Saturday, November 12, 2016

A volunteering experience in Nepal which changed my life

On April 25th, Nepal, a peaceful nation on the north western border of India, was hit by a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake killing over 8700 people and injuring 22000 others.

Well I quit my job (worked for 55 days at a god awful company) in that week and joined my friend Somesh to volunteer in Nepal with an organization called All Hands Volunteers. Little did I know that in a short period of 3 weeks, my entire life would be changed.

I bought a cool new backpack (well atleast I thought so :p ) after hours of comparing prices at Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon. We were told that a bed might be difficult to find so we should be well prepared to set up a tent. I got a tent, mosquito repellents, medicines, creams, extra medicines, emergency medicines and a whole lot of other unnecessary stuff. Stuffed all of that in my 70 litre backpack and got on a flight to Nepal on the 15th June, 2015 with Somesh (my friend from paragraph 2 :p).

AHV had a hostel where nearly 50 people stayed in a district called Thamel in Kathmandu. We stayed at the Famous House Kathmandu Youth Hostel. There were people from literally all over the world who had come to volunteer. The energy of the place was vividly outstanding. The hostel was a community in the truest sense. We worked together from 7-5, ate together, lived together, danced and sang together. Often times got drunk together. The atmosphere and the positive culture slowly started to affect me for the positive. Within a few days I had managed to make a dozen new friends from Spain, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Hong Kong, France, America, Nepal and a few more countries. It was insane. I had never met people who cared so deeply, had zero negativity and no judgment whatsoever. It was refreshingly new.

In those three weeks, we build schools for children which had been destroyed due to the earthquake, cleared rubble from the collapsed structures and constructed community centres for mass housing. The damage created was overwhelming and so we worked tirelessly for 6 days in a week to help anyone in need. Starting our work from 7 in the morning from loading our trucks and vehicles with necessary equipment to working through the scorching heat (I got a pretty bad sunburn) till 5 in the evening, it was tough manual labor but the most rewarding. We all felt a strong sense of pride and accomplishment of having helped people and that’s what kept us going every day. The Nepalese all along were extremely cooperative and genuinely respected our efforts and more often than not, worked alongside us during these tough times.

Our organization since then has built over 100 homes, cleared 683 homes of debris, provided 32 permanent classrooms,  29 learning centres providing over 5000 young kids with safe learning environment and above all, the volunteers through their sheer hard work and will managed to bring back hope and belief in the people of Nepal.

We were put up in Thamel, a tourist Hot Spot. It’s filled with amazing restaurants, clubs and cafes. Every Saturday we used to go out and take a little break. One of my favourite places and the most frequent ones that we used to visit was Zebro’s. Live music, great ambiance and good food. This is a MUST go. Trust me you will not be disappointed. If you are more into rocking your head with amidst a crowd of 200 people, Purple Haze Rock Bar. Live performances by some really good bands really get you going. Pizza is like my staple diet so we found an amazing place called the Road House Cafe. Their pizza will give you a foodgasm. OR2K and Tom and Jerry's are definitely some of the places you should also visit. Superb collection of alcohol, hookahs and live music.

During this little adventure of mine I had spent almost no time on the Internet browsing through baseless news feeds but actually lived in the moment. Met a bunch of new people, made some lifelong friendships. It was surreal. And just when I came close to my final days in Nepal, something began to dawn upon me. Memories and experiences are all that are going to matter in the end. People form the very basis of any society and to have the freedom and power to meet new people, have amazing experiences with them and to create new memories is essentially what life is all about. Nepal, the people, their culture changed my perceptions towards a range of things.

So, when I got back to India I carried with me beautiful memories and an uncontrollable urge to give people the power to be a part of such experiences. And so, Worlzen was born. Worlzen is a World Citizen, a person just like you and me, having the belief of a One World where people are free to have unbound experiences and limitless memories. We have been testing our tool (web application) for a while since March 2016 and have now set out an audacious task to deliver a near perfect solution which would help people to meet NEW individuals from all over the world in the most seamless way possible.

Feel free to check out our blogs at or follow us on Medium at @worlzen
Should this idea intrigue you, you can sign up here to get an early access to our beta version.
 (It’s free :) )

We are also constantly updating news on our current progress at Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Do check it out.

Should you find yourself planning a trip to Nepal, I’m super reachable at to help you out in any way.


A typical Saturday night in Zibro’s

With the gang and kids after rebuilding a school.

Building Temporary Learning Centres

Building Temporary Learning Centres

Last Breakfast at Phath kath - Great place and good food

Happiness after finishing our last TLC site

About the Author

Aakash Khatri

He is an entrepreneur, a traveler and an AR enthusiast. He loves meeting new people and having new experiences.He has been working on the concept of Worlzen for over a year now and that is definitely what he wants to do for the rest of his life too.