Nangi Village, where MAHABIR PUN was born, rests high in the Himalayan foothills of western Nepal. Nepal is a land of diversity. There are still so many places and villages where just dreaming to reach is a nightmare. It would take around weeks of walking to reach those places. Despite its remoteness and inaccessibility to the outer world, some son of tiger dares to dream big and makes it happen.
There is a village in western Nepal called Nangi. Though it takes around several days of walk to reach that village from the main road connecting different districts in the country, people out there are communicating with the world outside. It’s all because of Wireless Internet and the son of Nepal who made it happen is non-other than ex-Gurkha’s son Mahabir Pun.
Mahabir Pun first dreamed of connecting his village of Nangi to the internet in 1997 and has been working ever since to bring the internet to rural Nepal. Mahabir was born in Nangi and completed his primary education there.
After working as a teacher for several years, he completed a master’s degree in education at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Mahabir has constructed computer labs at several schools in the area and planned out the entire Nepal Wireless network. He plans to continue to expand access in the future.
What started as a venture only for his locality has now become a nationwide project. People hugely benefitted from his projects. Now, his project is directed toward connecting all the remote areas of the country.
I read in one interview that people are greatly affected by the boon he brought. Villagers can now make telephone calls, telemedicine is working fine, and the exchange of ideas and information is all possible. Some dying people got a new life because of telemedicine where a doctor prescribes medicine from another end.
He is a very down-to-earth person and a very ordinary-looking guy who induced big donors like Bill Gates to donate to the development of remote villages, Information Technology, and the living standard of poor Nepalese who are forced to live under the poverty line.
I’m touched because of the way he conveys his messages and knows his virtuous intentions. He is a very deliberate person that I came to know when he made computers for the schools he opened in his villages. He made computers operate by assembling parts from the debris of computer wastes. He made wooden casings for those motherboards and other circuitries to remain in a single box. So many westerners are amazed by his efforts and admiration for his noble cause. He taught basic computers to poor people for free.
Therefore, we all Nepalese felt very honored when Mahabir Pun was awarded The 2007 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership. He deserves this honor. But, he thinks it’s too early for him to get this award (though he doesn’t expect any award or his efforts were not award-motivated) since he still has so many achievements to get.
Whatever, I like to thank him and pray to god and wish him (from all of us, proud Nepalese) the best of luck in all his endeavors.
Mahabir Pun, you are the true Humanitarian, and our country Nepal needs people like you. You are the real son of Nepal. And Congratulation to Magsaysay Awardee.
Established in 1957, the Ramon Magsaysay Award is Asia’s highest honor and is widely regarded as the region’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize. It celebrates the memory and leadership example of the third Philippine President and is given every year to individuals or organizations in Asia who manifest the same sense of selfless service that ruled the life of the late and beloved Filipino leader.
To know more about Mahabir Pun, follow this link.