The ancient Greek philosopher Plato is credited for the quote ‘necessity is the mother of all inventions’ as mentioned in his work, ‘Republic’. I have believed in the quote for long and acted upon it, as inventiveness, imagination, and ingenuity are all stimulated by difficulty.

Two of my current initiatives have been a result of carefully understanding the problems and coming up with a set of solutions. SmartPaani, a sustainable water management company, was born out of the collective difficulties we co-founders faced in getting access and regular supply to clean water. Rooster Logic, a company that does data collection, analysis, and monitoring was a response to the dearth of availability of historical and real-time data.  

Krishna is said to have told Arjuna that ‘a problem always comes with a solution, never without.’ It is for us to decipher the problem and what opportunities it presents us. The lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic – Covid 19 has shown how much we have taken mother earth for granted. We have used and abused the resources of the planet unabated, harming it so much that a major correction was required. It has taught us, humans, to reflect and contemplate our actions. 

It was a good decision to plan ahead for Division A. All our Area contests were completed before the lockdown. Our members were free to then dive into exploring the world of online meetings. The initial fear of not getting to do regular meetings gave way to an explosion of virtual meetings not limited to just clubs, but going beyond Areas, Divisions and even Districts. Solutions do come packaged neatly with challenges. 

I personally got inundated with invitations to attend multiple meetings across the region. Two of them I fondly recall. First, Kolkata Toastmasters Club led by Archita Tiwari was a beautiful meeting. The icing on the cake was a workshop by Aditya Maheshwaran. Brilliantly presented, ‘Crafting and delivering a captivating speech’ was a session to remember. Second, Joint District 41 and 98 meeting led by District PQD Nimish Joseph. It was an awesome experience to be part of 260+ online participants and to have been adjudged ‘Better Evaluator’ of the meeting. Challenges are indeed disguised opportunities. 

We, in Nepal, have been living with challenges so much that it has become our second nature to face them. Be it unstable government for 25 years after attaining Democracy, long civil war, years of 16 hours a day without electricity, and the great Gorkha earthquake. We have built patience and resilience while finding opportunities in the difficulties. 

Suman Shakya, DTM
Division A Director

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