April 25, 2015. What started out as a day like any other soon turned into a disaster that came to mark tragedy for the Nepalis, and regardless of how bygone the day gets, Nepali hearts will always shudder from the aftershocks of its memories. It was a normal Saturday morning, almost noon, when an earthquake, perhaps the most devastating ever recorded in the country, struck Nepal. The earthquake wreaked havoc, culminating in the death of nine thousand innocent lives. Social media was flooded with miserable photos of young innocent children trapped in clumsy labyrinths of concrete slabs and bricks.
Meanwhile, two eleven-year-olds twins; Yugottam and Yugeshwor Koirala, were at home when the disaster struck. The two boys, already scandalized by the whole episode, articulated their sympathy and sorrow for those victimized children and requested to donate savings from their piggy-bank that amounted to 275 USD for immediate relief. In the backdrop of the immense adversity the nation was going through, they knew their modest contribution may not be far-reaching, but it is their willingness to help that marks the beginning of this foundation.
After a series of discussions, a permanent arrangement was made to provide support institutionally by collecting and mobilizing donations from intimate relatives and family friends. With this objective, the Punyaarjan Foundation, an organization registered with the Nepal government was established as a non-profit, non-governmental organization.
A 6-year old left deserted in the rubbles post-earthquake. The photo that got the Punyaarjan Foundation off ground.
From a very early age, we saw and learnt that there is no greater satisfaction than what one receives by helping another. In our tradition, as in any other tradition around the world, it is common belief that the kindness we spread always has a way of coming back to us—in ways that we can not even begin to understand. We believe that each hand that is lent to those in need yields immense fulfillment, or as we call it, 'Punya'. Meanwhile, 'Aarjan' is to earn. So, earning Punya is the essence of our foundation. In giving what you can, you receive more than what you ever imagined.