Based on national reports, it’s estimated that around 150 million people or about two percent of the world’s population are homeless. In addition, about 1.6 billion, which is more than 20 percent of the world’s population may lack adequate housing.
Poverty and homelessness affect a large portion of the population in Nepal. More than 250,000 people are homeless, and 2.8 million (an entire 10% of the Nepali population) live in the slums.
According to statistics from UNDP Human Development Report, 25% of people in Nepal live under $1.25 a day.
For most of us, the idea of winter means cuddling under the blanket for warmth, lying in our comfort zone, and sipping coffee sitting beside the fire. A warm blanket, thick clothes, hot soup, and cozy nights are not for everyone in winter. The cold winds during the winter nights pierce the skin of the poor, but they have no form of shields or coverings to protect themselves. There is no better gift than providing warm clothing to the needy during the winter season. Hundreds of thousands of homeless people experience the bitterness of the harsh winter months and are at great risk of suffering from severe illnesses. The rise in air pollution levels and the early onset of winter this year has made them extremely vulnerable, but at the same time, it has given us an opportunity to serve humanity by donating warm clothes to the needy. This winter, this became a part of our mission. There is no greater feeling than helping the disadvantaged survive the harsh winter cold.
Every winter, our organization, GrowByData Services Pvt Ltd, runs a “Clothes Donation Campaign”, where we donated warm clothes (new and used) from our team and management. We try our best to reach out to people outside and inside the Kathmandu valley.
Much like in previous years, GrowByData team members decided to donate warm clothes to the needy this year as well. We did various surveys inside Kathmandu valley and outside the valley. We collected Data from organizations like VCN, Heart Beat, and Namuna. According to VCN, they were planning to donate Blankets to the Terai of Nepal, and Namuna was involved in a long-run program to help the needy. As our project and plan was different from VCN and Namuna, we spoke with “Heart Beat”, as they were involved in a food and clothing campaign this year.
Heart Beat’s mission is to empower high-risk children experiencing homelessness, by providing them with opportunities for education and enrichment.
“Heart Beat” is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). It is located at Bhimsen Marga, Gahanapokhari, Kathmandu Nepal. This winter, they were involved in helping the people of Chepang Basti, in Chitwan and Muser Basti, in Danusha with food and clothes. They were both in rural areas, with many people in dire need of support.
The Chepang Community is one of Nepal’s most vulnerable indigenous groups. They were originally nomads, but are now embracing a semi-nomadic lifestyle. Chepangs are known for shifting cultivation practice (slash-and-burn agriculture), which is their main source of livelihood. Farming alone is not enough for them to sustain their families, so they also depend on hunting, fishing, and collecting Githa and Vyakur (shoots and roots), wild yams, catch bats, and wild birds. As of late, they have also started working as manual workers in towns near their settlements.
According to the 2011 Census, the Chepang population stands at just 68,399.
They are spread across the Makawanpur, Dhading, Chitwan, Gorkha, Lamjung, and Tanahu districts. The Chepang have often been characterized as the poorest of Nepal’s poor. They suffer a lot due to the lack of basic requirements.
Musahar is a Dalit community found in the Southern Terai region. They are also known as Banbasi. Their name literally means ‘rat-eater’ due to their main former occupation of catching rats, and there are many who are still forced to do this work, due to destitution and poverty. Their way of living is also way below normal, and they suffer every day just to fulfill their basic needs.
We purchased warm clothes for every age group. 20 sets of children’s warm clothes, 20 sets for men, and 20 sets for women were purchased, including socks. We also collected the clothes from different team members. We selected the clothes and separated them by different age groups.
On Friday, Dec 11th, 2020, Heart Beat collected the clothes from GrowByData. Their plan was to take those clothes, including food, to the Chepang and Muser communities on December 13th, 2020.
We are very thankful to Heart Beat, who took the warm clothes to those in need outside the valley, where we could not reach.
We received heartwarming pictures from Heart Beat. Looking at the picture of an old man carrying one of the tracksuits we donated with a joyful smile on his face and a small kid wearing a jacket sent by us continues to encourage and inspire us to do these kinds of deeds in the future.
If you’d like to donate, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.