Established in 1983 by former State Council Member, Mr Siddhi Bahadur Khadgi, Kumbeshwar Technical School (KTS) is an educational and vocational training centre supporting the needs of low-income families throughout Nepal.
KTS was initially established to assist the local Pode community of street sweepers because, as a caste of untouchables, these people had been denied education and employment opportunities. The rest of society shunned them and it was virtually impossible to break free of the traditional caste occupations of street sweepers, butchers and small farmers. Kabindra Khadgi, the youngest son of the Founder Chairman, implemented the first KTS programmes in 1983. A childcare project for street cleaning workers was established, followed by adult literacy classes and a nutrition and health clinic, which included an immunisation programme.
In 1984, KTS opened a primary school and introduced a carpet weaving training programme for adults. The KTS organisation today encompasses a free nursery and primary school for 250 children and offers welfare and education for up to 25 orphan/semi-orphan children in the KTS orphanage. KTS provides vocational training for women and young men in carpet weaving, hand knitting and carpentry. KTS supports Fair Trade income-generating programmes for its producers, through the sale of high-quality Fair Trade carpets, knitwear and furniture, which fund and sustain the KTS activities. KTS also runs a day-care centre for the children of trainees, producers and staff.
KTS is managed by a seven-member Executive Committee, which makes all the policy decisions relating to the organisation. The Director of KTS has overall responsibility for policy implementation. The KTS administrative staff manage the day-to-day running of the organisation. A primary teacher committee has responsibility for the Nursery and Primary School. The administrative staff and a vocational teachers’ committee manage the Vocational School.