Meet our Fellows

Bikram Bista (Bachelors in Social Work, Thames College)

Bikram Bista (Bachelors in Social Work, Thames College)

Fifth Cohort

Bikram is from Rolpa, a district in the midwestern hills which was once the center of the Maoist insurgency. He is the eldest of seven children. Life was difficult during the insurgency, and many of his friends dropped out of school to migrate to India to look for odd jobs to make ends meet.

When he was 12 and had completed Year 6, his parents sent him to live with some family friends in Lalitpur so that he could have access to better schools. In return for the lodging, he was expected to do housework and chores during mornings and evenings, which limited the amount of time he had available to study. Even though he was living far from his family and had to do many chores, this experience taught him resilience and entrenched in him the value of higher education.

Bikram completed his year 10 exams with distinction and was the top student in his graduating class when he was selected for the Samaanta fellowship. His transition from Rolpa to Lalitpur and now as a Samaanta fellow in Kathmandu have only solidified his determination to complete his higher education and contribute back to the society.

While Bikram had initially aspired to become a banker, his interest has now turned to social work, and is pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in social work at Thames College. He believes that such a degree will allow him a deeper understanding of issues that affect his community, including lack of access to higher education, gender-bias and child marriage and lack of unemployment opportunities.