Monday, September 18, 2006

Bhairab Risal...we salute you!!

Today I read an interview of journalist-turned-activist Bhairav Risal, who got one of the country’s most prestigious awards, Jagadamba Shree Puraskar, which also includes a lump-sum of Rs. 200,000. That's a huge amount of money for any Nepali but not for selfless Risal. I am pretty much struck with his altruistic words.
"I am capable enough of earning my own living to sustain my life and my family, so why should I spend the money that I receive through the award on myself? Of course, if I pay back my loans with this amount, I would be relieved but I have decided not to do so. This has come to me all of a sudden. Had I not received this would my life be ruined? Definitely not… I believe if my small effort can bring a difference in society then why step back?"
I wonder there are still people like these in this world and particularly in Nepal. I am not talking about billionaires. The simple person living in Nepal, who earns enough for his family is going to donate that huge amount of money to social cause is much more than what Gates Foundation is doing, at least for me.

Risal, almost in eighties , set an ambition to bring light to Humla, the remotest, impoverished and forgotten village at extreme north-west corner of Nepal, since 2004.
"Other than for a few more kilometers of roads leading to Humla, the entire district has remained virtually unchanged for almost three decades. It still has no electricity, nor tap water and heating for homes except firewood."
Can we even imagine living in such condition?

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