Smiles of the Nepalese is really captivating
Mr. Bernhard Buller, a Swiss born national, is highly refined and well-cultured mountain tour guide. He loves Nepal equivalent to a patriot Nepali fellow loves his own country and, this is manifested by his repeated visit, going over to 26 times, so far, here in this Himalayan Kingdom. Each time, with the growing sense of helping this nation, Mr. Buller, generously organizes mountain tours. He brings hundreds of Swiss tourists every year to help promote the tourism in a big way. To his credit, he has gained tremendous experience for having taken numerous tourists for the mountain sight-seeing in countries like Asia, Europe, Africa, South America and North America. But his priority is certainly Nepal.
Apart from this tourism sector, Mr. Buller's inclination to help uplift, hitherto, educational, health and other social sectors in the remote village in Nepal, is absolutely praiseworthy.
This time around, Mr. Buller, with thirteen other Swiss friends, have been building school with the name as "BP primary school", in Arubote, at Taruka VDC of Nuwakot district, which was knocked down in ruin by the then earthquake of April 25th. That school is now under the re-construction phase of completion any time. Once over, it is learnt that the school is going to be a model one, in view of its design, capacity, resistant to quake and overall facilities associated with. The residents of Taruka village are enthralled and are genuinely obliged to Mr. Buller for his incredible and, humanly motivated, one man action, to re-establish school there by his sheer magnanimity. In recognition of his noble contribution to the educational line, the locals have unanimously attributed him as a great benevolent spiritual master of our contemporary history of Nepal, unparalleled to no one. Mr. Buller is looked upon now as a savior by the local people to alleviate their impending crisis of all kinds and are earnestly awaiting to see his investment in the most neglected areas like those of drinking water supply, health service and sanitary situation.
Incidentally, and by coincident, our correspondent Subash Bhatta had caught him up and requested Mr. Buller to sit for the interview in relation to his phenomenal social works and other professional activities. Here is an excerpt of the interview, right below:
You have been building school, in Taruka of Nuwakot, could you please tell me as to how and why you made up your mind to build the school?
Actually, I and my wife started to collect fund, in the first place, as I knew it that without the resources there is no question of taking up constructional work in hand. Apparently then, we request our friends as well as our well-wishers to help us in the process of collecting the required amount of money. What I can tell you now is that, perhaps owing to our die- hard effort, a substantial amount of money has been collected by this time. Then we searched for the new broad check to follow. Then I asked Mr. Mohan Lamsal, a well established tourism entrepreneur, seeking his advice for the appropriate sector to invest the accumulated money, and he told me that there is Arubote in Taruka where a bunch of very poor and lower cast people do live.
They all deserve some humanitarian help to build their carrier as an entire community, he said. I then realized that he is absolutely right in pinpointing the neediest area for co-operation. After much brain-storming and deliberation, eventually, we decided to build the ruined school, where lower and poor family's children study.
Why you chose Taruka for the project?
I had decided to do some social works before. Mohan and were familiar for years ago, so he convinced me to build school in Arubote. When we went there I saw the urgent need of school, so I decided to build school there.
Are you doing this work of construction independently or with the co- operation of some other organizations?
There are all friends of mine. We are from different parts of Switzerland and all are from various professions. We are all retired people in our group comprised of water engineer, electrician and other technical experts. To tell you frankly, we bear all the expenses with our personal capacity.
You are investing a huge amount to the extent of more than 25 million rupees for building school. How did you succeed in collecting such a huge amount of money?
I have lots of clients and customers in my good book who have travelled with me in Nepal before. I have opened up an account in bank wherein most of our generous clients do go on depositing the charitable money from time to time. By now we have so far accumulated money from almost three hundred and sixty enthusiasts.
How do you co –operate with government in order to accomplish the desired project?
Mohan is co –operating with government agencies for recovering licenses and other required permissions. So, it is not a big deal.
If I may ask you, to what speed is the work-in-progress going on and when do you think of completing the overall construction?
Construction has been going rapidly. I think it will take three to four weeks to finish off overall construction of that school.
Would you please tell us briefly the modalities of the school building ? What features would it incorporate in order to becoming a typical village school?
The building is 30 meter long and 25 meter wide. In the building we are using very good and strong materials so; naturally it is going to be expensive, in a sense. All the buildings will be earthquake resistant up to 10 rector scale capacity.
Have you faced any difficulties while building the school?
Yeah! Fuel crisis had triggered the work-in-progress to move slow in speed for some time, quite in line to what most Nepalese people are facing. The cost of materials has gone so high, which is almost two times expensive than the normal situation. So, while transporting the construction materials at the sight, the overall cost escalated . We even haven't got the materials properly in accordance to our requirements and order. What we had estimated before has totally got changed as a result of fuel crunch.
Have you done such a project before ?
No. We have not done such project before. It is quite a new experience for me.
Have you thought of building other schools in other places ?
We still have a lot of money. We have not thought about next plan. After completing this school, we'll think about what to do next.
So, in Taruka, there are many problems, like pure drinking water etc., have you thought of taking up water project there ?
We had visited Taruka, many times, so I've also seen water problem there. People are facing water shortage in that village. For catering pure drinking water to the people around that area I need to have full information relating to this subjects for which I have had interaction with the locals. I have asked them to furnish cost estimate to the run of the proposed project. In addition to water supply, I had raised the issue of launching hospitals and other related projects for public utitities.
How do you feel here in Nepal ?
I feel so happy in Nepal. When I come here, I am delighted beyond comprehension. Nepal's natural beauties, cultural heritage and people's warm receptions really have hypnotized me. That's why I have set my foot here for over 26th times.
Neplese people are poor but they are happy. Despite being prosperous Swiss are not so happy people. Though, they are poor, I see Neplese people always smiling that really fascinate me and to tell you the truth
('I want to die here', he says very emotionally.)
Could you please tell me about yourself, your profession etc?
Professionally I'm Mountain Guide. I'am involved this field for over four decades. I bring many groups from Switzerland.
I have travelled to all the continents, visiting many countries in the course of my profession.
As you are a tour guide, how do you observe Nepal's tourism ?
Nepal is very beautiful country. I've not seen such an incredible country in the world full of charm and romanticism.
But despite its huge possibilities, only a fragment of potentialities has been explored. There are many things yet to be done for the advancement of tourism and to derive more benefit to the nation, at large. I don't want to talk more about the question. Thanks.
Mr. Buller! You have been very kind in answering all of our queries elaborately and with conviction. We extend our grateful thanks to you and wish your pleasant stay in Nepal.