work. That very moment I knew I had come to the right place. I love how the learning perspective is so different at Karkhana and how it can be challenging and fun at the same time. Through the years Roshan Dai has also inspired me as he has a very different and critical way of thinking. Besides, programming I’ve always been interested in making music and at Karkhana I found a place where my love for music is always celebrated. For me, Karkhana is not just a place where I get to explore my possibilities in programming but also a place where I get to continue my passion for music.”
– Prayush Bijukche, from an intern to ‘more than an intern’ has run sessions on Arduino for other interns, created BeeCreative’s website and worked on data management for the BeeCreative website. If you ever visit karkhana, you’ll see him guitar in hand and singing his heart out. 🙂
“I am the youngest one in my family. My father died when I was just 7 years old. After he was gone, my mother had to look after me and my seven other siblings. He was a Police Inspector and we didn’t have much when he died. We used to get pension every month and that was just enough to cover our food expenses. Later I found out that my father had promised my hand in marriage to his best friend’s youngest son. So I was married to him at the age of 15 and I had a daughter when I was just 16 years old. Having a child at that early age was challenging for me as I was a child myself. I remember carrying her around every time she cried and I used to cry along with her. I always wanted to study but because of financial situation I never got a chance. That’s one of the reasons I believe in the value of education. My daughter is a Flight Attendant now and I’m so proud of her. I don’t want her to get married right away. I want her to pursue her dreams and live the life she wants. Getting married to someone isn’t a big deal, rather being independent and living life on her own terms is what I dream for her. I spent my whole life raising and taking care of my children and that’s not something I want for my daughter.”
(Maiya Didi is a housekeeper and caretaker at Karkhana. She’s one of the purest souls at Karkhana. She’s the first one to greet us in the morning and starts our day on a positive mood with her smile. Trust me Karkhana wouldn’t be Karkhana without her :))
“I used to spend a lot of my time in college doodling. Whenever I got bored I used to take a pencil and scribble on blank paper. I never thought my doodles would be interesting to others. When I came to Karkhana, Dipesh Dai noticed me making patterns on my notebooks and encouraged to me open my own official Facebook page where I could share my art work. After that Sachet Dai promoted my Facebook page “RakchaLipi” by paying $5. I share my Henna Art and temporary tattoos designs through this page. In the beginning my only followers were Karkhana members but now I have around 1500 followers. One of the best things about Karkhana is that we are always there for our people. The reason I could juggle my studies, personal interests and work at the same time for past 2 years was because my friends at Karkhana made sure I had the space to explore both equally. You see these are the kind of people you meet at Karkhana who make your work feel like more than just a job”
(Rakshya Chand, who started her journey as an intern at Karkhana is now Operations Manager and core team member. Currently, she’s supporting 3 mentees and helping them explore their interests at Karkhana.)
(Jiwan Adhikari, studies in Grade 7 in Motherland. We met him in Pokhara. Jiwan helped us set up the makerspace at the American Library. It was so wonderful to watch him tinkering)
“Science is my favorite subject in school. I love talking about stars, planets, comets and galaxies. These are the things that really fascinates me. I have a dream for myself. I want to go to space and find Aliens in other planets. I’ve written short stories about Aliens and their existence. But my aim in life is to become a heart surgeon. My father has a heart problem and I want to study MBBS because I want to be the one who cures him.”
Kul Prasad Adhikari
“I feel like my son has grown a lot in the past few years. Earlier he used to express whatever came to his mind. His observations were raw and unfiltered. And he wasn’t shy to express himself but now I’m concerned because he doesn’t easily expresses his thoughts. Maybe he has become conscious that whatever he speaks may not be right but I always tell him to follow his heart and do what he wants. I’ve realized that family isn’t the only unit that determines a child’s growth but rather school, society and people in community also influences their personality.”
(Jiwan’s father, Kul Prasad Adhikari is a sociology teacher at Barahi Madhyamik Vidhyalaya. We met this father-son duo in Pokhara. It was so wonderful to watch Jivan tinkering and his father supporting him in the background.)
“When I first came to Karkhana I didn’t quite understand the ‘timi’ culture. I was amazed by the fact that everybody called everyone ‘timi’ irrespective of their age. You had to pay Rs 10 if you used ‘tapai’ by mistake. Every time it slipped out of my mouth Pavitra Dai would remind me that saying ‘timi’ was a way of narrowing the communication gap within team members and making people feel that their opinion was heard. Even though that idea sounded cool it took me two months to adapt that practice.
I came to Karkhana through my sister. She suggested that I join Karkhana after I completed my +2 and was sitting at home doing nothing. For the first few weeks, I wore a hoodie, sat in one corner and stared at my laptop all day. I wasn’t much of a talker back then but I noticed interesting things happening around me. I found the laser cutter most interesting of all. I got very excited and wanted to learn to use it but was hesitant to ask about the process. One day, I saw Milan Dai and Sunoj Dai cutting photo frames with the laser cutter. I observed the whole process and the next day I started doing it on my own. Even though it was my first time using it people here trusted me and supported me. Slowly, I started exploring others tools and activities at Karkhana.
Karkhana is now a second home to me. Funny thing is I also went to Kindergarten in this same building about sixteen years ago and learned my ABCs here. Now sixteen years later, here I am at Karkhana learning and discovering bigger and more complex interests.
Karkhana feels more like a movement in education than just a company. It feels like I’m a part of a larger change making process. And the best part is we get to have fun while doing something impactful.”
