If anybody would ask me what’s the best thing that has ever happened to me, without giving a second thought I would always say it’s the Samaanta fellowship.

When I got selected for the fellowship, it was the greatest feeling ever. I felt blessed and realized that it is a great opportunity for me to complete my studies. As I belong to a lower-middle-class family, my parents couldn’t afford to send me to a good college to continue my further studies. Both my mom and dad are farmers and it has been tough for them to look after my differently-abled brothers and me. My parents had already gone through many hardships, so I never wanted my study to be an extra burden for them. When I came to know that I was selected as a fellow in the Samaanta Foundation, I  was very relieved. I felt the excitement that I never felt before.

When I was informed that I had to stay in a hostel, I started having several thoughts in my mind. I had imagined it to be like a school hostel where we need to follow very strict rules, we won’t be allowed to use our mobile phones, and we would have a strict schedule for our studies,  breakfast, dinner and sleeping, but it is not how I had visualized. There are a few rules that we need to follow, but I also got to experience the homely environment and I got a new family whom I can trust and rely on. I was always expecting someone who could guide me as a guardian and I met all my expectations after I joined Samaanta.

The best thing about Samaanta is that it not only focuses on the studies but it also emphasizes getting involved in extra activities and it helps us to be our best version. Samaanta conducts different programs frequently. It has been almost a year and we have attended different programs like, sessions on emotional literacy, reproductive health, fellow led programs and other entertaining sessions. Among these sessions, emotional literacy was one of the most interesting sessions for me. From the session, I learned about the ways to control our emotions and it gave me the life lesson of how one could manage problems in a better way.

I am a person who does not believe in a judgmental environment where you cannot express yourselves freely. I have faced such situations in my life which were very uncomfortable for me. I never wanted to experience such an environment again and luckily, Samaanta is different and I am glad that my opinions, intentions, and ideas are appreciated here by hearing me out, and sharing each other’s experiences and learnings.

It is obvious that it’s quite difficult for everyone to settle in a new environment far away from home between unknown people and the same thing happened to me. It was a little hard for me to open up for a few days because I could not find my family members around me and my loneliness was overshadowing me. It was not an easy task for me to cope with the new environment because of this, I had many physical challenges such as body aches, eye problems, fever etc. I  still remember the first day of my college; it was tough for me to come across a new world, and get friendly with my new teachers, and friends at college. Academically, English was my biggest challenge. I studied in a government school where we didn’t have many opportunities to learn in English but now in college, everything is to be studied in English. I am doing my best to improve it by reading books suggested by our seniors, sometimes by having conversations in English at hostel, by listening to some audiobooks and so on. More than that, the friendly environment and all the love and care helped me heal from all those physical and mental challenges within a very short time.

It’s already been a year at Samaaanta and I just came to realize now, how fast the time flies. 

Now the time has also come when our new members, that are the 11th cohort, are going to be part of our Samaanta family. I would like to tell all the new fellows not to worry about the new environment that they are going to face because we are always there for you. I will be honest, emotionally, it will be a difficult path for you for the first time because you will miss your family and everything but no worries, everyone here will be a part of your new family. Be strong and have faith in yourself to adjust here and learn tons of new things. Here you should be responsible, committed to be a fruitful member of Samaanta.

At the beginning, things might not go as you plan, but seniors will always be there whenever you need them.  As I mentioned above, learning in English will be a little difficult at first, but no worries, Samaanta will provide English classes and our seniors are always there to help you out.

Samaanta’s journey is something I could never end up speaking off. It is almost impossible to reflect them in a few pages. Memories and experiences I have gained to the date are motivating enough to make my life meaningful. I  am very much grateful to the whole Samaanta family for always standing out there for me and helping me to spread my wings to chase my dreams.

-Dila KC (10th Cohort)