We are delighted to announce the results of our annual competition to reward our Guides for writing letters about their experiences with Village Ways. The competition is known as the Narayan Singh Bisht Memorial Prize for Guides’ Stories. Narayan Singh Bisht, of Mousiachaur Village, Binsar, was a keen and highly respected guide with Village Ways from 2006 until his sad and untimely death in 2010. Despite his disabilities, resulting from childhood polio, he could out-walk anyone and was always the life and soul of a walking party. He was a keen bird watcher too.
This year the competition was open to our guides throughout India and Nepal. We received letters from Hacra in Rajasthan, from Hulgol in South India and several from Sailung in Nepal. Congratulations to all who submitted letters, each was of high quality and full of interest. In the evaluations, we looked especially for imaginative writing and good stories. Those from Nepal included moving descriptions of the traumatic experiences of last year’s earthquake. Deciding on the winners was very difficult, but first prize went to Tenzing Tamang from Nepal for his powerful account of the earthquake and its impacts – see his unedited letter below.
The winners for 2015 are:
1st Tenzing Tamang (Teksingh, Sailung)
2nd Rejina Tamang (Teksingh, Sailung)
3rd Gaje Singh (Hacra)
4th Girish Hegde (Hulgol)
We shall be presenting Certificates for each winner and distributing cash prizes: 1st Prize: Rs 4,000; 2nd Prize: Rs 3,000; 3rd Prize: Rs 2,000; 4th Prize: Rs 1,000.
The winning letter:
TENZING TAMANG, TEKSING, NEPAL
The name of my village is Lakhanpur, Teksing, located in Ramachhap district on the foothill of the famous religious hill called Shailung. Our village is not much developed but it has too much potential because of it is one of the historical
and beautiful place. It is known as one of the popular touristic areas but after the earthquake of 25th April 2015 not many tourists visit our place. Whole country was affected but the hard hit districts were reported to be Lamjung, Gorkha, Kathmandu and Sindhupalchowk all of these places are populated by
various indigenous groups. Around 9,000 people were killed and many thousands were injured. Many children lost their parents. World heritage sites were also damaged and destroyed, in the context of Ramechhap about 50 people died and 1,000 were injured, many people became homeless.
On 25th April 2015 when earthquake occurred in Nepal, we were resting at home after lunch. It shook badly, everyone started running away from their home crying and shouting. All my families were also running outside at that terrible moment. We saw the houses collapse one after another, also hills were sliding huge landslides happened. Then the situation became worst due to the landslides impact, Most of the houses were cracked. We were unable to contact with anyone's mobile as the network was not working. We were out of touch for a couple of hours and worried about our relatives and friends. We made small tents to live safely and cooked outside for our meals.
Before the earthquake happened, I remember clearly we all were happy. One of the Village Ways guests had returned to Kathmandu on 22nd April and we were in contact. We were expecting other groups of guests coming here for walking holiday. But then, they could not make it cause of the natural disaster. Being a guide I became very sad and I was not able to communicate.
We know the disaster is too much harmful for everyone. We shared everything we had with each other. China, India and several other countries quickly responded by sending in aid and rescue teams, the relief materials to the people. Natural disasters occurs no-matter - it is part of life and everyone must try to survive. On 12th May also again it destroyed many things but we live safely nowadays reconstruction has started in the very sector we have promised to build again a beautiful nation Nepal.