Friendship across the Himalayas « Khabarhub
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Friendship across the Himalayas

16 February 2020  

Time taken to read : 8 Minute

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KATHMANDU: Rajiv Kumar Jha, a professor at Xi’an Medical University, smiles after handing over more than 10 hard-won boxes of medical supplies to Chinese personnel preparing for the construction of an international airport in Bhairahawa, southern Nepal, at around 5pm local time on February 12. Jha, a 41-year-old Nepalese specialist, has spent more time in China than in Nepal.

When he was 17, he came to Xi’an with a medical dream. He was pleasantly surprised to find that in the long history of friendly exchanges between the two countries, Xi’an was a city that could not be left unexplored: Fa Xian of the eastern Jin dynasty and Xuan Zang of the tang dynasty both crossed the Himalayas from here to Lumbini, Nepal, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, from which they translated many Buddhist classics that are still extant today.

“I want to be an envoy like Fa Xian and Xuan Zang to continue our friendship across the Himalayas, “Jha said. In this way, he fell in love with China and with Xi’an. For his dream at the age of 17, Jha learned to pick up Chinese food with chopsticks, to go to the night market to eat barbecue with Chinese friends and to communicate with the locals in the Xi’anian dialect.

In order to realize his dream at the age of 17, he completed the undergraduate and doctoral program in Xi’an Jiaotong University with excellent results, and also won the research fund for foreign young scholars of the national natural science foundation of China. He chose to stay in China for the dream he had when he was 17.

He was appointed as a professor in Xi’an Medical University and was in charge of the Sino-Nepalese Yurakim medical laboratory, which combined traditional Chinese medicine with Nepalese traditional medicine, focusing on a series of studies on the effect of Chinese medicine resveratrol on pancreatitis.

In order to realize his dream, he kept himself busy in both China and Nepal merely at the age of 17. He led more than 50 doctors and college students from these two countries to popularize health knowledge in more than 20 rural areas of Nepal.

“We have joined the Nepalese people in China to set up the ‘friendship exchange conference between the two sides of the Himalayas’, and conducted over 30 non-governmental exchanges and cooperation activities every year.” Says Jha.

Love is an amazing force that interacts with each other. Jha’s efforts have been highly recognized by Shaanxi province and Xi’an city. In January 2015, he was appointed by the organization department of CPC Shaanxi provincial party committee as the special expert of “100 people plan” of Shaanxi province, becoming the first Nepali to receive this honor.

In June 2018, the mayor of Xi’an awarded him the letter of appointment as the “Nepal-Xi’an civic ambassador”. In November 2018, he was awarded the Xi’an friendship award by the Xi’an municipal government.

What makes Jha most proud is that on March 25, 2016, during his visit to China, Nepalese Prime Minister KP Oli gave a speech at Xi’an medical university, urging him to ‘continue to work hard to make the flower of friendship between the two countries more colorful.’

On January 12, the school winter holiday began, and Jha flew back to Nepal to be with his family. Unexpectedly, a few days later, the outbreak of new crown pneumonia later known as coronavirus or COVID-19, soon spread to more than 20 countries around the world. He saw from the WeChat circle of friends that several colleagues and friends had become members of the Shaanxi medical aid team and rushed to Wuhan on New Year’s Eve.

Seeing them fighting against the epidemic 24 hours a day without food or rest, he felt very worried. “I want to return to Xi’an and ask the school to arrange me to go to Wuhan to fight against the epidemic,” he said.

On the phone, he expressed his wish to the college leaders. School leaders agreed, such as conditions, the first time to inform him. While waiting, he forwarded a large number of relevant reports from the Chinese official media and actively introduced China’s epidemic prevention work to the Nepalese media.

When he was concerned about Xi’an, the city was also concerned about him. He received a lot of concerned calls from leaders, colleagues and friends, as well as tips from relevant authorities in Shaanxi province and Xi’an’s city to fight the epidemic and take precautions.

“I studied in China, I worked in China, and China is my second home. The care from my Chinese family is reassuring.” In his gratitude, the scene of teachers and students donating money after the great earthquake in Nepal in 2015 leaped out of his mind: China is a good neighbor of Nepal, and the Chinese people treat me like good brothers.

Now that China is in trouble, what else can I do? With the idea of ‘helping as much as you can’, he visited all the local medical supplies and enterprises he could reach, contacting dozens of celebrities in Nepal, Pakistan, India and other south Asian countries to mobilize them to donate medical supplies to China.

On 4 February, the government of xi ‘an received a letter of condolence from Shiv Raj Subedi, mayor of Butwal, Jha’s hometown: “Nepal will be with you. The Butwal Sub-Metropolitan City or the local government of Butwal is deeply concerned about this outbreak. We will work with China and the Chinese people through this difficult time. We are confident that the outbreak will soon be brought under control and everything will be fine.”

With medical supplies scarce in many south Asian countries, Jha managed to raise more than 10 boxes of medical supplies urgently needed in China. However, flights from Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital city, to Xi’an were suspended. How to do? Upon learning this, Xi’an foreign affairs department immediately contacted the Chinese personnel who were preparing to build the international airport in Butwal and entrusted them to find a way to bring back this batch of medical supplies full of international friendship.

Hence the opening scene. “Nepalese people often say that a drop of water can fill a jar. The materials I collected, though small, were a token of my affection. I will continue to raise money and continue to pray for China.”

“I am confident that with the strong leadership of the Chinese government and the strong support of the international community, the Chinese people are united as one and there are no insurmountable obstacles. I love China!” The wind whistled through his cell phone from time to time. The flower of friendship across the Himalayas is blooming in the wind.

Publish Date : 16 February 2020 13:06 PM

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