Two days ago, CNN named Maggie Doyne as the CNN Hero of the Year. She was the third winner affiliated to Nepal, after Anuradha Koirala and Pushpa Basnet, in the last eight years who was awarded for making huge impacts in the lives of Nepali. As a Nepali myself, it surely made me proud. Honestly, sometimes I think that whenever there is someone who is nominated for an international award, Nepali community will do whatever it can to make sure he/she gets the award. It is no coincidence that the pattern has repeated in the last couple of years.
In October, when Maggie Doyne was listed in the top ten, Nepalese knew that she was the founder and CEO of BlinkNow, a nonprofit organization that is helping over 400 children from poor communities to educate and prepare them up to post-graduate level with the establishment of Kopila Valley Children’s Home and School. Then, it was time for Nepalese to spread the word like a wildfire in the internet. Many urged to vote for Maggie and then thousands joined in. Their dedication finally paid off two days ago.
Nepalese feel a great sense of responsibility to show their gratefulness for someone who is involved in benevolent work and who gets recognized by the international community. It is something we closely connect to with the person. Even if they are foreigners, their contributions to the Nepali community stands out. We automatically categorize them as Nepali. They become our family and their happiness is our happiness. So, we become desperate to vote them. Most of the time, we will have become victorious.
Sometimes, I feel strange that a country with a small population has a bigger influence in an international award. Sometimes, I wonder why countries with wide internet access and with large population do not commit enough to win their countrymen. Perhaps I think that maybe they do not have to, as they continuously win other prestigious prizes. But for Nepal, just to see someone who represents/kind-of-represents the country is a great achievement. We have very little that we can symbolize ourselves proudly in the international arena besides being home to Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) and Lord Gautam Buddha to name a few. It is why Nepalese do not want to leave these chances that will help in cementing their country’s name in the world.
It was no wonder that Sano Babu Sunuwar and Lakpa Tsheri Sherpa from Nepal were named as People’s Choice for Adventurers of the Year 2012 organized by National Geographic Society. They had amassed the majority of the 72000 votes. Even in this case, Nepalese made sure that they took the title. In another instance, in 2007, Nepalese collected enough money to go to India and vote for Prashant Tamang, an Indian from a Nepali-speaking community in Darjeeling. They made sure that he won the title of Indian Idol. And, they were successful.
The vast circulation of voting guidelines over the internet followed by a sense of responsibility from Nepali is more than enough to make sure that a Nepali or someone affiliated to Nepal shines throughout the world. The probability for this is so high that the next time you see a Nepali or someone who has contributed greatly to it nominated for an award, you will notice that he/she will have eventually won it. Just watch to deduce if I was wrong or not.