After returning from Upper Mustang trip, 69-year-old Dr. Luc Beaucourt, was excited to share his tour to Lo Manthang. Astonished by its breathtaking landscape, he said, "It was a difficult trip indeed, but worth taking." He recalled his journey to Upper Mustang as very adventurous and memorable. Permit fee of US$ 500 seems a little expensive, reducing it may attract more tourists to such a wonderful trans-Himalayan region, he suggested. Beaucourt along with a group of 15 tourists from Belgium has visited Nepal recently for a holiday trip organized by Beyond the Limit, a trekking operator in Kathmandu.
The earthquake and his first visit to Nepal
Dr Beaucourt, a retired medical director from University Hospital, Antwerp in Belgium, first came to Nepal after the earthquake in 2015 and then his affection with the Himalayan nation embarked. He could not stay quiet as the news of M7.8 earthquake in Nepal spread worldwide.He was eager to visit Nepal to utilize his experiences gained from working in disaster-hit countries like Haiti, Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Myanmar since 1994. In coordination with Lok Dahal, a Nepali businessman and General Secretary of NRNA-Belgium, he arrived in Nepal with a technical team and medical equipment just six weeks after the M7.8 earthquake devastated Nepal on April 25, 2015.
Without wasting much time, they headed to rural area of Budhathum-7, in Dhading district, where they helped 132 households providing emergency medical treatment and food stuffs, and built water tank, facilitated resumption of two schools and set up medical camp. After returning back to Belgium, he started raising more money to build schools in Budhathum and Baseri. The team also distributed food stuffs like rice, oil, pulses, salt and galvanized tin roof.
He still remembers an interesting story of evacuating a 60% burnt Raute boy, Kapil Shahi, who was brought to Kathmandu for further treatment in the Trauma Center from a remote village of Bajhang, far-western district of Nepal.
"It was very hard to convince Raute King to bring the boy for further medical treatment," shared Beaucourt. He was greatly surprised by indigenous Raute people preferring rice and male goat for their festival instead of medical treatment. The team with Lok Dahal further helped Raute community with rice, dal, salt, and two male goats for meat.
Dahal remembered how his restaurant, Sushi King in Belgium made a sale of 11,000 euros a day, after news reports about his plan to donate one-day sale to the earthquake victims in Nepal were published.
A team of four persons including Dahal and Beaucourt visited Nepal for relief programs. They funded purchase of lands for two schools - Mahalaxmi Secondary School and Shivalaya Secondary School.
The team also provided essentials like rice, pulse, oil, salt, soap and others to the quake-affected people of Deurali , Runchet-Kerauja and Bhirkuna of Gorkha district.
Since then, they have visited Nepal several times, mainly with assistance programs to various rural parts of Nepal. They still have school projects in pipeline that are scheduled to be completed next year.
Asked about his future plans, Beaucourt said he will first complete school projects in Budhathum and Baseri, and then hand over them the locals soon. He also wants to come back to Lo Manthang next April with medicines and doctors to run medical camp if locals need. He handed job to Saroj Nepuane and Pema Norbu Lama to keep him updates about local needs.
Beaucourt says he will spend his retired life contributing in the field of education, medicines, school construction in remote and needy areas in Nepal. "And off course, continue to promote Nepal's tourism back home," he gently smiles.
International conference on ARFF kicks off
An international conference on 'Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF)' has begun in the capital Wednesday. ARFF America and Nepal Rescue and Fighters' Association have jointly organized the conference under the slogan 'Aviation Growth, Challenge and ARFF Dynamics'. Discussion would be held on the issue of safe air transport service in the two-day conference.
Preparation afoot to bring back rhinos swept away by flood
Preparations are underway to bring back the endangered one-horn rhinos that were swept away or dislocated to various places in the country and bordering India by the recent floods.
- Relief materials distributed to 500 Saptari flood-hit families
- Bharatpur, Narayangadh declared no-horn zone
Flights in Tenzing-Hillary Airport disrupted for past 8 days
Flights to and from Tenzing-Hillary Airport at Lukla in Solukhumbu district have been disrupted for the past eight days, leaving hundreds of tourists stranded.
Effect of monetary policy on risk, stability and financial crises
The crisis of 2008–09 has reignited a new interest in understanding money and credit fluctuations in the macro economy, and the crucial roles they could play in the amplification, propagation, and generation of shocks both in normal times and, even more so, in times of financial distress. This may reopen a number of fundamental fault lines in modern macroeconomic thinking between theories that treat the financial system as irrelevant, or, at least, not central to the understanding of economic outcomes, and those that reserve a central role for financial intermediation.
Air pollution control measures for Kathmandu Valley
According to the World Air Quality Index website, Air quality index of Ratnapark, Kathmandu was 158 on April 22 which is unhealthy. This means children and people with respiratory diseases should avoid outdoor exertion at this pollution level. If this quantity increases to more than 300, air quality level is considered as hazardous which means everyone should avoid outdoor exertion.
The return trip
It took us over five hours, drenched in rain, walking through treacherous ratomato sluggishly. It should not have taken more than two hours in a normal day. It was the cruellest irony that no sooner did we reach Panchkhal and sat at the Pipal Chautari to rest, than the bus we had left behind, arrived with people in the bus bursting with laughter on seeing us.
Prospects for Nepali talents in the Diaspora
When Indu, a Nepali American teen studying in Virginia, asked Panta whether she could inspire Nepali youngsters into music industry and convince their parents to consider Nepali music as a path to professionalism, the female heartthrob of Nepali music could not fully convince her.
Traffic Police in Kathmandu
As busy and hassling as the traffic system in Kathmandu is, the Traffic Police here have to handle an equally strenuous job. Over 1,400 traffic officers in and around the Kathmandu Valley battle against the pestering traffic and air pollution each day.
Menstrual taboo outdated
I have seen my sisters and friends isolated and treated in discriminatory manner during their first menstruation cycle. They were not allowed to look at the sun, to touch water source, flower, fruits, any male family member, nor even hear their voice. The activist may claim the situation has changed and I do agree but still during every month my loved ones turns into untouchables beings.