Reading Camp 2019: Chitlang


April 8, 2019 we organized two days of reading camp for the children of Center for Disabled Children Assistance under the support of SAMSAL. This is the second year of the camp of CDCA. The destination this year was Chitalng Organic Village resort.

First Day

We head out in the journey after10 o’c after the morning launch. There are 40 children and youth of CDCA. We took the bus it nearly took 3 hours to reach to our first destination Markhu Kulakhani Dam.

 Kulekhani also known as Indra Sarobar is a man made dam in Makwanpur District in the Narayani Zone of southern Nepal which stores 85,300,000 m3 (69,200 acreft) of water. The dam was built with the purpose of generating the electricity however the dam have also posed the natural beauty and unique scenario which have attract many of the internal tourism inside the country throughout the year. The View from the top of the Dam side is astonishing and steals our heart on the first sight of the Kulekhani Lake. Kulekhani Lake/Dam is alternative or is like second fewa taal for Kathmandu and Hetauda people.

First of all the children were explained the importance and how it is made then children were let free for sightseeing and photo session. Children have good time there as it is rare opportunity for the children to see the big mass of water and the natural environment. Children also have a small refreshment break with light launch.

After this were again took the bus and enjoyed the view from the bus along the children were singing and having fun along the journey. Then we reached to Chitlang.

CHITLANG is about 22 KM from Kathmandu in the South West direction. Before Opening of TRIBHUWAN RAJPATH (High way to link India and Kathmandu), CHITLANG was only one “On foot Highway” to get India and the Southern part of Nepal. Normally, motors carry people; it is only the place in the world, where motors used to carry by people because there was not road Kathmandu valley and BHIMPHEDI (a place near Terai Region of Nepal).

There are lots of evidences, which show that there was civilized society in ancient centuries. Many temples with amazing wood and stone carving, artistic rest houses, stone taps, available inscription of centuries long are the proof of those civilized society.

This village is surrounded by beautiful green forest, which consists of more than 160 species of birds and animal. The large green fields are added attraction of Chitlang. There is a big Apple garden with more than thousand apple trees. Few cottages have been constructed recently in between the garden, which provide the excited stay to the tourists.

It offers an amazing experience with the combination of natural beauty and cultural heritage. Famous as the gate way of motor cars carried on the back of people. Chitlang offers visitors with an opportunity of village home stay where you can interact and get insight of the rural life in Nepal. The hills of Chitlang offer one of the best hiking/trekking around Kathmandu. Chitlang boasts of 160 bird species and bird watching is something you can enjoy here. Camping and cycling here provides you an opportunity of getting closer to the un-disrupted ecology in the locality. The largest manmade lake of Nepal, Kulekhani (also known as Indrasarovar) is a short walk of 40 minutes from Chitlang.

We arrived to our destination Chitlang Organic Village Resort. We have selected this place because all the children with physical disabilities and other can enjoy the nature without any difficulties. Also the infrastructure is somehow disable friendly.

When we first reached to the destination children were allocated the suitable room and have launch. Then they have free time to enjoy the nature around. All the children along with Manish, Bhumika, Swostika, Ganesh and other able to go around and enjoy the beauty of nature.

All the children were assembled then Prakash sir set the ground rule that everyone need to follow. Then Dendi Sherpa tell the objective of Reading Camp. Then it comes the session of entertainment, children have time for free and group where they enjoy dancing in Nepali, Hindi and English songs. Bunmika, Mina, Bima and Dolma sang a group rhymes and Chhemji sang a song. Then we have a communication game. It teaches us how to properly communicate the information using the sound and sign and disseminate information to other.  Then we have group song Pemba played the guitar along and other sing along the tune. Then we all have dinner and then it’s time for Camp fire. All the children enjoyed dancing and singing around the camp fire. Then at 9.30 Am all the children went for bed.

