KATHMANDU, July 4: Gaumaya Gurung, hailing from Gorkha originally, now lives in, studies and works in the United Kingdom (UK). But she never lost her Nepali side in the hustle and bustle of her busy life there.
Gurung, now 20, has been coming to Nepal several times since she went to the UK after completing her SLC.
“No matter where you go and what you do, you are a Nepali at the end of the day and I realize that,” says Gurung.
She recently went to the Everest Base Camp (EBC) with a group of her friends from Aston University where she is currently pursuing her studies in Optometry. She, along with her friends, held charity functions and managed to gather £2,500 of which two third was donated to Child Reach Nepal, an organization working in partnership with local communities in the developing world to help improve children´s access to healthcare, education, and child rights and protection. One third of the charity fund was spent on the trip to the EBC.
Miss UK Nepal 2012 and Ambassador of Netfox, a money transfer company in the UK, Gurung shares, “When I was in grade five, I heard of Maiti Nepal but it was only after my college that I could volunteer. The volunteering scene is perhaps picking up now but it’s still not taken seriously.”
Gurung recently also donated Rs 50,000 to Maiti Nepal, an NGO headed by CNN Hero of the year 2010, Anuradha Koirala, which fights for women’s rights and is also a counseling and rehabilitation centre for trafficked women and children. Also, being a student of Optometry, she gave instruments worth £1,000 to Til Ganga Eye Hospital in Kathmandu.
“A Professor used to collect instruments helpful for eye hospitals and donate them. I spoke to him and got the instruments here this year,” she says.
Gaumaya’s passion to help people doesn’t stop there. She is also currently sponsoring two girls back in Gorkha for their education.
“I really hope young people like me back in the UK also go ahead and sponsor kids here. Also, when I go back, I want to start a campaign or something that will get the Nepali youth come back to Nepal and work here,” says Gurung, filled with optimism.
A person whose interest lies in the health sector but enjoys arts and its many forms, Gurung also puts together clothes.
“I take up vintage pieces and turn it into wearable. I sew it myself,” she says proudly.
When asked what she wants to do in the future, she says, “I definitely want to come back to Nepal and I hope more people will do so, too. I want to create a better environment for my children and their children in the future here in Nepal. I can’t do it alone, but yes, I want to come back.”