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With the target of putting together a fun-filled day before the Dashain break actually kicked off, Karkhana came up with the idea of Karkhana Mela. After weeks and weeks of planning and bringing together a set of activities that could be done during the Mela, the big day eventually arrived.

On September 23, 2017, Karkhana was made open  to all for a day filled with fun and a lot of interaction. The Karkhana Mela became a platform for people of all age group coming together to enjoy at the interactive stalls and making-based activities. There were students, parents, teachers, school leaders and many other people from different backgrounds at the Mela. Each one of them came in and went back home with a story to tell. The look of joy and satisfaction on the people’s faces as they visited every stall will always be a favorite part of everyone of us here at Karkhana.  

In the Mela, there were stalls from outside Karkhana as well. Teams from: Little Things Kathmandu, Book Tuk, Kazi Studios, Junkiri Products, Lego, Maker KT and We Robotics were present there with us on that day and everyone of them had really experiences to share by the end of the day. Stalls from Karkhana Innovator’s Club (KIC) included: Banana Piano, Creative Computing Kit and LED Galaxy, where students from KIC and Maker Mentors were  actively involved to create a vibrant and energetic environment. Similarly, in the Mela, there were stalls from the Bee Creative (BC) team of Karkhana which included: Conductor Insulator, Electric Quiz, Building Cards and Tangrams. To see the visitors try to build the tallest tower using limited number of paper pieces and also observe the work of BC Students from various schools was an interesting sight. Moreover, there were also spaces created by the Content Generation (Con-Gen) team where they showcased contents that were in work-in-progress stage and also some contents that failed. And as Karkhana believes in the principle of TMPI (Think, Make, Play, Improve) you could say this was a really good example of our actions aligning with our insights. The Storytelling Team from Karkhana was out and about that day giving guided Karkhana Tours to the visitors, sharing stories and answering questions of the visitors regarding Karkhana.

Speaking of my personal experience, me and my partner Soniya were involved in the Paper Craft booth where we not only got to talk to the visitors but many shared their interesting stories and experiences with us related to paper crafts. A sixth grader from Valley View English School: Pranjal was the first visitor at our stall and it would not even be wrong to say that she stayed with us throughout the whole day. Just as she learnt how to make origami hyacinth flowers and butterflies, she stayed with us behind the booth and helped us share ideas with other visitors. Seeing Pranjal be able to teach others how to make paper crafts was a moral boost for us. Later in the day, we had visitors who shared their experience of making kites on their own when they were younger. It was an honor for us to get to know how to make paper kites from them. They fondly spoke of the past days when they used rice to stick the kite sticks instead of tape and how they used to compete with one another to fly kites. Listening to their stories while watching them make paper kites and learn from them was an amazing experience for me and Soniya. And, as we both got to teach other visitors later how to build paper kites, it was also a learning experience for us.

There was a constant flow of visitors throughout the whole day and the turn-out for the first- ever Karkhana Mela was an absolute WOW factor for all of us. Speaking of “WOW factors”, the Mela was visited by three cute puppies who undoubtedly became the star of the hour once that they were there!

 

I would now like to take a moment to thank everyone involved directly/indirectly to make the first-ever Karkhana Mela a grand success and a day to remember for all of us!

Another huge thank you goes to the teams from: Little Things Kathmandu, Book Tuk, Kazi Studios, Junkiri Products, Lego, Maker KT and WeRobotics. And to all the visitors, THANK YOU! This would not have been possible without you!

– Mamina Shrestha

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