Ram’s Wheelchair Yaatra

I have been mentioning about Ram’s quest to travel in a wheelchair from the monastery in Namo Buddha to birthplace of Buddha in Lumbini.  One of the initial stages was to seek permission to commence the yaatra (the word means pilgrimage with a religious purpose) from the monastery at Namo Buddha.  We received that permission, and also received permission to end his yaatra at Lumbini.  Fantastic!  We could then start to plan his yaatra in earnest. First up is a fundraiser that we are arranging in Kathmandu on Friday March 21st.  Check it out on SIRC Facebook and also SIRC website.  The sports bar where we watched the Six Nations rugby game, is providing us with the venue free of charge.  I guess they made some money from the 30 or so rugby fans who were there that night 😉  They will also promote the event to their patrons which we are delighted with.  We already have a bunch of invite acceptances so we should get a good number attending. Our focus now is to finalize the script for Ram that he will use at the fundraiser and also at every checkpoint along the route.  Ram will tell the story of how he injured his spine, his rehab at SIRC and how his life has changed for the better since then. He will also sing the folk song he has written telling this story, and will accompany himself with the sarangi.  The sarangi in Nepal is a folk string instrument made of wood and sheep’s skin, and the sound is haunting.  It reminds me of the evocative sounds of Oliver Schroer’s Camino CD, I find the music to be spiritual.  It’s a beautiful experience to hear Ram sing his song.  We hope to make a quick movie, once we do I’ll share it with you all. Second task is to finalize the presentation that SIRC’s Community Based Rehabilitation staff member Prajwal will deliver also at every checkpoint along the route.  The presentation will be primarily used to increase awareness for SCI:  how the spine can be injured, what to do if the spine is suspected to be injured, what rehab entails and how SIRC can help.  It will be non-medical and low tech given the audience. The checkpoints along the route where both Ram and Prajwal will present, all have been defined.  We will post that schedule soon on both the website and FB page, so watch out for that. Some of you have been asking how you can donate.  So generous!  The issue is the Nepalese banking system does not support on-line donation functions, more’s the pity.  So for now I’m afraid it is direct deposit to our bank account here in Nepal.  However your bank could charge you $200 CAD or so to make the transfer of funds, so please hold off for now.   We are in the process of seeing if we can leverage a partner’s online donation function and direct the funds to SIRC.  Stay tuned for that. And if anyone is interested, Ireland play Italy in the Six Nations on Saturday 2.30pm GMT. Despite our loss 2 weeks ago, Ireland still sits at the top of the table.  It should stay this way after this weekend’s game 🙂 Go on the Boys in Green!

About Kate Coffey

After 25+ years in the investment management industry, I packed in my job and spent 2014 living and working in Nepal and Bangladesh, and visited some other places in between. It took me on a journey I did not expect, had me fall in love with Nepal and it's people, and become inspired at the work of Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) located 2 hours east of Kathmandu in the Sanga foothills. Since 2014, I have continued my warm relationship with SIRC and worked closely with my friends there in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes to date. This blog initially started out as a travelogue of sorts to keep friends and family worldwide updated while I was off on my travels in 2014. Since then it has morphed into a life story of the many places I have lived and worked and of the wonderful people I have met along the way. I hope you enjoy.
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4 Responses to Ram’s Wheelchair Yaatra

  1. Katherine says:

    Hi Kate, I send money to a Nepali bank account and my bank charges me $20 regardless of the amount I send. It was $10 for awhile but is now $20.
    Great news about Rick Hanson’s endorsement.

  2. Grace Coffey says:

    Great to hear that your support of the Boys in Green gets you a venue for a well deserved cause. Wishing you all the very best of luck – from a fundraising point of view and of course the rugby game!! Have a great weekend. gx

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