To progress:  an interview

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Mr. Toya,
the “Gurka soldier of Education”. 
Photo here and below, courtesy, Kaz

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IN this special interview with our good friend in Nepal, Mr. Toya, we learned some of the secrets of success to be found in  his lofty mountain village. While Nepal is often portrayed as a country needing help, rather than creating its own solutions, for several years now students in Nangi have been enjoying English lessons via the internet, room lights from simple liter water bottles (see here) and electricity from solar panels. Now they’re using homemade drones to get needed supplies to the village. We asked Toya to tell us how it’s all been possible.

InterestEng: Toya, Nangi is becoming famous! You are doing many innovative things. Please tell us your secret. What makes the people of Nangi so successful?

Mr. Toya: First, thank you very much for giving me a great chance to be interviewed.  Nangi has many facilities, like a good education center, including computer education, health services and other things. The people of Nangi are always aware of the progress of Nangi. They are also aware of the future of the new generation of young people in Nangi. As a result, they constantly look for new ideas of how to become a strong, independent com- munity. People work very hard here. They respect each others’ work and they have a very good sense of coordination and co-operation.

InterestEng:  But tell me, Toya, how did all these wonderful things start in Nangi? After all, there are many villages in Nepal that do not have these things. Your village is so progressive. What makes it different from other villages?

Mr. Toya: To make a developed community, someone should lead. If a community has good, honest, visionary and qualified leaders, then it does not take a long time to change and improve life. We have a true socially innovative leader in Nepal, Dr. Mahabir Pun, who has wonderful vision and ideas to change communities. (See a remarkable video about Dr. Pun here. It is truly a must see.)  So when he came here and shared his ideas, the people of Nangi followed him and we did all these things.

InterestEng: I learned that recently you tested a drone! Could you tell me about that? Was the test successful? How will Nangi use drones?

Home grown drones

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In these photos you can see the drones being tested. In the last photo you see the drone head- ing towards Ramche, a village across the valley from Nangi. 

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Mr. Toya:  I am very glad to tell you about the drone we tested. You know that Nepal is a very mountainous country. We have a problem with transportation because of the mountains. We have a hospital in Nangi, for example, but if someone wants to come to Nangi for testing, it takes one to two hours to hike to Nangi from the nearest village. We have health clinics in other areas, but they are also remote. Drones will help to bring medical tests (like urine or blood samples) from different clinics and then we will be able to deliver medicine from our hospital to different clinics in a short amount of time. As a result, people will be able to get health services quickly.

InterestEng:  Finally, please tell me a little about you! You are very humble and do not talk about yourself, but we would like to know more about you. How long have you worked in Nangi? Tell us some of the things you do.  

Mr. Toya:  Thank you for this question. I have an interesting history up to today. I was from a poor family. It was very hard to look after big family for my parents. My parents worked every day for my future. They were worried about my education and future. I am lucky that I was able to study. When I went to Nangi School I got the opportunity to follow a great person, Mahabir Pun. I was inspired by his ideas and work. When I finished my school and went to Pokhara for my further studies, I got more and different kinds of support from Mahabir, from the school in Pokhara and from my teachers. I was offered many opportunities in Pokhara but I came back to Nangi carrying with me dreams to change Nangi. So I have been teaching here at the Himanchal Secondary School for 12 years. I am very happy to add one step of stone on the path of Mahabir’s mission to lift up Nepal. 


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Dr. Pun is in the center of the photo wearing the blue vest.

 ©InterestEng. July 2013  §  The stories in the magazine portion of the site are written by English language learners. Stories are corrected by a native English speaker.  § Photos are staff or used with permission.  §  To contact us:  go.gently.on@gmail.com