Students donate ‘birthday fund’ to support libraries in rural areas

Bhaktapur, May 15

To most students, birthday celebrations in school mean balloons, birthday cakes and sweets distributed to classmates and teachers.

However, birthday celebrations mean entirely something different to students of Everest English Secondary school in Mibachhen, Bhaktapur.

On their birthdays, students here donate to a fund that supports school libraries in rural villages on their birthdays.

Each ‘birthday’ child donates a sum of Rs 50 to the ‘birthday fund’, while teachers donate Rs 500. “We started this practice to develop a sense of social responsibility among our children, and the results so far have been great,” said Bhakta Rajbhandari, principal of the school.

“There was a time when children felt a compulsion to bring expensive chocolates to school because their peers did, and parents began complaining to us about this. So we decided to adopt this new rule in our school,” he added.

The school now collects donations throughout the year, uses the fund to buy books and hands them over to various rural schools on the first of Falgun every year.

Rajbhandari informed that the school has till date handed over books to eight rural schools. This practice began in 2066 BS, when they collected a fund totaling Rs 28,000 which they used to donate 88 blankets to Bhaktapur Hospital.

In 2067 BS, the school collected Rs 1,25,000 and donated 1,302 books to Shree Mahadevsthan secondary school of Hilepani, Okhaldunga, and Rs 1,90,000 in 2071 BS that was used to donate 1,524 books to Mahadev Secondary School of Kalikot.

The school now plans to do new things with the fund every year. “This practice has taught our students not only to care for society, but also to value and save money,” said Rajbhandari.

He added that it would be more constructive if each school followed this practice.