– Griwan Khakurel (who started his journey as an Maker Mentor at Karkhana has run classes under Karkhana Innovators Club and BeeCreative. Apart from being a tinkerer he’s also our in house musician :))
“I used to observe classes at Karkhana much before I actually joined. Back then I taught at my father’s school so making time for Karkhana was difficult. Later I volunteered at Karkhana for an earthquake relief teacher training program. I quit my father’s school and joined Karkhana officially after that.
As a kid, I had a lot of ups and downs which made it difficult for me to differentiate the small things from big things in life. I grew up becoming a very picky person. I had a close circle of friends and wouldn’t interact much beyond that circle. But I’ve seen myself expand that circle in the past few years and Karkhana is one of the factors that has played a major role in that change. This is mostly because whenever I fall Karkhana gives me the same kind of unconditional support that my family would. So no matter our differences, I always keep going back to my Karkhana family. In my early days, my interactions with people would be based on vibes but as the team expands and becomes diverse, I have become more inclusive with my interactions than selective. I have even made a “Ying Yang” theory of my own. Ying Yang is a combination of two colors: black and white. But what strikes me is how the black and white parts are not strictly limited to their own side.
Karkhana has helped me nurture an attitude towards work that encourages me to treat it passionately. I’ve realized how badly I want to work in the field of children and education. At Karkhana I’ve been reaching out to students in professional as well as the personal/emotional level. For me a child is a child and they have individual needs; needs that don’t come with privileges they have and it’s something we need to understand. If one understands this and reaches out to every child then we can make an impact in the long run.”
– Aakriti Thapa (core team member and BeeCreative teacher is the heart of our Karkhana. Her friendly nature and ever smiling face makes everyone feel welcome at Karkhana.)
The school I was studying at was severely damaged during the April earthquake in 2015. When my school shifted to another place, I went through a lot of ups and downs during my exams. So my father decided to homeschool me after that. Studying at home was a completely new and different experience. But my father tried to make it as enjoyable as possible. He encouraged me to join swimming and music so that I’d have the same experience like that of school and not get bored by the idea of homeschool. The major difference between going to a normal school and being homeschooled is that at home, I had to set limits to my freedom and stay disciplined and focused. However, I lost contact with a lot of my friends from my old school during that time period. The only friends I had were from the music class I used to take. When I joined school after a year, it felt strange but nice. Earlier when I studied at home, it was just me and my computer but then in school there were so many people I could seek help from. The feeling of studying at school is different and better; you know that you’re not alone and people are out there to help you out in your difficult times.
-Urvee Singh (Former KIC student is a frequent collaborator at karkhana. She actively helped us at Karkhana Mela and most importantly she helped our students in making computer games using Scratch during winter camp at Karkhana.)
Sagar and Sanskar
Sanskar Dhakal: “We met for the first time at swimming pool. He was a National Swimming player back then.”
Sagar Nayak: “He didn’t know how to swim. But he caught up really fast and we started practicing together.”
Sanskar: “Now we both swim at the National level. We’ve been best friends since the last seven months. He used to tease me a lot and we used to play POLO after our practice.”
Sagar: “My other favorite thing is playing with electronics.”
Sanskar: “We share the same passion for making things with LED and batteries. Sansakar and I lit our first LED together.”
Sagar: “Now we share our Saturday afternoons at Karkhana Innovators’ Club where we make our dream projects come alive.”
“I love making new things. I even blew up my home’s inverter twice while trying to fix it on my own. Seeing my interest in making, my teacher recommended me to join Karkhana where one of my classmates used to go. He used to make new things at Karkhana like remote control car and many other interesting things and bring them back to school. Seeing those interesting projects he had come up with I was excited to join Karkhana. My first class at Karkhana was “Make your own Telescope” where I built a telescope on my own using different lenses. I enjoyed the concept of the session so much that I had already thought of coming to Karkhana every weekend. Later I joined “Open Hours” at Karkhana where I was introduced to tools that I could use for my projects. Before coming to Karkhana I used to watch coding tutorials on YouTube but after joining Open Hours I have learned so much about coding. I know twice as more now. I’ve become more confident at coding. This would not have been possible without teachers supporting me. Prayush Sir is one of the teachers who supports me in my projects and is very friendly in nature. We are friends on Facebook and I always watch the videos of coding and programming he shares on Facebook. I want to use my “Open Hours” time to make projects that can be used in our day to day lives. I get holiday only on Saturdays and sometimes I feel like staying at home but the thought of making interesting stuff and learning coding excites me to go to Karkhana every Saturday.”
-Pranaw Tandukar, is our regular KIC student and member of Open Hours. He even supported Karkhana teachers in a one day event named “Walking Bot”. Apart from coding, he loves talking about space, black holes and everything that’s happening in the universe.
“I have always been fascinated by space, stars, planets and asteroids. My first class at Karkhana was “Sensing Space”. It was a 12 week session where we had to make something that would make life of an astronaut easier by the end of the class. I made an Asteroid detector. It’s something that detects magnets. I enjoyed my class so much. Utkrist and Sandipta were my closest friends during that session. Apart from the theme of the class, what made it more interesting was Hasin Sir. He’s a very good and kind teacher. He helped us a lot by teaching nicely. Because of Hasin Sir I graduated KIC class with fun filled memories. My favorite thing at Karkhana is Hasin Sir. He guides me through everything and listens to my ideas. He is a very very good human.”
– Aarya Bhatt, KIC student spends his spare time playing Minecraft as it is an intelligent game and also allows him to own a pet.