Sunday, July 10, 2016

A Tale!

I have read many fairytale stories in books, but during one of my travels to my homeland, Parbat. I came across the real story of a “superhero”, a paraplegic farmer, aged fifty plus, who runs an organic farm, growing seasonal vegetables, seedlings of coffee, mushrooms and many more at one of the rural part of southern Parbat. The very next day, I packed my bag and trekked to his home, after reaching there, what tore me apart was knowing that his wife was also handicapped with just one able hand to work on the farm, and the farm-place was located in an extremely uneven topography, where there are no means of transportation and irrigation facility, rainwater being the only source for irrigation.

Being an agriculture student, and founder of an agriculture-based organization called "Youth For Agri Welfare", I went there with a hope to help them as much as I could in agriculture aspect.

Mr. Rukhmangat Neupane was busy with the carpenters to construct his house, Miss, Neupane was not very well. So, Rukhmangat assigned his only child Prashant the task of showing me their farm. During that time, I asked the little boy about his interests. He replied, “I love cricket very much.” I extended my curiosity, came to know that he was a big fan of Nepali cricket team and especially the Captain Paras Khadka. He had every small detail in his head like Khadka’s intestinal problems,7 days administration in Norvic hospital and the following referral treatment in Delhi. Prashant had kept the record of players in a separate copy cutting and pasting photos from months old newspapers from which he used to follow cricket. He had kept micro-details like M- for the number of matched he has watched of any particular player, R- means total run scored, B- Best-scored etcetera.

He said he aspires to represent Nepal in an international arena someday. He answered they are celebrities; they won’t meet us, when I asked, “Do you want to meet your idol live at TU ground next week?” I knew I could approach Paras Khadka with this message.

I asked his father about his interests and came to know that he had no friends to play cricket with him so, he always used to hit his plastic ball with a homemade wooden log as a bat. His father complained that he has dropped many stone pieces from their house wall thereby rendering damage to the wall. Neupane said, little champ had made to promise him to take him to watch Nepal’s clash with Namibia, which was to be played at the TU-cricket ground, Kathmandu after a week.

I documented all his interests on camera and returned home after playing cricket with him for a few hours. He was really happy because he got a friend to accompany him. Later, in the evening, I wrote a post about him which quickly spread on social media, it became a big hit and so many online media highlighted this news. I got phone calls from many cricket organizations showing their willingness to help the little boy to achieve his dream. This news also reached Paras Khadka. After a few days, I travel to Kathmandu with the little boy and his dad. During our journey, I had a lot of conversation with him and I was deeply amazed while he shared his cricketing knowledge from Nepal division cricket to Karnataka league in India.

Sujan Sharma, the president of cricket Parbat with his team and Sudeep Sharma from Himalayan Cricket Academy were already there to welcome us when we reached Kathmandu. On the next match day, we were given the opportunity to sit in the VIP Box with Paras Khadka's wife who exhibited tremendous love and care to the boy throughout the match and also gifted a t-shirt named after Paras Khadka to us. This day was very special for Prashant, not only because he got first ever opportunity to watch a live match at the ground but also, his idol scored his first century led Nepal to a victory scoring highest total ever. After the match, Paras Khadka took the boy to the dressing room and provided him with a pair of gloves with his autograph. We also took photos with all the players and the officials we met. My happiness was off limit when I saw the joy on the little boy's face.

Next day, we had a meeting with Paras and Sudeep, who were ready to help him to achieve his dream. With their support now the boy is pursuing his education at Babylon school Baneshower and is playing cricket at Great Himalayan Cricket Academy. 

This story has also been covered by Youth ChannelsKathmandu PostNagarik Newscricwizz