Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari addressing a public function at Chuwandanda in Aathrai of Tehrathum on Wednesday shortly before the helicopter accident, which killed him and six others. Photo: Republica
POKHARA, Feb 28: Residents of Kaski district remember Tourism Minister Rabindra Adhikari for his warm and cheerful personality. Following his untimely demise in a helicopter crash on Wednesday, locals said he will always be remembered as a much-loved leader who touched the heart of youths and the older generation alike.
“He had a cheerful face and was always full of vigor. He was always smiling and we could never find a negative trace on his face,” said Bharatraj Parajuli, immediate past chairman of Paschimanchal Hotel Association.
Adhikari hardly missed any tourism-related function in Pokhara. He was there just three days ago to participate in one such function.
Those who have interacted with Adhikari also praised his ability to exercise influence on others. “He was a strong influence in the ongoing construction of Pokhara International Airport. I could not think of anybody who contributed to that work as much as he did,” said Parajuli.
Tourism entrepreneur Biplav Paudel, who is also a member of Nepal Tourism Board, had met Adhikari just three days ago in Pokhara. Recalling that Adhikari talked mostly about tourism development during the meeting, Paudel praised his dedication to the tourism industry.
At one of the tourism functions organized in Pokhara, Adhikari had stated that other cities are overtaking the lake-city as a tourism hub and urged stakeholders to be more proactive in tourism development there.
Kedarnath Sharma, immediate past chair of Pokhara Tourism Council, said Adhikari was a very promising leader in tourism development. “He played a big role in the development of Pokhara’s regional airport, the operation of the closed airport and the development of air services. It feels like we have lost a star.”
Likewise, Gandaki Province lawmaker Rajiv Pahari recalled Adhikari as a man of honesty who worked tirelessly for tourism.
The late Adhikari was born on May 4, 1969 in Jamunabot of Kaski district to father Indra Prasad and mother Laxmi. He was the eldest among two brothers and a sister.
His wife Bidya and two sons are currently living in Kathmandu and his parents in Pokhara. They are all currently in Kathmandu after learning of the air crash.
He completed his School Leaving Certificate from Udaya High School in his native village in 1985 and went to Pokhara-based Prithvi Narayan Campus. That was where his political career started.