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Tag Archive: "nepal"

Nepalese magic of leadership!

Narration by: Shariq Ali
June 6, 2011
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Dear Readers,

Being involved in Educational Workshops globally, I come across a lot of amazing people from all over the world. Our Interburns Leadership retreats and courses provide us a great opportunity to meet the real global leaders especially in lower and middle income (LMIC) countries and we mutually learn lessons of life from each other.

Shankar was one of the participant in our recently held retreat in Sylhut. There are many lessons to learn from his story.

I thought, its worth sharing it with all of you…

Dr Shankar Man Rai has established a surgical outreach team in Nepal with the help of US-based humanitarian organizations.He has helped gain treatment for more than 5,000 patients since 1992, many of them are children with cleft lips or palates or burns.

Shankar  is the son of a Nepalese army soldier and brother to four Gurkha Brigade soldiers who paid his way through school. Rai was the first in his family to receive an education as a boy. He hiked two hours every day at 6,000-foot elevations from his remote village to the nearest school.

Today, it still requires a three-day walk from his village to reach the nearest road and 18-hour bus ride to make it to Katmandu. But in the late 1970s, when Rai left home to go to college and then medical school in the Nepalese capital, he walked the entire way. It took 14 days, he says.

Shankar’s rural origins are the source of his dedication to the poor. Rai is a very modest man, but he has done incredible things in Nepal.Shankar says he spends two or three days a week visiting rural hospitals, performing surgeries and rounding up patients at clinics outside of Katmandu in 52 of the 75 Nepalese districts that remain open to travel. Because of his links with Global Humanitarian organization, Rai helps pay for the parents of postoperative children to come and stay at the district centers for extended speech and physiotherapy.

Shankar and his team are opening a small unit for Burn Care in Nepal. He has asked for the Interburns help. We are proud to help him. He along with some members of his team are due to go to Indore, our Interburns Training Centre for the SE Asia region, for a brief observational trip and training for his staff. Attached are some pics of Shankar (see above).

A mud house with a tin roof!

Narration by: Shariq Ali
June 2, 2011
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A mud house with a tin roof    

(to see Tansen Valley, Mission Hosp & Sunil Pics in Ppt click above link)

Does that mean a mud house with a tin roof? Jeena asked.

I don’t know, but may be! replied Sunil

This was the last sentence they exchanged before saying bye to each other at the end of a beautiful evening in their hometown in USA when Sunil proposed Jeena eighteen years ago.

Sunil, an US born young doctor from a christian family in USA originally from Kerala, India migrated before his birth, was in the middle of his residency in pediatrics in USA when he met Jeena first time on the suggestion of his aunt, who saw a wise harmony emerging from the common Kerala background and traditions.

He did not take long to decide and proposed her after a few short encounters. Jeena was a young civil engineer then, also born in USA in a christian family from Kerala. She was a fresh graduate from a well reputed USA university.

Immediately after proposing her, Sunil also told her about the inner feeling he had that he might receive the God`s calling sometime in future and he has to respond to that, no matter what. And the above exchange of sentences then followed.

Does that mean a mud house with a tin roof? Jeena asked ——

Jeena finally accepted his proposal with the wisdom that the calling might be for both of them together.

I recently met Sunil & Jeena when we, Interburns, visited Tansen, Nepal and provided education and consultation for the uplift of burn care unit in United Mission Hospital for a health care deprived and very poor community of Palpa District, Nepal. It was a brief visit but very insightful. I met few noble and beautiful people glowing with the inner sense of responsibility for those in need. John family is one of them.

They told me their story on our way to a local restaurant after we had a very busy and tiring day at the hospital. The hilly path of ups and downs in Tansen was accompanied by the extremely picturesque view of a green valley on the side (see pics). Their story was a good match with this path.

My accommodation in Tansen guest house was a modest room with a non mattress bed, a small unstable tripod table, and a wooden bar across the walls to hang clothes instead of any furniture.

