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First things first, I fully support Mahabir Pun. A section of the population are slightly shocked and some, completely outraged after seeing the wireless guru endorse PREETI Noodles deeming it unhealthy. The man who is known for taking wireless technology to rural communities of Nepal features in PREETI Noodles ‘Bhok Jaruri Cha’ campaign alongside social worker Indira Rana Magar and Nisha Adhikari. Unsurprisingly, this has led many to share their own opinions including this one which really seems to have got the ball rolling, “दुःखको कुराः नेताहरूको मात्रै मति बिग्र्यो भनेको त समाजका रोल माेडेलहरूको पनि मति बिग्रने रहेछ । म्यागसेसे पुरस्कार विजेता महावीर पुन र बालबालिकाको क्षेत्रमा काम गर्ने इन्दिरा रानानमगर, दुर्इ जना अशाेका फेलोहरू अाज केटाकेटीले खान नहुने जंकफुड भनिने चाउचाउको विज्ञापनको माेडेल बनेर पत्रिकामा छापिएको देख्दा अाजको दिनलार्इ दुःखकाे दिन भन्नु पर्ने भयाे।” by Vinay Kasajoo.

The Magsaysay Award winner, considered to be the Nobel Prize of Asia didn’t sit in silence as he replied and justified his action to the many critics who questioned the actions of Pun. BASICALLY – Mahabir dai is on a mission to build a Rashtriya Abishkar Kendra, a National Innovation Center which would be used to foster research on the development of science and technology in Nepal by nurturing the talents and creativity of Nepalese. After the Government did not provide any funds for the project, Pun has relied on crowdfunding and reaching out to his followers to fund this grand idea. The initial target is to raise 500 million Nepalese Rupees (Approx. USD 5 Million) that will be invested to build a hydro-electric power plant to generate 10 to 15 MW of power. The power will be sold to the government and the income from the sale of the power will be used to sustain “Rashtriya Abiskar Kendra.” On average, a 10 MW hydropower generates about USD 3 Million a year.

He has repeatedly stated that his decision to endorse the noodles is purely down to bringing funds for the innovation center. Pun has boldly stated that he is open to more endorsement opportunities and work if it means he is able to support his dream project. On 7th of May, he wrote a long Facebook status where he writes about this whole episode in his own words.

Mahabir Pun, is a man who is driven to make his dream a reality. Endorsing a noodle company is not the end of the world. Whilst it may surprise a few, it’s hardly a crime and it might be worth noting his own reasons for his decision. Maybe we can all rally our efforts in sharing the fundraising pages and information to support the vision. After all, this vision of his won’t just be of benefit to him but is one that will provide support for many Nepalese across the country.

Mahabir Pun writes (07-05-17): मर्न नै परे पछि खुट्टा खुम्च्याएर होइन खुट्टा तानेर नै मर्ने निर्णय गरिनेछ. कोहि हुनु हुन्छ त मलाई बास्तबिक रुपमा नै राष्ट्रिय आविष्कार केन्द्र स्थापनाको सहयोगार्थ किन्ने?

हिजो देखि प्रीति चाउचाउले मिडीयामा म पनि खेलेको बिज्ञापन दिन सुरु गरेको छ. म जस्तो मान्छे सो जंक फुड (नराम्रो खाना) को बिज्ञापनमा खेलेको राम्रो भएन भनेर केहि साथीहरुको चित्त निकै नै बुझेको छैन जुन स्वभाबिक पनि हो. पैसाको लागी विज्ञापनमा समेत खेल्नु पर्यो भनेर मेरो पनि चित्त त बुझेको छैन नि. के गर्ने, कुराको मर्म गहिरो छ.

एकजना भाईले त यस्तो पनि कमेन्ट गर्नु भएछ – “भो दाइ चाहिएन तपाईंको आविष्कार केन्द्र जुन मेरा छोराछोरीलाई जंक फूड खुलाएर स्थापित हुन्छ |” यो भनाई सुन्दा यस्तो लाग्छ कि मैले जंक फुड खुवाएर सम्पूर्ण नेपालीका छोरा छोरीहरुलाई नै मार्न गई रहेको छु. कस्तो दुख लाग्दो लान्छना हो यो? तर उपरोक्त भनाईले प्रष्ट रुपमा के भन्छ भने उहाँलाई राष्ट्रिय आविष्कार केन्द्र नै चाहिएको छैन. सो भनाईको अर्को ठोस अर्थ “नेपाललाई समृद्धिशाली देश बनाउनु आबश्यक छैन र यथास्थितिमा नै राख्नु ठिक छ” भन्ने पनि हुन्छ. तर त्यसो हुनेवाला छैन.

नेपाललाई यथास्थितिमा राख्न चाहनेहरुको साना साना झुण्डहरु नेपालमा पक्कै छन. तर उनीहरुको प्रयास कुनै पनि हालतमा सफल हुने छैन. त्यसैले मलाई विज्ञापनको लागी मात्र होइन कि बास्तबिक रुपमा नै किनेर जे काममा पनि लगाउन चाहानु हुन्छ भने फोन गर्नु होस ९८४१५९२३६१ मा. कतिमा किन्ने र किनिने भनेर मोल मोलाई गरौंला. तपाइले दिएको मूल्य राष्ट्रिय आविष्कार केन्द्रको खातामा जाने छ र म तपाइंको काममा पूर्ण रुपमा जोतिने छु. राष्ट्रिय आविष्कार केन्द्रमा हाललाई म अध्यक्ष भए ता पनि सो पद मा म नभए पनि केन्द्र सुचारु रुपमा चल्न सक्छ भन्ने कुरामा मलाई पूर्ण बिश्वास छ. म भन्दा प्रतिभाशाली भाई बहिनीहरु प्रसस्त छन् आविष्कार केन्द्र चलाउने. धन्यबाद.

You can support the National Innovation Center by visiting the GoFundMe page here.

To learn more about the National Innovation Center, please visit the official webpage (available in Nepali and English): http://nicnepal.org/view/index.php

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