Monthly Update: January 2018

By Rita Thapa

Nepal Context:

Nepal has just completed its provincial-level elections during November/December 2017.  Just recently the provincial state capitals and Governors have been named (1 woman and 6 men!).  Soon after that, there has been dissatisfaction over designated provincial capitals and there is agitation in several districts.  This has led to strikes, some level of violence, and demonstrations, in the respective areas lending to some level of instability. 

Fundraising for PBMC:

PBM&LC.jpg

At the beginning it was realized that it is urgent to buy the land.  NA had some savings but not enough for the purchase of the land.  Therefore it was thought that this shortfall could be met by requesting NA members to give a soft loan for 1 year.  In this regards, a meeting was held on the 12th at Rita's home.  15 members came for the meeting and all agreed to the proposal, all together 47 lak[1] rupees was pledged.  Inspired by this the NA Finance Officer, Sanjeev said that the staff could also give this kind of a loan and personally pledged 1 lak.

Following this, a luncheon meeting was held with the 3 remaining members who could not attend the previous meeting.  The three, together pledged 20 laks. Thus, the members together pledged over 65 laks.  Taking the cue from Sanjeev we had a meeting with the NA staff team on the 17th.   Likewise all of the staff were happy and pledged a total of a little over 8.5 laks.  Cumulatively, they expressed the following key points:

  • They were very happy that NA was doing the PBMC - its time had come!

  • They felt very happy to be included in this way so that they could participate and own the PBMC better, and

  • None of them wanted any interest on the loan they would provide for 1 year.

This meeting demonstrated the strength and ownership of NA, and gave all of us moral strength. 

Besides, we have sent request letters to the German and the Japanese Embassies requesting a meeting with the respective Ambassadors.

Others:

On October 2017, a Joint NA Board meeting decided to form a Core Committee consisting of NA Trustees with CEO Susan and Treasurer Jyotsana.  Several advisory Sub Committees were also named e.g. Legal with members Sandhya & Bhakta who are members of the NA Board; and the Technical, & Infrastructure Development Sub Committees (members yet to be decided).  Besides, weekly planning meetings between Ganga, Susan, and Rita, is ongoing.

This month we also met with architect Prabal S. Thapa as a possible key person responsible for the work on design from Nepal side.  Prabal is well known for his locally and environmentally grounded designs.  We were delighted that at the end of the meeting where he was briefed on NA and its work and the PBMC, he expressed happiness to be a part of the PBMC acknowledging that this would require much more technical and expert input.

Note:  This is the first of the monthly updates, which will document and inform the progress on the NA/PBMC.  It will be sent out on the last day of the month hence on.  Please send a blank message back if you do not wish to be on this email group.  Thank you!

[1] 1hundred thousand rupees which is approximately US $ 1,000