Pax Earth Nepal (PEN) involved in a field visit to Kot Timal, Kanpur V.D.C. of Kavrepalanchowk district (about 75km east from the capital) during December 7 to 11, 2008. A three member team led by PEN President Mr. Sujan Koirala consisting of Vice President Shreebatsa Basnyat and Secretary Manohar Sapkota left for Kot Timal on 7th December.

The primary objective of this visit was to provide community service and to pore over the feasible scheme that can be conducted in future. To enjoy on the lap of nature was the secondary objective of the visit.

Day 1; Sunday, 7th December
The journey started from PEN members’ junction point at Mitrapark at 8.30am. We took the bus to Banepa from Old Bus Park. We reached Banepa around 10.30am. We received the bid farewell from our intimate friend Miss Rojee Munakarmi. We picked up the bus to Bhakunde at 11.30am. We reached at Bhakunde at 2.30pm. After having lunch, we wandered around Bhakunde market. We stayed at Bhakunde that night.

Day 2; Monday, 8th December
After having lunch, the team proceeded for Kot Timal at 10.15am. Although the transport service is available (one bus goes to Kot Timal everyday), the team preferred to go on foot so as to obtain every bit of information and enjoy the majestic view of landscape, mountains, forests and farming.

Let us share that we were about to give up our idea of walking in just about 15 minutes of beginning of journey to Kot Timal. The hill was very hard to climb. However, we rejuvenated our strengths, motivation and prepared to face the natural challenges. When we started to walk through different pavements, we began to realize that real enjoyment comes from facing the natural challenges. The cool breeze and pleasant climate made our walking mesmerizing. It was a real pleasure seating under the shed of trees which helped a lot to lessen our tiredness. The snacks and tea on the way not only removed hunger but also helped reduce tiredness. Joking, gossiping, singing, taking pictures, capturing movies and listening to music, we reached at Kot Timal at 3.30pm after 5 hours of continued walking. We thought to take a whole day rest after reaching Kavre Palanchowk. However, we left for sight seeing: sunset, mountain and landscape in the evening. The sight seeing was amazing. It was quite difficult to keep the eye out from such wonderful, heart touching, mind blowing views. After returning from the sight seeing, the team could drink some cups of tea at a tea shop of Maila Kaka. It was really interesting to have some gossips with his innocent children.

Day 3; Tuesday, 9th December
The team could visit an elementary school (Shree Rakta Kali Primary School) and had some fun playing and singing with the children besides handing over some school materials. We conducted an “Art Competition” among the children of grade 4 & 5. 18 children of grade 4 and grade 5 participated on the competition. They were told to make the art related to environment. Special prizes were given to the best 4 pictures (2 from boys and 2 from girls). Mr. Jeevan Bhandari and Mr. Manik Lama were respectively stood winner and runner up from boys while Ms. Shanta Koirala and Ms. Kumari Tamang respectively stood winner and runner up from girls. Similarly, stationeries such as copy, pencil, sharpener and erasers were distributed to participating and non participating students. Similarly, important educational materials were handed to Mr. Gopi Krishna Tripathee, teacher of Shree Rakta Kali Primary School. The students and teachers were very pleased with our small efforts. We have assured them to continue our support in future as well. The team could also collect some important information regarding the present situation of the school with the help of school teachers and members of school management committee. These educational materials were handed by our intimate friends Mr. Guy Hodgeman and Mrs. Dawn Hodgeman of Britain a year ago so as to distribute among underprivileged students. Some materials were collected by the PEN members as well.

In the evening, we left for the sight seeing as the day before. That day, we could have a comprehensive discussion with Maila Kaka about the village besides having little chat with his little daughter.

Day 4; Wednesday, 10th December
We left for the main tourist destination of the village, Narayanthan, at 8.30am. It took 1hr. 30 minutes to reach Narayanthan. Before Narayanthan, we had to pass through Yangmeel from where we could catch a very good range of Himalaya on the Northern range. Besides a Hindu temple of Narayan, we could see two replicas of Boudhnath Stupa and Swoyambhu Stupa. It is the religious centre for Hindus and Buddhists devotees.

There is no river or stream which can supply the continuous water throughout the year in this hilly village. That’s why we experienced severe drinking water problem. Due to lack of water, sanitation problem can be observed everywhere. E.g. due to insufficient water, villagers are reluctant to construct toilets. There is only one water tap for the whole village. Even the villagers have to spend hours and hours in queue to get a bucket of drinking water from this tap.

Thus, the team was also involved in studying the location of spring. We could visit source of water and found a stream (at a distance of 20 minute walking). We could have a small inspection, short estimation and photo-shoots. After our small survey, we came to a conclusion if spring water is collected and distributed properly, it can help in reducing immediate water problem. The team decided to put forth this problem in the next PEN Board meeting and seek support from PEJ members as well.

Day 5; Thursday, 11th December
After having lunch, we left for Kathmandu at 11.15am descending through the same route taking pictures, gossiping with people and students, joking, singing, listening to music and capturing movies. We reached Bhakunde at 2.30pm. We took bus from Bhakunde to Banepa. We could meet our intimate friends Miss Rojee Munakarmi, Miss Rina Manandhar and Miss Shanta Dahal who were very curious to hear the PEN members’ experience. After sharing experience of the trip with friends, we left for Kathmandu. We reached at Mitrapark junction at 7.15pm, met PEN members and friends and formally ended the journey.

The village has great possibility of tourism with enchanting natural beauty and splendid view of Himalayas. The basic infrastructures such as motorable road, transportation, electricity, wireless/mobile phones are in good condition. However, the scarcity of water is the severe problem of this village. This has really shadowed the possible tourism business.

The village is enriched with food grains, seasonal vegetables and fruits, cattle-gazing, panoramic view of White Mountains, landscapes, hills, forests, etc. Maize, wheat and barley are the main crops of the village. They are growing some seasonal vegetables and fruits as well. On last rainy season, there was no rain. In spite of rain and water problem, the villagers are growing their grains with the help of moisture.

We found that the villagers are so welcoming. Hospitality and receptions were wonderful. We could experience a real village life in these 5 days. We would like to extend our special thanks to Mr. Shiva Prasad Koirala (Sujan’s grandfather) and his family, Mrs. Kalpana Adhikari (Sujan’s sister at Bhakunde), Mr. Ananda Sharma for a movie camera, Mr. Mukunda Pd. Pandey for a digital still camera, Mr. Rajan Dulal for sleeping materials and Miss Rojee Munakarmi for helping in managing seats in bus. We owe a debt of gratitude to all persons who helped to make this trip happen. It was a wonderful and one of the memorable trips of life time.

We are really missing majestic view of Himalayas, landscape, sunset, farming, pleasant experience of evening life, the innocent smile of Maila Kaka’s small daughter, smiling faces of students, several cups of tea at junction, village life and pollution free environment. We really missed the innocent face of Maila Kaka’s daughter which seems about to cry at our departure. She was so shocked knowing our departure that she could not even say a word of bye on our departure but her eyes were full of tears.


Reported by Sujan Koirala and Manohar Sapkota
Pax Earth Nepal