Sun, 24 Sep, 2023

A Man Who Changed Hopes Into Reality: Narayan Karki Dai

By Nikita Gautam

Photo: Narayan Karki                                                              Photo Courtesy: Nikita Gautam We have been wandering around the library section, silently watching over a man who barely talks to anyone. He is a new member at DWIT. Narayan Karki Dai, Assistant Admin Analyst, is the current in-charge of library and will oversee procurement, office facilities, and ECAs. Barely looking at him, it is highly probable that most of us will not imagine a man who was able to change many lives and illuminate them in a path of progression. But people, don’t judge a book by its cover. There lies wisdom within simplicity. Narayan Dai was born in Nuwakot district, but had to leave his parents after 4 years for a better future. He belongs to a farming family, the richest one in his village. They owned a rice-processing mill, which was the first agro-processing mill in Nuwakot district itself. His grandfather was a visionary as he had envisioned his grandchildren to receive quality education in the city and thereby, had built a house in Samakhusi so that they would not have difficulty to live on their own in the future. Carrying a dream of becoming a successful person in the near future, he left his village. His school life started in Basantaritu School where he studied till grade 6. His face reflected that intense emotions when he mentioned bitter truths about his school life. Although he was the brightest kid in school, who topped every class, ECAs, but still was looked upon with hatred by everyone. He had to manage all his stuff by himself from childhood, so he wasn't able to become smart, neat and tidy in appearance. He used to get punished for not looking smart, not feeling the music while dancing, not having a beautiful handwriting and so on. He studied in Bhanubhakta Memorial for a year, and then joined Bishnumati School until 10th grade. When he was entering his teenage years, he developed an interest in Martial Arts and pursued it for 2 years. But this interest completely ruined his education so he had to stop taking the classes. He passed his School Leaving Certificate (S.L.C) Examination with 1st division. Since he had no parental guidance as he had to live on his own, under peer pressure, he chose Science field over Commerce in high school. He always had a passion towards studies, but his closest friends were always diverted to something else and eventually he was also driven into the same path as theirs. He dropped out in the 2nd year of high school, which he regrets till date. Life wasn't really easy for him during his stay in Kathmandu. He then planned to do something better in his life. Talking about his career, he started working as a secretariat in DSR exporting enterprise; where he had to make invoice messages and look after the stocks. He had to leave the job for some personal reasons. He started reading books and practicing meditation on his own. He then worked as a librarian, lab assistant and administrator for 3 years in A.J. Wild School, Panipokhari. During that period books became an irreplaceable part of his life. He almost read everything that was available in the library. He completely transformed his life's vision after that job. He then joined Bipasana Meditation center, where he volunteered for 3-4 months. It was a critical time in the country as the Maoist had spread a dreadful environment everywhere. Young people had to leave their homes to join their armies; hundreds and thousands were killed in the villages. People were begging for lives and their loved ones but did not receive mercy. It was a critical situation in the county. He had to leave Bipasana when the war was about to end. He then realized the suffering his people had to face in the village so he planned to return to Nuwakot and do something for his people. He started his social work campaign by gathering materials from a broken bridge and collecting small donation from every house in the village. The surprising thing is that he collected Rs. 4,500, used unused materials from the broken bridge, and with the help of 4-5 co-workers was able to build a new one. It was a courageous act, which not only helped people in transportation but also improved the lifestyle of the village. After his own long research and consulting with hydroelectricity related personals, he was able to generate hydroelectricity with the help of his rice mill, which worked with the help of flowing water.  He was able to provide electricity to 70-80 houses in his village. As a result of his project, not only his village, but also the nearby villages benefitted. He did this all as a volunteer. He collected donations from people and transformed it into something useful for them. He provided training to people belonging to their respective villages about technology setup techniques, maintenance of transmission lines and others. He exclaimed with excitement, "At that time, I developed a passion within myself. Wherever I saw water, I saw electricity. I only dreamt of enlightening people's life." He was able to provide power for more than 500 households. He said, "Easy things can be easily done. The real challenge of life lies where we conquer the difficult ones by creating a change in other people's lives." It wasn't an easy choice for him because his parents were threatened by the Maoist group, wanting their son. But he never got involved in any political parties, for which he was threatened many times, but he fought for what was right. He also tried to provide Internet facilities to people in his village but was not able to do so because it required high expenses, which he couldn't afford at that time. His younger brother had sent him a computer from Japan, which was the first in his village. After taking training on photographic design, he started a photo studio in the village. Before the training, he was invited by Nepal Government to take guidance on Micro Hydropower, as an honor for his deeds. He used his training skills to teach 7-8 year old kids in his village, who now have been working on the large transmission lines inside Kathmandu Valley for the government. After returning from the Micro Hydropower training, he used his photographic skills to help the school children and the elderly people. He offered a quality service in nominal price. He had to quit this service because of lack of market availability. His personal life was full of ups and downs as well. He liked a girl and followed her for almost a year, got rejected several times but at last he was lucky enough to get her as his life partner. He calls it love at first sight. She is one of the most important people in his life. He has this attitude of doing things right away rather than procrastinating. He had applied to Finland for work, but later, he changed his mind as his passion to serve his people grew bigger day by day. He started a school named Pranjal Academy in his village. Students were not only given curriculum-based education, but also classes like yoga, music, theatre, computer etc. Government schools in Nepal have not been able to provide quality education to the students. The teachers and the parents themselves have also adapted this nature of negligence. Although he tried as long as 4 years to bring change in people's vision of education, due to various negative influences, he had to quit. He even lost his wife's jewelry and all his property to set up the school. However, he couldn't achieve what he had dreamt for the school. But still, the overwhelming thing about his attitude is that, he still thinks he can do much better for the community. He says, "If you don't fail in life, what are you going to learn? Failure is just a way to direct oneself into greater success in life." Because generations in his family had farming as a major occupation, he knew many things about this field and had developed interest in it from childhood. He started a fish farm in his village. Now he owns a chicken farm, citrus farm, coffee farm, organic vegetable farm and orange farm as well. He dreams of becoming a chef and he desperately wants to open an organic restaurant, where he would export all the vegetables from his own organic farm. He aims to start "FARM TO TABLE CONCEPT" in Nepal. Being a part of DWIT, he wants to learn more about technology. He said, "I am not here to just do my job and move on. I am here to learn something new, to become a part of institution that has a great future. I am here to provide knowledge that I have collected in my life." Life is all about giving; the more we serve the better we become. Hurdles come and go, what remains with us is our passion for doing something in life. We need not go far away to get inspiration. We just need to have a glance besides us and we’ll come to know that there are a lot of stories to be unfolded. Until we listen to their stories, we’ll never know what one's life has to convey. Let’s try together, be it a small step, to be like him. Give your life a reason to live and bring a change. :)