Vaskar Pahari completed his high school from the United World College of South East Asia, Singapore and is now a sophomore at Yale University. During his time in Singapore, he was involved in numerous service projects, some of which were involved with supporting grassroots projects in Nepal. He was the co-chair of Himalayan Global Concerns for two years, a student led group in Singapore that aimed to raise awareness and funds for students studying at a local school in Pangboche, which lies in the Everest region in Nepal. He was also a member of the Initiative for Peace 2009 team, a student led group that organized a week-long peace conference for forty youths from Timor Leste. At Yale, Vaskar is a trained Emergency Medical Technician, and is part of the Yale Emergency Medical Service Club. He plans to major in Mathematcis and Economics. Vaskar enjoys playing the guitar, and traveling.
"I visited Shree Shanti Vidya Mandir on June 27, 2011 to talk to a few students in order to build their profile for the Kehi Garaun website. I was incredibly humbled by that experience and it reminded me of how important it is for us as a social organization to be connected to the personal lives of the children we are helping. Although all the students we talked to were quite young, they were incredibly mature for their age. Most, if not all, the students helped their parents in household chores like cooking, sweeping the floors, and washing dishes. They were also responsible to take care of their younger siblings.
The process also gave me an idea of how involved the teachers were in the lives of their students. The teachers were familiar with the family background of their students. In many cases, the students were often shy and embarrassed to reveal sensitive stories about their lives, and we only found out about these stories after speaking to the teachers.
The most fun part of the process was to talk the students about their favorite subjects and their plans for the future. A lot of the younger ones wanted to become policemen because they were fascinated by the idea of fighting crime and saving the day. Some even wanted to become traffic policemen because they thought it’ll be fun to blow whistles and control vehicles at their command. Some of the older ones wanted to become doctors, nurses, and engineers, and we tried our best to encourage them to study hard and follow their dreams.
Although these children have suffered many hardships in life, in many ways they are just as normal as any other children that have had a relatively easy upbringing. They all had a smile on their face when we spoke to them; they all enjoy playing with their friends and watching TV; and most importantly, they all have dreams and aspirations for their future."