Sunday, April 29, 2007
Nepali Doctor is Awarded OBE
Dr. Raghav Dhital, a UK-based medical practitioner became the third Nepali to receive Order of British Empire (OBE), a coveted recognition from British government. Before him, Prof Surya Prasad Subedi and Greta Rana were awarded the OBE. Once I saw Subedi in our office at Nepal Magazine but was not able to speak with him.
But, I did a two page profile of Greta Rana, British born Nepali writing in English. Greta is the wife of Madhukar Shamsher Rana, Finance Minister in the royal cabinet.
I wrote a brief piece on Dr. Dhital for the Indreni section of Nepal Weekly magazine. I conducted an email interview with Dr. Dhital which was turned into a profile for my magazine. Here is the full text of interview:
Deepak: What was your immediate reaction after the news of you being confered with the coveted honour? What were you doing at that moment and who did you get the info from?
Dr Raghav: I had come home from work and checking my mail, saw a large brown envelope On Her Majety’s Service Foreign and Common wealth office UK. There was another sealed envelope inside OBE written in front of my name. I simply couldnot believe my eyes. I was extremely pleased about it and shared the news with my wife and children who were in the room.
D: Who do you attribute this honour to?
R: I have been involved in activities relating to Nepali community in UK and also British friends of Nepal for more than 25 years now. Some of them including my wife have worked very hard for the welfare of the community and also to strengthen ties between our two countries. I share this honour with all of those who have contributed so much.
D: What are your priorities and roles as a doctor and an active member of NRN?
R: I am a General Medical Practitioner by profession and have been practising medicine for more than thirty five years of which I had the opportunity to work in Nepal for about ten years.
Nothing gives me more pleasure than to look after my patients and being able to help them in my professional capacity.I was involved in the formation of NRN Association since the idea was conceived. I lead the UK delegation at the first NRN conference held in Kathmandu in October 2003. I was one of the few Nepalese recognised globally by the Government/FNCCI/ NRN International Co-ordination Committee for their distinguished achievements.
I am extremely pleased that, NRN Association has become a reality.Naturally, there are hopes, aspirations and expectations on both sides. The remittance received from Nepalese living abroad has been well appreciated. Unfortunately, the NRNs and People of Nepali origin PNOs) are yet to see concrete results and appropriate changes inthe existing laws relatingto NRNs and PNOs and ultimate aim of achieving dual citizenship.
D: There is a talk of New Nepal. How do you see it from UK?
R: It all depends how one defines new Nepal. First of all we need PEACE, maintenance of law and order, we need progress and prosperity of our people,development not destruction or disintegration. Understanding between eight political parties is a step in the right direction. Now. I feel they should rise above their personal and party interests for the sake of the Nation at this critical juncture. They should also be more inclusive. In democracy, every opinion, however insignificant it may sound must be entertained. We should think very carefully on issues like monarchy, religion and future structure of the state. Any decision taken without proper thought and vision at this stage can have far reaching consequences. The public at large must be involved in the decision making. They should be allowed to express their informed opinion in a free and fair environment. An independent, united and democratic Nepali nation based on social justice and regional parity will certainly give new hope for the future.
D: What is your future plan? Retirement plans to be specific.. Would
you like to come back to Nepal?
R: I have a plan to come back to Nepal and make myself available for both professional and social work in a voluntary basis. I have lived in the United Kingdom for many years now. This is in fact my second home, therefore, I wish to continue involving myself in social and community in the UK also as far as possible.
Photo Courtesy: Dr. Raghav Dhital