Second Day

We set the schedule for 5 o’c but the weather was not favorable. Thus the morning session stared with breakfast at 6.30 o’c.  At 7 o’c we have meditation session this mediation is called as the “Awareness “. This session is conducted by Bhawana K.C. In the beginning the children were taught to walk with awareness on the breathing. Then they have Bhamari Pranyaam (Yoga aasana). After they danced with the rhythm of music and then went into the meditation. After that they have the experience sharing and questionnaire session regarding the meditation session.

After this session they have the session of Drama “ Superstitious Belief”. This drama is written and directed by Prakash Kalel. The characters of the drama

Furi Sherpa  as Gore (Father)

Mahisha as Bhunti (Mother)

Pradip Gurung as Bhunte ( Son)

Yanjil  Lamu Tamang as Fulendevi(Witch)

Bhupendra Rai as Dhami Baa( Witch Doctor)

Maila Ghale as Teacher

Mingma Sherpa as Doctor

Tenji Sherpa & Ramchandra Bohara as neighbor

Sukumaya as Narrator

The jest of Drama: The son fells sick and the parents calls the witch doctors, the witch doctor identifies that all the problem has arises due to the black magic of the Fulendevi. Thus witch doctor decided to banish the Fulendevi from the village, with the help of neighbor. All the villagers helped them to vanish her forcefully from the village. After this also the son doesn’t get better. In this situation teacher arrives at the home sees that Bhunte is suffering from Typhoid and suggests the parents to take Bhunte to the hospital. Bhunte becomes well after the treatment from the hospital. Then they confront the witch doctor and realize that they have done ill treatment with the Fulendevi and feel guilty of their act. They decide not to follow the superstitious belief of the village.

Background of the story: Still in Nepal many people believe in superstitious tradition of the society.  If anyone falls sick in the village then they suspect especially old, poor and a widow woman of the village has done black magic. They take a patient to the witch doctor that can’t cure the disease. Many people even die in this process. They don’t take patient to the hospital till the last stage. The people treat badly to the woman suspected of witch. They even do inhuman treatment to the women like forcefully feeding the human fecal matter, saving the head, boycotting from the village. Even some of the children of CDCA have been the victim of the superstitious belief.

Maila and Bhupendra share their experience and feedback:

  • Chitlang is amazing place with beautiful scenario, peaceful environment with give us opportunity for us to escape the city life of Kathmandu.
  • In previous year only the children of CDCA Care Home were able to participate in the Reading Camp this year all the children and member of the CDCA are able to join the Camp. We felt more fun to share this experience with the whole family of CDCA. And also learn that more enjoyment and happiness can be acquired from complete family.
  • This year we were able to afford the good place with perfect location. We are touched by the good hospitality of the Resort and enjoyed the typical village of the Chitlang.
  • We are able to get different experience of Camping like sleeping in the tent, forest, sightseeing, bonfire, and other.
  • The effect of meditation in the natural and peaceful environment is quite different and we could experience the state of peace of mind.
  • We participate in many activities like singing, playing games which helped us to bring out the inner talent of the children. .
  • While performing drama this year our confidence level has arises and we are able to act is more improvised way.
  • Communication game helped us to analyses the way we communicate and the tips we need to improve.

Children also got opportunity to visit first goat cheeses factory of Nepal. Mr. Thakuri gave us a tour of his facility, explaining us how exactly his business operates. He had a goat farm a few minutes away from his factory, where he had about 70 goats, and whom he says contribute an average of half a liter of milk a day. The goats are fed special grass and beets that produce higher quality milk, which Mr. Thakuri claims is essential for good cheese. Then he led us to his cheese factory which was the building right next to his home-stay house.  Provisions were made for hygiene, as we put on hairnets and covered our shoes. The goat milk is pasteurized for hours and let to cool at two different temperatures, one for hard cheese and one for soft cheese. The soft cheese was refrigerated for about two weeks, while the hard cheese was refrigerated for two months. The valley did not have any load-shedding and we began to understand the lure of starting the business in such a location. Mr Thakuri said the cheese could also be cooled down in underground chambers, although there would be added external factors to account for.

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