Inspirations for Ganga Ghar
As some of you may know, Ojash was born in Nepal. He moved to Wisconsin in 2000 to go to college at UW-Whitewater. He would like to share the experience that inspired him to start this non-profit organization.
In December 2008 Ojash returned to Nepal for his wedding. While staying in his parents' house, he saw a young girl who worked as a maid. She was around 12 years old, and was working in his parents' home because her family could not afford to support her or send her to school. When he asked her name, she replied, "Rita." Rita stayed with his parents, worked every day and didn't go to school. At that moment, Ojash realized how different her life might be if she could have the same opportunities for education that he had had. When he was her age, he was going to school, playing with his friends, and sitting down at dinner with his family. When he thought about her life, he was deeply moved by the difference between their situations.
When he came back to the U.S. after his wedding, he was happy to be newly married and had wonderful memories of the celebration, but he still saw Rita's face in his mind. He had asked his mother how much this girl's salary was, and found she was making $7 a month. Living in the U.S., he would spend $7 for one day's lunch, so this amount shocked him.
On the bright side, he thought, she is in a safe place, she has enough food to eat, and is helping her family have some financial support. But he was acutely aware of her future, and that her children would most likely face the same life of poverty. For most children, the situation is worse. Thousands of children in Nepal are denied the simple joy of childhood, and even the basic love, care, and protection they need. With the unemployment rate at 46% and average family income at just $473 per year, education becomes a luxury that many children and their families only dream of.
Realizing how important education has been in the success of his life, Ojash longed to provide the same opportunity to every child in Nepal like little Rita. Rather than becoming overwhelmed by the size of his dream, he decided to begin by changing the life of one child. Together with some family members and friends, they sponsored not only one, but five children's education in 2009 – providing tuition, books, supplies, and uniforms for the children.
But they wanted to do more.
So in October of 2009, Ganga Ghar was established. "Ganga" is the name of his mother. "Ghar" means "the house." It was in his mother's house where he became inspired to sponsor children's education, giving them access to the opportunities he had while growing up under his mother's roof. Ganga also refers to the holy river in Nepal.
The mission of Ganga Ghar is to improve the lives of impoverished children and families in Nepal through education and empowerment. We believe education can free these families from the bonds of poverty to improve their future and the future of Nepal.
Thank you for reading this!