Despite her immense hardships in life, Srijana Kahar's grandmother (on the right) continues her unwavering commitment to the benevolent practice of Saving One Handful of Rice Each Day to help others. (Photo by Wang Yu-Chan; Lumbini, Nepal; 2023/07/03)

The first Saturday of every month is Charity Distribution Day for the Tzu Chi volunteer team in Nepal. On July 1, 2023, under heavy rainfall, over forty volunteers from the team were divided into five groups, each with six to seven volunteers. Local volunteers assumed the role of group leaders.

This time, the participating volunteers included educators from the Teachers’ Association, Tzu Chi youth volunteers, and community volunteers. Additionally, members of the Tzu Chi International Medical Association accompanied everyone to provide thoughtful care.

The distribution was planned for eighteen beneficiary households, with each household receiving twenty-five kilograms of rice. A vehicle loaded with rice followed the volunteers as they marched forward.

Humble Abode

The third group, led by Bishnu Gaud, paid a visit to the home of Srijana Kahar. Her dwelling was a humble, doorless mud house with earthen walls on all sides. It had a low roof so that everyone had to stoop as they entered.

Inside were two beds, that served as both a bed and a dining area for Srijana and her grandmother. Normally, Srijana lived there with her grandparents and a two-year-old cousin.

Brighten Spirits with Kindness

Neatly hanging on the wall was Srijana's sixth-grade school bag from Siddhartha Primary School. The volunteers presented her with heart-shaped colored paper with a Nepali Jing Si Aphorism written on it. She could not contain her joy; with a radiant smile, she held the Jing Si Aphorism close to her heart for a photo, capturing this happy moment. Seeing her dusky complexion, big eyes, and radiant smile, everyone could not help but admire how adorable she was.

Srijana Kahar could not hide her inner joy, as she showed a radiant smile while holding the Jing Si Aphorism close to her heart. This photograph captures this blissful moment. (Photo by Wang Yu-Chan; Lumbini, Nepal; 2023/07/03)

Fight Monsoon Leaks

In one corner of the room was a cooking area. Very evident were two plastic buckets on the floor catching rainwater that leaked from the roof. Seeing the dire condition of their home, the grandmother pointed at the leaks with a worried expression and said: "Whenever it rains during the monsoon season, the roof leaks and we can't cook."

Heartwarming Act of Generosity

Before the volunteers departed, the grandmother quickly fetched a "rice bag" and asked the volunteers to share this token of appreciation. Despite facing such hardships in life, the family has continued to practice the good intention of "saving one handful of rice each day" to help others. The volunteers were deeply moved by their unwavering commitment to acts of kindness. They also recognized their needs and decided to start a project to rebuild their house. They made arrangements to return and repair their home for them.

A Jing Si Aphorism says: “Giving is not a privilege of the wealthy, but rather the choice of those who have a heart.”

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To be continued...

Before the renovation -- Srijana Kahar's humble and dilapidated home. (Photo by Raj Kumar; Lumbini, Nepal; 2023/7)

Story by Goh Lam Kia, Liao Yue-Hong, Li Zhi-Chen, and Wang Yu-Chang