Newsletter 26 – June 2020
Greetings to our many supporters around the UK and the rest of the world.
Pokhara: in a country at a standstill, Everest closed
Total loss of tourist income
Millions of young men return home jobless
Our students locked in and waiting


The virus and Nepal:

Until May this year, Western European countries seemed to have been harder hit than many parts of Asia. However the virus is now taking hold in Pokhara, the home town of our students.
Our Nepali Trustees report as follows:
20th May: The pandemic started to rocket up Security forces and medical professionals are getting infected too. The year will be really a tough one for everyone. Of course, we can’t expect large number of tourists to visit Nepal. Moreover, there might be significantly less foreign aids and remittances until the Coronal terror ends.
8th June: The number of cases has been increasing rapidly. 3800 positive cases so far. 14 deaths out of which
one in Pokhara. Employment as casual labour has been hard hit. Large numbers of Nepalis who have been
working overseas are being forced home. Some of them w ill carry the virus. The porous border with India,
where the virus is apparently out of control, is an added concern.

15th June : There is a big gap between plan and practice in Nepal.
Of course, the government started the intervention from zero. While the pandemic started, we had to send sample swab to Hong Kong for the Covid-19 tests. Now we have the facilities at the central laboratory and at least one in province level government hospital. Still the maximum capacity of PCR test in a day is about 5,000.
Greetings to all our supporters in Dronfield, Britain, Nepal and the rest of the world.
Please pass on this Newsletter to anyone you think might be interested.
Unlike the WHO prediction, the positive cases in Nepal are largely men dominated. Out of 5,335 positive cases, only 380 are women, which is only about 7% of the total positive cases so far. The main reason is, most of the tests are done for the returnees from India which is largely men dominated. If the test are expanded in the community level, the scenario might goes differently.
The government has announced that it has spent 80 millions US dollars to intervene Coviv-19 in Nepal. The general people are blaming for big corruption, since the facilities in the quarantines are found worse, the number of tests are very minimal and also questioned on quality of test, especially on RDC (Rapid Diagnosis Test). There have been demonstrations in major cities by youths who come on street spontaneously, without any leadership.
Unlike the WHO prediction, the number of positive cases in Nepal are largely men dominated. Out of 5,335 positive cases, only 380 are women, which is only about 7% of the total positive cases so far. The main reason is, most of the tests are done on the returnees from India. Of course, the influx is largely men dominated. If the test are expanded in the community level, the scenario might goes differently.
Thank you to Binod Koirala for this analysis


as in the UK, there will be no SEE exam this year. The students will get grades based on internal tests and coursework. Grade 11 students will go to Grade 12 without a test. Schools and colleges will remain closed until September.
The Nepali Government is doing its best against enormous odds. What irony that this danger is taking hold in a
ci ty of so much beauty. Tourism is at a standstill, the beautiful new Pokhara Airport virtually closed.
See below for ways we may be able to help.

 Success stories: Samikshya Kandel

samikshya_kandelSamikshyais one year from completing a six year course to qualify as a doctor, a treme ndous aspiration for a
girl of her poor background. She has been helped by wonderfully supportive and anonymous donors in
Dronfield for many years.
Lastyear we sent her a stethoscope, donated by a local doctor who remembers working as a visiting doctor in
Nepal during her period of qualification. This arrived with a letter of encouragement for her from the UK.
She must now complete a one year internship in a Kathmandu hospital. Because of the lockdown, she has yet
to start this course. We are currently seeking support to help her complete her qualification.

Ashish Budha Magar


Ashish with his family and with his Bristol supporters
Ashish is a wonderful example of Fishtail Fund support, and personal determination. H is family are very poor
indeed, living in a shack by the riverside. Their occupation is to break river stones and then sell them to a
lorry driver who collects them to use on the roads. They had low aspirations until a far sighted Head Teacher
recommended Ashish to our Fishtail Fund Trustees in Pokhara. Since then, supported by us, he has been able
to stay at school and has qualified for the University of Pokhara to read Engineering. As the virus stopped
everything, he was part way through his course. He is supported by several UK friends but most enormously by
the Rotary Club of Bristol Breakfast, who have adopted him, even meeting him in Pokhara. In a sense Ashish is
better off than some students, as he has been able to revert to his family’s occupation on the riverside until
things improve.
is hard for our Pokhara Trustees to obtain updates, but we acknowledge their efforts as they themselves are
locked down.

Meanwhile our students are still there! Colleges and schools are closed, but our 25 students are as far as we know safe. We continue to send support money, to help with food for their families who may have no other income.
you to our student supporters, who se continuing donations support the students’ family needs during
lockdown with, in many cases, no or little family income. Not all students reach the wonderful heights of
Samikshya and Ashish, but we are still proud of them and will stick with them.

Once the pandemic goes
Though all seems gloomy in Nepal, as in Europe, there will be a future for Nepalis and for our students. Together with our friends in the Rotary Club of Bristol Breakfast and The Rotary Club of Pokhara Fishtail, we are in the early stages of an ambitious project.
The young men now streaming back home from their work as labourers in Malaya and the Middle East seem to have a dismal future. They may never return to overseas work; they have no home qualifications; they can only return home, often into village communities from where they started.
One possibility is to encourage them to learn again to work in agriculture near their homes. Nepal used to be self-sufficient in vegetables, now some are imported. If there were a supply of tools, seeds and training, much might be achieved.
We will keep you in touch if this idea develops.