Rukmini Foundation promotes women’s well-being and empowerment by providing opportunity, platform and inspirational programs to support underprivileged girls in our society. One such program of empowerment, inspiration, and encouragement is the Didi program. The Didi Program provides the girls with an opportunity to meet remarkable role models whose stories help build their confidence and self-esteem. The girls get an opportunity to interact with successful people in their community and to learn about their struggles and successes. The story of hard work, passion, and drive that helped these people succeed inspires the girls in Didi program to keep the dream and to work hard for those dreams. The ideas that are born and shared during the Didi program motivates the girls to believe in themselves and their goals.

Group photo with Shristi Didi in the middle.

As a Rukmini Scholar, I, Rubi Balami recently attended a Didi program where I got an opportunity to meet not one but four inspirational people: Shristi KC Didi, Suprabha Didi, Basudev Adhikari Dai and Sushil Adhikari Dai.

Introductions by Lalita Didi

Lalita Didi started the program by introducing the Rukmini Foundation and it’s Didi program to the honorable guests. She explained that the foundation and Didi Program aims to help girls not only gain an education but also promote capacity building and development in them. In partnership with 6 different schools from Pharphing area, Rukmini foundation currently works with 73 promising scholars to help them grow as confident, educated, determined and ambitious women. Usha Adhikari Didi also took this opportunity to introduce Bright Star Society and their bond with Rukmini Foundation.

Shristi Didi led us all in dancing

The program took off when Shristi KC Didi led us scholars through different games that were motivational and inspirational. Shristi Didi became visually impaired at the age of 16 due to a medical mismanagement. The loss of her vision was a sudden disability that created many obstacles in her life and for her ambitions. However, she did not let this slow her down because she was not ready to give up her dreams along with her vision. Instead, she pushed forward to be an exceptional inspiration for the world.

As the day progressed, Didi shared with us stories about her struggles and hard work, her journey towards being a dancing RockStar and such wonderful inspiration to all. Her story made us realize that with enough determination and hard work, we can overcome any hardship to achieve our goals and dreams.

When Shristi Didi first lost her vision, she struggled with her studies and felt like she could not share her struggles with anyone. She told us that it was a very difficult time in her life as she did not share her problems with anyone and it made them harder to overcome. However, she eventually realized that she needed to express her frustrations and problems with the mentors in her life. Shristi Didi told us that she was able to pursue her dreams better with the support of her parents and teachers. She credited her mother’s love and support as an important aspect of her determination and her success.

After high school, Shristi Didi told us that she had dreamt of attending college alongside her peers, leaving behind school uniform and dress up in modern clothes with her friends to attend classes, to try out new hairstyles and other many small changes a young girl dreams of making as she enters adulthood. She was passionate about dancing too but due to the loss of her vision, there were not many avenues for her to pursue right then. Shristi Didi mentioned that it was an uphill battle to get accepted into any college for further education due to her disability. Despite her frustrations, she kept applying to different colleges as her education was very important to her. She eventually got into Dillibazzar Multiple Campus and she started her successful academic career.

Shristi Didi kept excelled in her studies and she was honored by President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav for her exceptional marks in Proficiency Certificate Level in Humanities. Further, She is also honored with ‘Arjun Swarna Padak’, a Gold Medal awarded to her by Prime Minister of Nepal for securing the highest grade in Nepali Faculty on Bachelor’s level program offered by Tribhuwan University. She was and is a shining example of the success that comes from hard work and determination for all around her.

Supravha Didi, co-founder of Blind Rocks Society also shared with us Rukmini scholars stories about her own hardship and success. Partially blind from a very young age, she faced and overcame many difficulties as she was  growing up. She was determined to not let her partial blindness hinder her life and this determination helped her grow into a capable and independent woman who is also a role model to many people. She is currently doing her postgraduate on Physico-Social Counselor course and hope to be able to promote better life opportunities for visually impaired community in Nepal. Supravha Didi told us that we should all have the zeal and enthusiasm about life to be able to succeed in life. She encouraged us to grab all the opportunities life gives us and to not be afraid of failure or hard work.

Bashudev Adhikari of Bright Star Society (standing) talks about the work of his organization and how our missions align.

Adding to Shristi Didi and Supravha Didi’s story, Basudev Adhikari Dai who is a chairman of Bright Star Society told us Rukmini Scholars that we should never stop learning and growing. Bright star society has made its mission

to improve lives in Nepal by empowering women and children through quality healthcare and education

This corresponds so well with Rukmini Foundation’s goals to

improve the lives of underprivileged girls by empowering them through holistic program of quality education, supportive mentoring services and a physical well-being program’.

Life is always teaching us and these teachings help us move forward in life. Born blind, Basudev dai struggled all his life through people’s bias and misconceptions regarding the disabled in our society. However, he did not let the obstacles stop him, but instead he kept moving forward with determination.  He told us that he approached blindness as not his problem but his property. This positive and encouraging thought he has  has helped Basudev Dai succeed regardless of the obstacles society threw at him.

Basudev Dai’s organization Birght Start Society along with Rukmini Foundation and Blind Rocks society are working together for welfare of visually impaired people in Kailai District. Further, his organization works towards changing the attitude of people towards visually impaired. Currently, he also works in Tribhuwan International Airport and Tilganga Hospital as well as works as a Radio Jockey. His active and successful lifestyle is inspirations to us Rukmini Scholars to have positive outlook on life as we overcome its challenges.

Bashudev Sir singing while Sushil Sir plays the Maadal, Nepali Drum.

Along with Basudev Dai, Sushil Dai also shared story of his life and struggles since he lost his eyesight at the age of 12.  However, he has overcome not only the struggles of being visually impaired but he also overcame abuse of his childhood with his strong and positive attitude. Chairperson of Blind Rocks Society, he advised us scholars to focus on what we have as well as to always have a balance between thinking and acting. Basudev Dai sang songs for us scholars while Sushil Dai accompanied him with his music on Madal. Their beautiful music and friendly nature highlighted their positive attitude towards life.

After sharing all their stories, they gave us scholars an opportunity to ask any questions we had. This was a great experience for us and we were very happy to be involved in such inspirational program. From participating in this program, I understood our capabilities is limitless like sky. Every person has a hidden potential within themselves. It is just a matter of identifying and working to bring out our potential.

Further, after participating in this program, us Rukmini Scholars were motivated to work through all our obstacles and to never lose our hope. Positive thinking and hard work will help us achieve all our goals and dreams. The stories shared by Shristi Didi, Suprabha Didi, Basudev Dai and Sushil Dai all inspired us to understand ourselves and find a motivational model within ourselves. The program left us all inspired, motivated and determined to overcome all struggles to achieve our goals.


About Rubi Balami

Spokesperson for Team RukuBot during FIRST Global Robotics Competition, Rubi has been supporting foundation activities by taking part in mentoring initiatives and also writing field reports. Rubi is continuing her studies by concentrating on Science.

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