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United for Nepal: Organizations honor Pun, raise needed funds
Kelli Walters
Antelope Staff
Photo by A. Sanam Bhaila
Current NESAK Board members: (Front) Grishma Ojha, Agrima Koiral and Sushrita Lamichhane (Back) Sacheet Shrestha, Krishna Gupta Rauniyar, Sanjog Pathak and Mandip Deuja put their hands together for Namaskar, the traditional Nepalese way of greeting people.

The Ponderosa Room was full of Nepalese students eagerly waiting to welcome and honor their guest to an eventful night and raise money for Himanchal schools for teachers’ salaries and also to buy books and supplies.
Members of Nepalese Student Association at Kearney (NESAK) went around to the tables to greet their supporters. These dedicated students, the Himanchal Education Foundation and Kearney Rotary Club sponsored Nepal Awareness Night last Friday.  

Donations of $7 or more were taken at the door, and envelopes were placed on the tables to add other donations.  

“The total amount collected in donations was $2,000,” said NESAK President, Sanjog Pathak.

Nepalese members were the hosts for the night, which began with the “American National Anthem,” followed by the “Nepali National Anthem.”  The words of both anthems scrolled across the screen over a digital photo of the countries’ flags.  

Pathak, gave a speech about contributions Dr. Mahabir Pun not only made to his country of Nepal, but also here at UNK where Pun completed his bachelor’s degree in physics and master’s degree.

When Pun returned to Nepal, he succeeded in connecting wireless Internet in the computer labs he had also constructed in schools.  For these and other accomplishments Pun was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2007 for Community Leadership, just one of the many awards that he has received.

Speakers Dr. Paul Welter, professor emeritus, and Dr. Ron Konecny, professor of management told their personal stories they remembered about Pun.  

“Mahabir Pun had a thirst for learning. His mid-term paper for my class was 14 pages long,” Welter said.

The two mentioned numerous times how honored they were to have had known him.  “He was not only a student, but a friend,” Konecny said.

Following the speeches, Sacheet and Group performed a Nepali song.

Students also performed the Traditional Nepali Dance to show some of their culture to the audience.  

A documentary honoring Pun made by members of NESAK was shown just before dinner was served.

The night gave the audience insight on Nepal’s customs and gave praise to Pun for all his accomplishments. 


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