“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
Saroj Karki, 22, proved the statement true. Saroj Karki is the founder of Youth For Blood. Born in Jhapa, he has completed his bachelors in Mass Communication.
Four years back, Saroj friend’s Jogendra Urau’s maternal uncle was admitted to hospital. He was suffering from tuberculosis and he needed blood to be transfused within 48 hours. They tried to manage blood but could not. Fortunately, the next day Saroj met his friend Dasharath Shah who had the same blood group as Urau’s uncle and agreed to donate blood.
After this incident, Saroj decided to serve the society in a similar way. He then created a Facebook campaign named Youth for Blood to provide blood for needy. The page helped to conduct online facilitation of blood till the official registration of Youth for Blood as an NGO. Today, Youth for Blood is actively working in 13 different cities of Nepal with 1500 plus volunteers working together for this noble cause.
LIFE: An opportunity to make your presence felt.
LOVE: A symbol of humanity.
HAPPINESS:A gift after satisfaction.
MONEY: Needed it to buy livelihood but not satisfaction.
YOUTH: Packet of expectations/possibilities.
POLITICS: A way to keep country clean.
LEADER: A colleague with a vision.
BEFORE I DIE: Prove myself to the world.
1. Who is Saroj Karki for you? How do you define yourself?
For me, Saroj Karki is a normal young guy who has some dreams and wants to fulfill those dreams like every young people.
2. What hardships did you face during your journey?
I have not started my journey yet. I am just trying to find the destination to start my journey. I believe this is my hard time because society doesn’t accept any changes with ease. At the age of earning my livelihood, I, along with my team, are trying to make some significant changes in the society.
We were also blamed saying we found a new way of earning money which is absurd. Also, my family feels that I am darkening my future doing social work.
3. What is that thing which makes you motivated even at your bad times?
I am mentally prepared for what I am doing and what I have to do for making this campaign meaningful. But at times, I do feel uninspired. In such situation, I remember different faces that are the part of this journey. I think about the people who are trying to find a blood donor for their beloved ones and try to empathize with their feelings. I imagine those eyes filled with rays of hope even in such terrible circumstances. And this reminds me the value of our campaign and motivates me even at my bad times.
4.You have been leading a team of many youth, how easy or difficult was it for you to be a leader?
To lead a group of same age group is an easy task yet you need to be very sensitive too. If you are able develop we-feeling for every members of the team, you can easily lead the group. It’s important to make them feel the honorship. You need to be sensitive too as you need to understand about changing thoughts, perspectives of the team.
During this 4 years journey of Youth For Blood, there were several times when I have asked people to leave our team. Even-though, doing this is difficult, you have to make tough decision at right times otherwise because of some such people whole campaign and group could suffer. For sustainable development, you have to make tough calls at right time.
Once my friend asked me, “What type of Leader are you?” I smiled and said, “I am more a friend than a leader.”
5. Where do you see yourself after 10 years?
We run for money throughout our life but we often forget that money is only a tool to survive. I have not forgotten this. And, this makes me more clear about the next 10 or 20 years of my life.
Social service has been an integral part of my life and will be continuing to do so. I believe, I will be in some corner of my country working for the society in the upcoming years too. I am mentally and emotionally close to my soil and agriculture, also I am interested in Information Technology. Therefore, I will continue to do social service along with farming and IT related stuff.
Beside all these, I am in social work only for self-satisfaction and the time when I will not get satisfaction, I will quit.
6. What message do you like to give to fellow young people?
Don’t be frustrated if society doesn’t support you in the beginning. First, prove your ability and make yourself capable enough. No one teaches a baby to walk. It’s the baby who starts it and only the parents give their hands to support. So, you have to begin the change and development from you first. You should support yourself. Support of family, friends and other people could come eventually.
7. What is your ‘life mantra’?
I don’t believe in reading or following any quotation/saying. I believe in letting the life to flow in its own pace, in its own term. I just believe in hard labor.
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