Deeper than Water

Field Note #210


There are many recognizable faces in the Wine To Water community. Names like Roshani Karki, Jhonny Anderson, or Radhames Carela ring familiar to the ears of many involved with our organization, especially during the launch of this year's annual magazine. Although these figures serve their own great purposes in our global community, there are other names and faces behind our impact. One of these incredible behind-the-scenes team members is Abhishek Basnet, field manager of Wine To Water Nepal.

Before joining the Wine To Water team in May of 2017, Abhishek worked as a substitute teacher around Kathmandu, Nepal. In search of a new opportunity, Ahbishek found what he was looking for at just the right time. Kaushal Singh, Wine To Water Nepal’s administrative and field coordinator, had previously met Abhishek through mutual friends. Upon hearing that Abhishek was looking for something new, Kaushal reached out to Abhishek about filling a position that had just opened in the office. The rest was history.

(From left) Pavan, Yogendra, Roshani, and Abhishek.

(From left) Pavan, Yogendra, Roshani, and Abhishek.

Abhishek was thrown right into the heart of Wine To Water’s work the day after he was hired, being trusted to lead a volunteer trip with Kaushal and International Fellow Pavan Mudiam. This volunteer trip was the first of many for the trio, leading them to bond as more than just coworkers - they became brothers.

“We did everything together,” says Pavan Mudiam, now an international programs fellow in our Boone office. “I spent 10 hours of everyday with these two guys, and it was beautiful.”

Abhishek changed the dynamic for the Nepal team, providing the last piece to a puzzle that would solidify their brotherhood for the rest of their lives. But as the time was coming for Pavan to return to the states, they decided to commemorate their bond with something that would last. Inspired by the design of the previous year’s annual magazine, Abhishek, Kaushal, and Pavan all got tattoos of a single tap stand with three drops of water falling from the spigot. Each droplet contained one of their initials - a perfect, unforgettable token of their time together in Nepal.

Since his inception with Wine To Water, Abhishek has become more than a valued member of our global team. He has become family to his coworkers and the people he serves so passionately in the field.

Having grown up in the rural village of Gaighat, Abhishek finds it easy to connect with others in communities similar to his own home. He simply puts himself in their shoes.

Abhishek had been living in Raitole for an extended period of time when some of the stateside Wine To Water team came to join him. There, they witnessed the extent of how deep his connection ran with the people of the village. Abhishek could walk up to almost anyone and soon they would be laughing together with ease.

The field manager would light up when sharing community with others, especially with the village children. His business-like demeanor would vanish in the blink of an eye, replaced with expressions of animated delight.

He was like an uncle to all of these kids. I think that just comes with him living so closely with these people all the time. His interactions with village members are just so relaxed - like family.
— Pavan Mudiam

In addition to building such deep connections with members of the community, Abhishek helped lay the foundation for the empowerment of the Nepali people by assisting in the development of the Raitole Water User Committee. Serving as an outside-source, Abhishek trained many of the community leaders in management and budget procedures so that they could take full ownership of their right to clean water. With the establishment of the committee’s president, vice president, and secretary, Abhishek now acts as a consultant for the group whenever necessary.

Wine To Water is proud to have team members so dedicated to the people we serve alongside all over the globe. Abhishek is one of many leaders in our global community taking our work deeper than water. We hope you enjoy reading more of his story in this year’s annual magazine!

Carsyn Bernhardt

W|W Writing Fellow

NepalCarsyn Bernhardt