In Sanskrit, Bodhisattva literally means ‘an enlightened being’. However, traditionally Bodhisattva has been used to refer to anyone motivated by great compassion. Bodhisattvas in Action (BIA) is a social non-government organization founded by Chogyal Rinpoche in 2014 to help the people with disabilities and underprivileged individuals.
BIA firmly believes that there is nothing people with disabilities cannot do if they have the will and proper support provided to them. The foundation has provided handicraft training to around 150 people with disabilities through which they can learn skills as per their interest without having to pay any training fee. About 50 people, whose home-towns are out of Kathmandu valley, are provided hostel facility including both accommodation and food without any fees charged.
The organization aims to extend beyond the provision of initial support to generate employment opportunities for the disabled in the society. From working at national and international level, sustainable projects are created to benefit disabled people in Nepal.
Currently there are twelve different institutes run by the disabled people in Nepal under BIA Foundation: Thangka Painting Institute, Applique Thangka Art, Tailoring Institute, Organic Farm, Bamboo Handicraft Institute, Wood Carving Institute, Mala Institute, Incense Institute, Metal Statue Institute, Carpet Weaving Institute, Art Therapy Institute, Dhaka Institute.
These institutes play a crucial role to therapeutically help the students. For example, Thangkas have a therapeutic effect and requires much focus, time and energy. With thangka painting at BIA Foundation wheelchair users get the opportunity to sit in a single place and immerse into the art like a meditation, while at the same time earn their independent living and create future prospects.
The finished products by the students are carefully and exquisitely put on display at BIA Handicraft Showroom (also, exclusively available at nepalko.shop). The profits from sale of each BIA product goes to improve the living conditions of the students at BIA hostel and to buy new set of wheels for the wheelchairs.