"Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education."

They planned to get the building up next year's July monsoons just eight months away. While Hari got a proper bill of works in Nepal, Peter and Beryl ran off 1000 copies of a puzzle sheet, explaining about the clinic and offering prizes. They charged 1 opened a set. As word of the clinic spread, donors started pledging 5 pounds of 10 pounds. Peter met a plumber who gave him a fiver." Come to Nepal to work on me clinic," Peter begged him. "I can't" said the plumber. "I've got a wife and baby at home." But next day he was back with a van full of plumbing fittings. Suddenly Peter realized he could be asking for things just as valuable as money. He began to contact local companies and intern received plumbing supplies, flat pack furniture, tools, nuts, holds, and screws, paints and cleaning products. Firms even donated pens and pencils, overalls, toilet rolls, toys and books. 

From any available phone or fax, Hari called with progress reports. The foundations were to be trenches filled with boulders. With reinforced concrete on top. the village women spent days ferrying tons of rocks the size of small footballs from the river. Men and women together dug the trenches and mixed the concrete.

Laying the Foundations

After petitioning the Nepalese government for three months, Hari was given permission for a week's expedition to salvage fallen timber for doors and windows from the Chitwan National Park. Eighty villagers using elephants hauled the fallen logs, three feet wide by up to 12 feet long, six moles through streams and across the riverbed to the sawpits at Meghauli. Back in Bristol, Peter spoke at business dinners. In Gibraltar, Kevin held sponsored bed pushes and Gladiators parties and constructed moles of pennies though the main street. Slowly funds mounted up. Now it was time to ship the supplies to Nepal, but how could they ever afford to move such bulk? 

Kevin come to the rescue, arranging for it to go in a container bound for the Nepal based Gurkha regiment. They had a week to pack and rush everything to Bisector to be loaded for the five months passage. In February, Kevin and Peter flew to Katmandu to check on the clinic's progress in person. They had also scheduled meetings with half a dozen government dignitaries. How quickly would electricity reach the site? They asked a land department official. He wouldn't meet their eyes. "I have to persuade lots of people," he said. "Lots and lots of people..." 

"Whisky or money," Hari whispered." That's what it will take." They left in disgust. "I will not bribe them," vowed Peter." Anyway, I have other ideas." Back at his hotel, he phoned the Kathmandu times. A peace appeared next day :" New free Clinic for Meghauli". They soon heard that electricity would be supplied. Peter and Kevin returned home to learn that Beryl had received cheques totaling 5400 pounds. Soon the funds topped 9000 pound and the clinic's construction was no longer in doubt. In March 1997, the villagers laid the foundation stones. Over the ensuing months, Hari wrote and faxed constantly to update them. The walls had gone up; the sewers were in; the windows were being installed. "And now we are ready on time for your visit," wrote Hari at last.

Fitting' finale

Kevin began raising a team of servicemen and women to travel to Nepal to help with the building and with training clinic staff. Thirty-five people applied nurses, engineers, electricians, and carpenters. Then, phoning an ex Gurkha fried stationed in Nepal, set about organizing two weeks of naval mountain adventure training for that September. The team would also work on the clinic on the grounds that it was a humanitarian project. One the day of the flight, Kevin and his band of servicemen and women joined Beryl and Peter and 40 Boxes of donated medical supplies at Heathrow Airport. "What on earth is that lot?" said the check in assistant blankly, eyeing the mound of carefully taped boxes. "Do you realize you'll have to pay 4000 pound in excess baggage?" 

Kevin demanded to see her boss. "it's in a good cause," Kevin explained to him. "Oh, go on," interrupted the airline official, throwing their passports on the desk." take them and leave me in peace! And good luck." Thirty-eight people cheered. In Kathmandu, a familiar figure was waiting in the arrival lounge. Beryl marched towards the tall, shy looking young man. " How you've grown!" she exclaimed, hugging him." Oh, it's lovely to see you." She had to stop, unable to speak for tears. When she looked up she realized that Hari too had tears in his eyes. 

In Meghauli they found the neat brick built clinic standing surrounded by banana trees beside a stream. The next new weeks were a whirl of hammering and installed furniture. Nurses trained clinic helpers, teaching them basic hygiene, and first aid. Peter and Beryl wandered though rooms smelling of fresh paint and newly sawn wood. "Who'd have believed we could have come this far so quickly?" said Peter. 

On October 20, 1997 the village pipes and drums band paraded though Meghauli to the clinic, while the whole village followed, clapping and cheering. At the opening ceremony Hari got up and spoke. "Thank you for showing my people that somebody cares," he said, bowing to Beryl, Kevin and Peter. 

Later that evening, Hart's parents invited the couple to a celebratory meal at their house_ the same house they had eaten at ten years earlier. During supper, Beryl felt a tug at her elbow. "Beryl," said Hari. "Would you mind if I called you Mum?" I would be honored," said Beryl, touched at this simple gesture of respect and gratitude. "Now I have four sons". 

Today the "friendship Clinic ", as it is known, has a full time nurse and a clinic manager; a doctor takes surgeries twice a week and specialists visit from time to time. In the nurse's office, a woman cradles a seemingly lifeless baby, its head covered in livid scabs. "A severe case of cradle cap," says Chunmaya, the nurse. She dresses the baby's head and gives the young woman dried milk to feed her child the mother is too malnourished to produce milk herself. 

Among the patients are Hari's mother and father, who have benefited greatly from local treatment for their TB. Hari organizes medical volunteers and funding for the clinic, though the Shores are still-raising money towards its upkeep, at the last count, they had raised more than 25000 pounds. "If you're climbing a sand hill, its hard work," points out Peter. "But if you're running down one sand hill, you're halfway up the next before you realize it . That's how beryl and I tackle problems." 

About this site

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