This summer (2008), Heritage Web Design, a Utah based company, became a partner with the village of Purankot, Nepal. Life in Puranokot has been tough but with this new partnership positive changes are on the way. To better understand what life is like in Puranokot, read what Brikha Bahadur Gurung writes:
“Brikha Bahadur Gurung was born in a poor family in Purankot, Lamjung, 25 years ago. Later, his father served as a Gurkha solder and his mom ran a small tea shop; that started improving their family finances making them a happy family of three. It did not last long. Unfortunately, Brikha’s father died while serving in an army leaving behind a young child and his widow. Brikha’s mom got married a second time to a young man and left Brikha at the village without any support. Based on the local custom, after the second marriage women lose right to the property from the first husband (new amendment in the prevailing law has given right to the property though it is not socially practiced), Brikha was left alone with nothing but a small hut. However, his mother kept on supporting him. He grew up strong both in feelings and strength, he never gave up hope in difficult times, as a result he is now studying in a college in a nearby village.
Struggling with the hardship of life and learning lessons from them, he developed himself as a visionary leader of the village. He envisions Puranokot as a ‘Ecological Village Tourism Centre’. He sees the following things as prerequisites for making this happen. Puranokot is rich with traditional cultures, dances, and flora and faunas. But dances like Sorathi, Chudka and Ghantu are at risk of becoming extinct because of so called modernization. There should be an immediate action taken to protect them. Tourism will generate capital to make these cultures vibrant. Preservation of traditional carvings, crafts and uniforms are other areas that need protection and promotion. Well-educated and disciplined youths are needed, therefore, promotion of education is a priority. For village-tourism to flourish, a clean village with other basic facilities needs to be developed. At the same time, Brikha understands that establishing a network of other local villages that run similar programs and the private companies that invest in them is crucial. He has started this effort and would like CHOICE to be a part in helping him realize this goal.”