Dear Ama Foundation supporters, family & friends,
“Dhanya chhau Ama timi
Dhanya chhau Ama Tika,
din, dukhi, ashaye balbalika ko saathi
Ama, timro naam ma
(Oh Ama, you are blessed
you are blessed Ama Tika,
AmaGhar, home for suffering,
destitute, and helpless children
will remain eternal in your name.)
With this poem, on the 13th day of Ama Tika’s passage, we celebrated her life among 150 close family and friends at AmaGhar. It was a beautiful sunny evening with backdrop view of the Himalayas, AmaGhar’s oldest son Biratjan and youngest son Santosh lightened the alter with their heartfelt memory of Ama Tika to start the program.
NYOF’s founder, Olga didi gave a moving speech on close relationship with Ama — “In memory of one the dearest, most generous and interesting women of Nepal. Tika was my good friend and someone I admired as much as anyone I know for her compassion, loving kindness, and always cheerful disposition. I will miss her.”
AmaGhar Chairwoman Vijaya KC highlighted the success of this program due to Ama’s unselfish daily presence at AmaGhar for the development of our program. She left her home to live with all of us while she was healthy. Ms. KC promised to follow her footsteps to take this program to the next level and sustain this program for many years to come.
Our office administrator, Bhesh Nepali also gave a very moving speech in her memory.
I highlighted her life. Ama Tika gave me that unconditional motherly love when I was only 18, during the darkest time of my life. Ama Tika met the great Mahatma Gandhi as a teenager at a train station in Patna. She also enjoyed meeting the Dalai Lama in Dharmashala in 1981. She was instrumental in helping the establishment the Missionaries of Charities in Nepal, thus connecting with St. Mother Teresa. She was among five pancha kanyas welcoming Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgey Sherpa after their first climb to Mt. Everest. She was among the first Nepali women to work in office after Nepal was opened for the West in 1952. Wow, what an amazing life she lived!
As a living person, she practiced all religion — Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity. In her memory, I did a holy dipping at Godavari kund and shaved my head to follow her footsteps as a Hindu and did Gaudan with a Brahmin. We also had a Buddhist ceremony with the help of a local Bhante and put new prayer flags. Lisa Katayama and Jenny Fung, who after completing two weeks volunteering at AmaGhar, had a special prayer ceremony at the Kopan Monastery. I also stopped by to pray for Ama at Ama’s favorite church at Jawalakhel. Our children’s music band, AG Band, paid their tribute with a AmaGhar theme song, “Swarga bhanda pyaro chha haami lai haamro AmaGhar…”
Presence among Ama’s family members were —Ama’s youngest sister Buddha Kumari Rai, god-daughter Neeru Basnett, Ama’s second sister’s daughter Meekha Mathema, Ama’s daughter in-law Ganga Basnett, and Ama’s younger brother’s son Agnesh Singh. And the majority of our board members were present.
All the guests enjoyed rice-pudding, puri bread, radish and peas achar, golbheda achar, potato and cauliflower curry, curd, rasvari, banana and cup of tea, prepared by our housemothers and oldest daughters in Ama’s name. Image Channel, Kathmandu based television interviewed on AmaGhar on this occasion. I had a chance to promote AmaGhar story highlighting Ama Tika’s passage.
I celebrate Ama Tika’s life. Her passage truly is end of an era. I will follow her footsteps, and will continue to make a difference in the most underprivileged children of my beloved homeland Nepal.
Please feel free to donate to Ama Foundation in honor of the Ama Tika Memorial Fund.
Ama Ghar Founder