Since 2002, Mahabir Pun has connected more than 60,000 people to the Internet. The year before, the Nepalese educator had returned to his hometown, Nangi, in the Myagdi district of Nepal, after earning a Masters degree in education at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Determined to improve educational and economic opportunities in the region, Pun started to sense that the village’s distance from other towns was making it difficult for his community to participate in a broader economic and social world. The way he saw it, there was only one solution: the Internet.
“There was no Internet in Nangi. The closest was in Pokhara, which is a two day hike away. So every month, I walked from Nangi to Pokhara to check my emails," Pun explains in the short documentary Hiking For Emails. "In 2001, I decided that there must be a smarter way. My dream was to build a wireless network that would connect Nangi to the rest of the world.”
Since 2002, Pun has connected not only Nangi, but 174 other villages in 15 districts in Nepal to the world wide web. Nangi—the flagship village—has a computer lab in its high school, its medical clinic is in constant contact with a hospital in Kathmandu, and, of course, Pun can finally check his emails without going on a two-day hike. Check out the short documentary above to learn more about the work of Mahabir Pun.
Banner Image Credit: Clemens Purner, Vimeo