APPLYING SAI VALUES IN NEPAL
There is a beautiful area outside of the city of Katmandu, Nepal where rolling fields frame spectacular snow capped mountains. The one time farm land is where Sri Sathya Sai Baba's vision for educating our youth is coming into full blossom. It is a spectacular new English Medium school called Sathya Sai Shiksha Sadan.
Workmen are still putting the finishing touches on the many buildings on this campus, a sprawling academic institution designed to impart excellent education in human values.
This new compound, which just opened this spring is replacing the original medium school located 3.5 km away, closer to the heart of the city.
Dr. Narottam P. Upadhyay is the guiding light behind this new school located in the Katmandu suburb of Saraswati VDC Tokha. He and his wife, Dr. Sharada Upadhyay and many regional Baba devotees who helped to make this dream become a reality are understandably proud of what they have achieved. Their long time devotion to Sai Baba, coupled with their unending enthusiasm to bring quality education to the young people of Nepal, have resulted in a dream come true.
For a long time, Dr. Upadhyay had known that the previous location for their school had become too small, cramped and overcrowded. As the finishing touches were being applied to the new school, Dr. Upadhyay was pleased the two year project was finally nearing its completion.
The school has ten grades. It includes a total of seven buildings and more are on the drawing board. There are approximately 400 students being educated here, quite an impressive number after the school's humble beginnings when it had just six students enrolled in its first classes.
Tenth grade student, Eta Shrestng considers herself very fortunate for having been a student here. The 15 year old who is heading off for college soon loves reading and the science classes most at her school and plans to be a doctor one day.
Akshar Napal is also a tenth grader and he says he will cry when the day comes to leave this school. He says it is his second home. Akshar says he hopes to inculcate Sai Baba’s human values into all areas of his life and his profession when he leaves this school. He also puts a high value on the spiritual elements of attending classes and living here. He says Baba is everything to him, his father, his mother and most of all, his teacher.
The students who attend school here come from every part of Nepal. They can thank Dr. Upadhyay for all the excellent services and teachers provided for them. It was back in 1992 when Dr. Upadhyay was encouraged to take on the enormous seva of helping to educate so many young people.
This school has a master plan which will be worked on indefinitely. The next goal is to have a dozen fully functioning buildings on its sprawling campus that can provide even more services and opportunities for the students.
No one participating in the creation of this Sai education marvel is wealthy. All come from modest means. To finance such an undertaking banks were approached for loans and individual seva was donated in ways that would help make this long planned idea become a reality.
Fortunately, Dr. Upadhyay has a solid background both as a businessman and as the registrar of a major university, which, coupled with his faith in Sai Baba, has led him to help create this modern center of education.
Dr. Upadhyay and his wife handle with great ease the multiple roles of school administrators, educators, spiritual teachers and parents to the hundreds of children here. Their open door policy coupled with their actual living among the students make them always available to the boys and girls of this school.
Their work plus the many sacrifices of all those who assist them serve at least two major purposes. They help make a positive difference in the lives of school children who might otherwise never be so influenced. And their actions and commitment to the principles of Sri Sathya Sai Baba remind others around the world of all that can be accomplished for the benefit of others.