150 Days – A Chronicle of Change

Becoming a Green Soldier to me has become very personal now. It’s about time we put the game face on and jump in the playing field. Dealing with emotions, failures, frustration and some remarkable events the last 150 days of my life have been nothing short of a roller-coaster ride.

After attending the first Green Soldier meet some sort of sheer elation took over me. It was almost like solving the Rubik’s cube for me. Bingo! Then there were a lot of ideas and a many brainstorming sessions. The ideas kept coming in like the flood gates had been opened. Each of us capable and innovative enough to tackle this issue alone it seemed. And in each of our heads we strongly believed in our creative thinking. But soon enough I grew tired of planning and thinking and not doing anything. The frustration reached its peak one day. I just had to get away and refocus.

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I realized that as an organization we have a role to play in what we have pledged to do but then each of us have a unique personality and fortes. But this is a team and a team is made up of many undercurrents. I strongly believe in focusing on the positives first compared to some of my contemporaries who seem plagued with lack of hope and enthusiasm. I think us Nepalese are all infected with this cancer of hopelessness. But let’s focus on what we have achieved so far;

  • 2 Episodes with Waste Management Students from Denmark at Nepall11Radio’s Mero 2 Paisa Program
  • A Successful 2 week shoot with Italian film maker Allessandro Bernard for his documentary “Waste Mandala” (http://docabout.eu/wastemandala/)
  • A Registered NGO in alliance with the Government of Nepal
  • Establishment of office at Kaldhara Kathmandu
  • Link up with Lincoln School 1000 Trees Campaign
  • Completed 2 small awareness campaigns with the children of Lincoln School Kathmandu and British School Lalitpur.
  • Meeting up with Deepain Pradhan and his “I choose to reuse “Project an attempt at declaring Pokhara the first green city of Nepal. A slow but steady initiation of Green Soldier Pokhara is taking shape as you read this.
  • Establishing a presence in the Swayambhu region and constant feedback and reactions from the locals and the Swayambhu Development Committee
  • Establishing link with some waste workers in Swayambhu and recognizing their difficulties.
  • And many more unseen and unreported impacts

Looking back it’s not that shabby for a spontaneous combustion of change. Things are taking shape but at the same time I personally have had a lot to deal with. Handling another dream and taking on a lot of responsibilities. Its toll is literally visible in me. Managing a business and doing something completely opposite like Green Soldier has to be challenging. You cannot treat this like business simply because it’s not. You cannot be a hypocrite. You cannot call yourself a Green Soldier and do things like flick cigarette butts anywhere, litter etc. The change has to come within first. First I need to change and this too is a process. Now my pocket and bags are my portable waste bins. I am using the coffee waste in my shop to plant flowers outside. I teach my boys to reuse the plastic waste bags. Small things but perpetual changes. At times when you are trying to work with vivid personalities you encounter many emotion irritation, anger, frustration and we derail yet somehow we get back on the train and ride it together. The first and obvious challenge MONEY and creating a feasible plan to remain self-sustained. Donation is an option but depending on it is being just too optimistic. You cannot guarantee the continuity of flow of funds through donation funding. What if it stops or we hit a slump. Plan B is a Must. Then we face another issue regarding narrowing down our goals in Swayambhu. I faced the “This is not working out” phase a few months ago. We have received feedback about how we should re-strategize. But the transition or change of gears is taking a bit longer and the frustration is starting to show in Volunteers.

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For me the revelation came once again at Swayambhu. I realized it’s not about expectations being fulfilled but about putting your ideas and plans to action. It’s about “Karma” because no change is possible without action. At least when it comes to me I treat each day as an opportunity to achieve one more little thing. May be recruiting one more Green Soldier. Finishing this blog. Making the list above continuously grow. 

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