Thunder and lightening were everywhere. The storm was one of the biggest I had seen. All of a sudden, a large bolt of lightening hit my mother, killing her instantly and leaving me blind. I was just 3 years old when my whole world changed. My name is Surya.
My family is part of the lowest castes in Nepal. We were poor and because of my blindness, life became even worse for me. I was looked down on my the rest of my village and I was not allowed to play with the other children my age. I was classed as untouchable.
I was given many false promises by people who said they could cure my blindness. No one was able. Finally I was able to obtain a disability card and identified as legally blind.
After my mother was killed, my father remarried. The lightening took my eyesight but my step-mother took my vision. My childhood was very difficult for me.
Fortunately, I was helped by some kind people. I was able to study in a blind school. I worked hard and learned as much as I could. I loved to sing and play traditional musical instruments. I learned to play as many as I could and sing along to them. Many blind children my age had no other option than to beg in the streets, so I too started to beg in the streets of Pokhara.
One day, while I was begging and playing an instrument in the streets, Rajendra (CEO and founder of 3 Angels Nepal) found me and offered me work. He arranged for me to receive the required training so that I could work at 3 Angels Community Radio (3ACR). This was the turning point in my life. I began working at 3ACR in 2013. Not long after, I met and married Shanti, who is also blind. We have a wonderful life together with 2 precious children, a son and a daughter.
I have skills at a professional level and have confidence that to run any on-air programs on radio without hesitation. I get to interview government officials, popular artists, and I am also able to advocate for blind people’s rights through 3ACR. Though I do not have an eyesight, I can see my future as bright and filled with happiness and meaning.
Thank you to the Velez Family, Tim & Michelle, AF Sourcing and Greg for supporting this amazing radio station.
Throughout the Nepal lockdown, 3 Angels Community Radio has been continuously helping communities through informative radio programming as well as distribution of basic necessities such as food and clothing.
As many people have lost their jobs, a lot have been suffering from mental issues, a number of families are not able to put food on their plates, and the risk of trafficking is continuously increasing. Out of desperate need, some may be resorting to selling sexually explicit materials online, while some may be easily lured to crossing the borders illegally in search of foreign employment. Our partner, 3 Angels Nepal, turned to communities, reaching them one by one and conducting awareness programs so that women and children remain informed.
One of the key objectives of the 3 Angels Community Radio (3ACR) is to inform the public and raise awareness on relevant issues, particularly human trafficking. This holds true even when the COVID-19 pandemic struck the country. During the pandemic crisis, they were able to relay reliable information from the World Health Organization while maintaining most of their regular programming. One of the staff shares what else the team have been able to do during this crisis.
She is now leading the children’s program and has received several requests from schools and parents to visit and talk with the students. Her contribution in this increase of requests and participation from the audience is a great opportunity for us as we strengthen our advocacy on child rights and women’s issues.
3 Angels Community Radio (3ACR) had the opportunity to visit a small settlement area in Pokhara to provide training to a group of women living in the slums. Jeevan, 3ACR's news chief shares one of the women's story with us.