Kumbheswor Technical School (KTS) located on the edge of the boundary of the old city of Patan is where Newari speaking castes live including the pode (traditionally the sweepers) community that occupies the lowest rank. Its members are deprived of education and even access to religious activities. Their living conditions are characterised by poor economic conditions. In spite of the religious importance of the Kumbheswor Temple, the place was lacking sanitation and drainage facilities, thus making the overall surroundings uncongenial.
The founder president of the Kumbheswor Technical School, Former State Council member, MR. Siddhi Bahadur Khadgi lived and raised his family in this place and saw the immediate need for the development of the area. He took up the challenge and launched and education programme for the pode community. The initiative started with a day-care centre for pode women who used to carry their children on their backs as they swept the streets. Subsequently, the Centre was restructured and named Kumbheswor Technical School in 1983 to assist the socially and economically deprived pode community and other low income people. The school was registered in 1987 with HMG, Ministry of Education and as an NGO, and with the Social Welfare Council and the Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training.
KTS at present is providing free education at nursery and primary school levels and skill training for poor young boys and girls, destitute women, and the disabled. Craft production and marketing are being run as an income generation programme to support school activities and provide employment to its trainees.
The three main products of the school are knitwear, carpets, and furniture. Knitwear and carpets are mostly exported and furniture is being sold locally. The school has a showroom within its premises. Some of the knitwear is sold locally through other FTG members such as Sana Hastakala and Mahaguthi. Though product sales locally began in 1986, products were first exported to in 1989.
Member Organisation of Fair Trade Group, Nepal
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