Written by: Jai Pradhan
One day five years ago, few friends were having a serious talk about the then road widening project and were brainstorming how air pollution caused by the project could be minimised. The short discussion held over a coffee generated an idea of distributing tree saplings to the people and teaching them to plant. Today, the idea has widened beyond thoughts.
In the beginning, the group of young people not only distributed tree saplings to people fleeting in shopping malls, but they also visited some schools and taught children to plant the saplings in spaces available at their homes. The single event gave birth to other ideas, and these young guys did not move back.
Naming it as KTM Drive, they started visiting many schools, old age homes, orphanages, and centres for people with disability on every fortnight and conducted various fun programs.
In the last four years, they conducted art and craft classes, provided stationeries and hygiene kits, treated kids with ice cream, took them to zoo and museum, flew kites with them, and even showed them movies. Besides, they distributed woollen mufflers, gloves, and caps for the winters for free of cost. For the elderly people living in old age homes, they’ve gifted saris for aamas and trousers for buwas.
Not only these, KTM Drive have conducted eight rucksack projects to date and distributed warm clothes and provided food to needy people living in the street. Utilising their full potential, KTM Drive has even sponsored 13 underprivileged children—eight being children with disability—and has helped them to pursue their education.
Till date, KTM Drive has successfully completed over 100 fortnightly events.
When asked to pinpoint the reason that encourages the people behind KTM Drive to continue implementing such drives, the founding member of KTM Drive Shikha Bhatey replies, “There is so much to give and share. The more I get involved in social activities, the more I feel that there is no end to it.”
This was not enough for Bhatey. She was yet to implement her dream project ‘Teach with KTM Drive’.
Bhatey, also a chartered accountant and a radio jockey at Radio Nagarik, recalls, “Idea of starting ‘Teach with KTM Drive’ was in my mind since a decade, and this idea stuck in me ever since I was one of the volunteers at Teach India, Pune.” She details, “On every Sunday, we would spend some time with kids in the slum area. Though they were school going kids, we would spend an hour of the weekend with them, make them involve in fun activities, and even help them in doing their homework.”
With stern determination, she replicated the idea and activated her dream project in Nepal.
Since KTM Drive had conducted many events at Chhahari, a social organisation in Baneshwor, they thought it is the best place to start the project. So, they started spreading the idea of the project through their social media platforms and invited interested professionals, students, homemakers, elderly, and others to join the project. Eventually, many individuals shared their interest to join them and spend an hour in a week with the kids, teaching them something substantial.
Today, the project is rolling strong.
Many volunteers help the kids in their schoolwork and teach them valuable lessons which are untaught in schools. While some volunteers helped the kids to develop their personality through storytelling, others teach them discipline required in everyday life.
“THERE IS SO MUCH TO GIVE AND SHARE. THE MORE I GET INVOLVED IN ACTIVES OF KTM DRIVE, THE MORE I FEEL THAT THERE IS NO END TO IT”—SHIKHA BAHETY
Kids and volunteers have now created a space for themselves and a different level of connections among them. Kids love their programs. They wait for the volunteers at their gate until their arrival and watch them through the fences until their departure, while volunteers wait throughout the week to spend an hour with the children. Not just the kids, even the volunteers have learned a lot from these innocent children.
In a short period of time, KTM Drive has not only earned trust from their supporters but has inspired many. While international donors and supporters are continuously supporting them without even meeting them in person, the kids benefitted from their events have started to follow their footsteps of giving and sharing the love.
“We had distributed clothes to some kids last year, and this year, they not only recognised us, but they also showed interest to be a part of our drive by giving clothes for donation. This was amazing,” shares Bhatey.
With such love, respect, trust, and inspiration, KTM Drive is proceeding to the next level. Today, they’re also preparing to build a structure in Kavre to hold adult literacy classes. Seems like, KTM Drive is not going to stop anytime soon. If you want to join them, you can simply get connected with them. KTM drive does not have complicated rules regarding membership instead, it is very flexible. You can join any event if you want.