Routine menu in the mess of guest house was boiled rice with mixed vegetable stew with occasional extravagance of Dal and only on one occasion grilled fish. The dearth of water broke my habit of daily shower

Sunil is now a senior pediatrician in United Mission Hospital and Jeena is the Civil Engineer of this hospital. They have three beautiful kids who are receiving full-time on-line education from a USA, UK and European Union approved school for Expatriates living in remote areas. The entire family was feeling depressed those days as they were planning to leave Tansen for the valid reason. It is time for the kids to start University and proper school on the main soil USA.

The John family is serving the extremely health care deprived Nepali population in a poor but very beautiful Palpa district of Nepal for the last 11 years. The working and living conditions are as hard as can be in the developing world health care setting.

For a few young couples like Sunil & Jeena, it really does not matter if it is a mud house with a tin roof as long as it is illuminated and warm with love and care and sense of social responsibility.

Unfortunately for some, if not many, a good life means living in a cold marble house with carpeted floors and chandeliers but with darkness of apathy, greed and fear.

A shift in a spiritual paradigm!

Narration by: Shariq Ali
June 1, 2011
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Drupka Monks

The terrain is tough and the weather is extremely harsh. The temperature is below freezing for most of the year. The population is not huge but scattered over a large, extremely difficult area of small multiple valleys surrounded by the largest mountains of the Himalayan range bordering Nepal, China, Tibet, India and Northern Pakistan. People live in small villages of a few hundred people living together for centuries, sharing ancient traditions that provide them with survival skills.

N+SA+with+nunsEven in this social isolation, people have their spiritual needs. This is mainly fulfilled by the travelling monks and nuns who pass through the villages while on pilgrimage to the ancient Buddhists Monasteries in the remotest of the places in the Himalayan range. Whenever the villagers come across these monks and nuns, they feed them, look after their worldly comfort and in return ask them for their Asheerbaad and spiritual blessings. These monks and nuns have left the worldly affairs to get a better Karma. Although they give their spiritual blessings to these villagers, they do not want to get involved in the physical aspect of existence and are on the journey of spiritual reincarnation.

J+Dressing+with+a+smileFor villagers, the use of open fire is essential for their survival. The fire helps them to cook and to keep them alive in the face of freezing weather. Clothing is warm but mostly loose and flowing. Houses are made up of wood and dried natural grass and shrubs. The risk of fire and burn injuries is therefore extremely high. Burn care or any other organised medical help is unimaginable. But the burn related suffering and pain is real, as real and resistant as the surrounding mountains of Himalayan range.

Shariq & MonksIs there anything one can do to minimise pain and avoid burn related suffering in this scenario? These monks and nuns have their spiritual training schools in the foothills of Himalayas. Drupka Mountain is one such Buddhist Monastery where three hundred female nuns get spiritual education and training from their spiritual masters. If these young and committed female nuns are trained in fire safety, burn prevention, first aid and basic treatment then they can impart this knowledge to those hundreds of villagers that come to meet the nuns for Asheerbaad and spiritual blessing as nuns travel for their twice yearly five hundred miles pilgrimage in the midst of the Himalayan range. Burn related suffering can be minimised by means of spreading awareness and knowledge through these monks and nuns. But this will mean a shift of a spiritual paradigm from the position of non-involvement in the worldly affairs to the active intervention in the physical world to minimise suffering. On a recent trip to the Drupka Mountain Monastery Interburns attempted to convince these nuns and their spiritual leaders to follow Interburns philosophy of achieving spiritual uplift by being involved in the act of goodness in this world and to minimise suffering by eliminating ignorance and injustice of the present world to achieve a better Karma in future. This effort and partnership will continue. Socrates once said that knowledge is goodness and negligence is evil. Interburns attempted the Socratic methodology to increase awareness and impart knowledge to achieve a spiritual paradigm shift in Nepal.

 

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