Bagmati River Cleanup Campaign

Bagmati River Cleaning Campaign
Chain of Volunteers Cleaning Bagmati River

Just as I was named Goodwill Ambassador for cleaning Bagmati recently, I became fearful of my voluntary job. What if I fail to achieve some concrete results in the cleaning project of Mother Bagmati River? This is the lifeline of humans, cattle and vegetation in and around the precious and picturesque Kathmandu. Our home is so beautiful yet it has been plagued by irresponsible human behavior of throwing trash, garbage and plastic poison in the holy river. As an achiever, I value success I wish and hope for success in every endeavor I embark upon. I hope it ends with some tangible value for my community and myself. And, I am talking about my hometown, Kathmandu.

Manisha Koirala during the Bagmati River Cleaning CampaignEarlier on when I was appointment Goodwill Ambassador to Natural Disaster Fund, post the massive earthquake that my country faced. I remember the immense suffering of the people in Sindhupal and adjacent effected areas. How can I forget the young mother who was blankly staring at the horizon, her mind far away, trying to solve problems that had engulfed so many people, people with destroyed homes and perished hopes of finding their loved ones. The physical tremors of the massive quake may have subsided but what there are still challenging days where family members are lost, where homes, hopes and will are crushed. How to repair homes, rebuild lives and relive the dreams they had lost? While I took my appointment seriously and held many high level meetings, I must admit the results were disappointing. So little was done, so little achieved, so little hopes revived. During Sajha Sawal, it became starkly clear we had failed the earthquake victims. We all share that burden of non-delivery at the most critical time of our recent tragedy. No I’m not alone in this failure – the rulers, bureaucrats, the government in succession have failed. I feel ashamed for this non-delivery. Do ALL others who were accountable and responsible, feel as ashamed? I sincerely do question.

WhatsApp Image 2017-06-24 at 3.43.49 PMIn 2010, post my marriage, Kathmandu became my home and cleaning Bagmati was one of my personal ambition and for that I had formed a core group. In the process of research we met and discovered about Vaidya who tirelessly worked everyday to clean the river. My professional life then took me back to Mumbai. After seven years, the challenge and opportunity is again in front of me. I am really excited to fulfill my dream to create a clean Bagmati for all the valley residents and the habitat.

Manisha Koirala during the Bagmati River Cleaning CampaignWhatsApp Image 2017-06-24 at 3.37.10 PMIn the process of working for cleaning for Bagmati I had the opportunity to have two most important meetings. One was with the government body and the other one was with a group of dedicated volunteers. It seems to me, that both the government and the volunteers are quiet earnest about this issue. During the government body meeting, it was made clear that they have thought through a permanent solution, which would indeed take a few years, provided we dedicatedly work towards it. The solution would also require large amounts of funding. The core issues they wish to tackle included:

  • The building two dams so that the flow of water is consistent throughout the year and the flushing of the garbage happens.
  • Separation of the sewage system from the river.
  • Plotting plants near the river to purify the water.
  • The encroachment of the river and the land around it, this has to be tackled well.
  • Beautification of the river site in which many companies have already committed.

Manisha Koirala during the Bagmati River Cleaning CampaignWhatsApp Image 2017-06-24 at 3.37.10 PM

What I learnt in the meeting with the dedicated volunteers was that they have taken this cleaning campaign as a symbol to bring about good values in life. That’s why, without any financial support or any selfish gain they volunteer in the clean Bagmati campaign. Every Saturday, on their holiday, they are up from 7am to 9am, for two hours they go and pick other peoples garbage. No self-interest, no money involved, they in fact even put money from their pocket. They do service without any selfish interest and they are dedicated to it until Bagmati is not clean completely.

Manisha Koirala during the Bagmati River Cleaning Campaign
With the volunteers of Bagmati River Cleaning Campaign

Looking at them, and being fully fully aware of my responsibilities and also about my serious limitations about being able to deliver, I do carry hopes that together we will succeed. A goodwill Ambassador has very limited, restrictive power and few resources at disposal. But I know that I can raise my voice, advise for right actions, bring people on board, and show faith and commitment, which of course I shall do. Every day, I will hope and work for better tomorrow with cleaner Bagmati and fresh air. We are all entitled to this dream. This must be delivered. We must not fail again.

Finally, at One With Myself!

Ray Bradbury, the famous author once said, “Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The landmine is me. After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces together.” 

Many modern professionals will resonate with this description of their day in which they become slaves to deadlines, constraints and urgent demands by the minute on them. Each time I would feel like this, I would wonder whether I was meant to lead such a fragmented life? Why could I not feel One in Mind, Body and Spirit?

Several areas of my life needed urgent fixing. Life was playing “catch ball” with me. Sometimes I dodged the ball; other times I caught it. But I knew this ‘living on edge’ was no way to live. I needed trusted tools to deal with problems. I needed a strong armor to face life’s battle.

And then I found it. My spiritual anchor–Oneness University.

What have I learnt there?  To discover oneness within oneself, in the family, in society and in the country. It doesn’t stop there. One also discovers oneness on the planet, with living things, with the universe and finally Oneness with the Divine. 

Manisha's God's Altar.
My God’s Altar.

The most precious lesson I have learnt how individual transformation leads to global transformation. I learnt how to joyfully follow one’s passions, lead a life unified in mind-body- spirit while balancing home and career. All this while continuing to grow in spirituality, in income, in peace and in compassion to all.

Three teachings are very close to my heart:

  1. Relationships: We often use relationships to fulfil our needs, insecurities, ideologies, belief systems. Imagine what our relationships would be if we saw them as our own reflection? How would we treat others if they were us– our image ? 

    sessions at amazing oneness campus
    A Panoramic View Of One Of The Sessions At The Oneness Campus.
  2. Awareness: Our external world is a mirror of our inner world. Watching our mind is a tool to clean all the hurts and disappointments rooted within us, possibly since childhood. 

    Shri Kalki Bhagavan and Shri Amma Bhagavan
    Shri Kalki Bhagavan, Shri Amma Bhagavan and the Dasa’s at Oneness University.
  3. Deeksha: Oneness Deeksha is a phenomenon sourced in the deep passion, intent and the spiritual sadhanas of Sri Amma Bhagavan. Deeksha catalyses the secular and spiritual evolution of individuals and communities through a neurobiological shift brought about by a Divine Energy Transfer.

Today, I can deal with anything life throws at me. Amidst the chaos of life, I have reached a clarity. I feel whole, unified—in harmony with myself.

Every ship needs an anchor. Every life needs one too. I bow in gratitude to Oneness University for being mine.

So today, I wish to share with you words which I read somewhere–words which have had a deep impact on me:

Stop chasing what your mind wants and you will get what your soul needs.

manisha koirala signature

Rediscovering my new me!

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Picture Courtesy – Zakia

My health challenged me to rethink and drove me to understand deep rooted (unconscious) issues as we are fairly well accustomed to our obvious.. Though change of habit is one of the biggest challenges of human beings..its necessary for growth!

There are few aspects of life that are important and I will share those with you.

Join me in this journey and rephrase our lives..