KATHMANDU, April 24: Nepal Republic Media (NRM) honored 12 individuals with Nagarik Nayak (Nagarik Heroes) Award for their exemplary works in the Nepali society amidst a ceremony organized in the capital to mark its eighth anniversary.
Among the 12, artists Shitaram Kattel (Dhurmus) and Kunjana Ghimire (Suntali), cooperative activist Phul Kumari Yonjan Shrestha and a veteran social worker Pasang Lama Sherpa aka Lama Seru shared their experiences during the program.
Following are some glimpses of their works:
The NRM honored artists Dhurmus-Suntali for their unprecedented reconstruction and rehabilitation effort in the country that suffered from devastating earthquake on April 25, 2015.
Dhurmus and Suntali were in the United States when the earthquake hit Nepal. When they came back home, they joined hands in relief efforts. By the meantime, the comedian duo realized that the country could be rebuilt through the development of integrated settlements.
The duo and their team chose Pahari settlement in Kavrepalanchowk district for the integrated development and started the construction. It took 77 days to complete the construction of 20 houses with a cost of Rs 6.7 million in the settlement. Dhurmus-Suntali received more than Rs 6 million in donation while they look after the remaining expenses.
In the second phase of their reconstruction works, Dhurmus and Suntali chose Giranchaur of Sindhupalchowk district for developing integrated settlement. Establishing Dhurmus-Suntali Foundation, they constructed 66 houses in Giranchaur investing more than 50 million. Nepalis living all over the world poured donations in the bank account of the foundation.
After completing construction at Giranchaur, the foundation had Rs 10.4 million remaining on their bank accounts.
Dhurmus and Suntali again decided to build a Mushahar settlement in Mahottari district. They again received donations. They constructed 53 houses in the poorest area of the district spending Rs 50.4 million and 95 days.
NRM said that Dhurmus and Suntali are Nagarik heroes for the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts done from the level of citizens.
Pasang Sherpa aka Lama Sheru
Pasang Sherpa, also known as Lama Sheru has been getting involved in trail construction and clean-up campaign for 32 years. He is 79 years old. However, he does not remain idle. He keeps himself busy in collecting donations for constructing trail in Khumbu.
He constructed 14 km-long trail from Dingboche to Fugithenka struggling with hills. He was also involved in the construction of 5km-long trail from Feriche to base camp.
He is currently engaged in the campaign to join Namche, Tyangboche and Dingboche. Two persons -Ram Kumar Khaling and Dambar Khaling-have been supporting him for last 10 years.
Phul Kumari Yonjan Shrestha
22 years back, Phul Kumari Yonjan Shrestha, was illiterate. It was just five years of her married life when her husband married a second woman and left her with two sons.
After she separated herself from her husband, she had to suffer social discrimination. She joined adult education training. She learned how to read. With her knowledge about Nepali alphabets, her morale increased. Then she joined women empowerment training. She did not take long time to understand that women empowerment is impossible without economic independence.
A resident of Musaharaniya-8 of Siraha district, she gathered 37 women and formed women group. She went to different offices asking for financial support with a view to increasing the women group's fund.
Later, she liked the concept of co-operative. She decided to take initiative in establishing a co-operative with the help of the 37 members who joined her in forming Women Group. Some of her colleagues did not have citizenship certificates. She had to face obstacles from their husband as they tried to get citizenship certificate. However, they finally succeeded in getting it. After winning a small certificate war, they established Buddha Cooperative Institution.
They started saving money in the cooperative. They set limit on the amount of unproductive expenses. The cooperative created positive impact in the society. Now, the total number of the members of the cooperative has reached more than 2300. Annual transactions of the cooperative now exceed Rs 250 million.