Quanta D : Welcome to a Quanta D interview and the 1st edition of ’In The Business of Community.’ We’ve got a very special guest today, we are pleased to have someone so unique that agreed to sit and speak with us. She is a community, business and social innovator, working to increase awareness of societal issues and the need for positive changes in her home country of Nepal. With a big heart and high creativity in business and organizational savvy, her work continues to solve problems existing in Nepal and begins to gain world-wide attention for the potential to tackle an array of issues from environmental, health, education and jobs that plague the world-wide community as we know it. We are grateful that she is not only available but is able to speak with Quanta D. during such a trying time of earthquake relief efforts underway after the catastrophic Nepal earthquake of 2015. It is an honor to present to you, straight from Nepal, Beni Rani Ghale Creator & Owner of Beni Handcrafts Pvt Ltd & Steps Foundation Nepal. A grand welcome and thank you for being the first story of Quanta D‘s ‘In the Business of Community,’ Beni, how are you? Namaste.
Beni Ghale: Namaste. Hello Quanta D, I’m fine, thank you.
Quanta D: We are so happy to have you here.
Beni Ghale: Oh yes, thank you. I am now in Kathmandu, Nepal and I would like to introduce myself and tell a little bit about what I am doing, what I want to do and what I am going to do. It is a long story.
Quanta D: Beni, that is exactly what we want to know. Please share with us, are you originally from Kathmandu?
Beni Ghale: No, I am originally from another area far outside of Kathmandu. It is place called Dhading district, Tipling Village, which is 4 days away from here, 1 day by public bus travel and 3 days by walk. Still, we have to walk, no transportation, no roads for transportation and not a lot of communications. We have one iPhone that broke so now we have it repaired and now we’re able to talk to people in the village. And yes, it is very far from here.
Quanta D: Wow. What a really long time to get home. You are pretty determined. I think it’s safe to state that is something most people would not be able to handle on a regular basis. So please tell us, what is it that is so extraordinary about Beni Handcrafts that have tourists traveling into Nepal talking and trying to help you? We’ve gotten to see some of the products, marvelous and practical in so many ways they are. But here is the kicker, is it true that the Beni Handcrafts are made from rubbish? Garbage, trash?
Beni Ghale: Yes yes, this is true. It’s all made from recycled trash. We use the garbage to make nice recycled products.
Quanta D: How did this idea come about? Beni Handcrafts Pvt Lmtd is your creation, correct?
Beni Ghale: Yes.
Quanta D: So what made you decide to take trash and create such highly practical treasures? What struck you to make you want to do this? When did this happen? We have to ask because this is not something to come across the news everyday or often. How many people look at their garbage and begin to think and strum up the idea that they will now take this trash and make stylish fashions to wear and decorative practical items for their homes? Please tell us, how did all of this start for you?
Beni Ghale: Yes, thank you. When and how we started and why we started and what we are doing is a long story.
Quanta D: Beni, because what you do is important to us and may be to many others, we welcome the story of Beni Rani Ghale and the Beni Handcrafts.
Beni Ghale: I am Beni Rani Ghale, from a place in Dhading district of Nepal called Tipling Village. There are many people from my village area, there are 7 villages that I have been giving work. Before that, I was a Midwife, I got the Natural Child-Birth training from the Nepali government and I also worked as a Social Worker, involving 5 years in Social Work in Tipling Village and the surrounding 7 villages. My Social Work involves doing work for Women’s Health, Child-Birth, and talking about sanitary pads to women and girls who have never used one and never heard of one in their life. We are having lots of children and having lots of problems having children and dying and disease, many things. And so, many people call me Doctor, I am not the Doctor, I was just the Midwife working there. And then after that, I got sponsored for my studies and I came to Kathmandu. I would still go to my villages helping people while still studying in Kathmandu. I have now started income positions work in Kathmandu which is we were collecting all of the trash like wrappers, old silk sari, twisters, plastics and then we wash it and cutting and wrapping. After this process, we are making baskets, purses, different kinds of bags, Christmas ornaments, hats, belts, jewelry. This helps the problem of the trash and also for the women to have income positions work for surviving in their life and to provide a future for their children. So, with the Beni Handcrafts products, which is a company that is uh registered under the Nepali government, this company is giving jobs for the people to work, to allow the children to go to school and gives women skills and women’s empowerment. All of these things I created to give my community the resources to have a better future. We now have a charity called Steps Foundation Nepal, this is a organization that I am running. Beni Handcrafts is still training the women for income positions and Steps Foundation Nepal that is helping with many programs to assist with resources and programs like Women’s Health. Like last year, I did workshops for making the women’s sanitary pads which are washable, comfortable and good for women’s health.