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End the digital divide in Nepal: Internet access to one and all

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Access to information in this digital age has allowed millions of people around the world to join hands, learn, grow, and make a difference in their lives and the lives of countless others.

Nepal, as a nation, has its many challenges, but access to the internet shouldn’t be one of them. Unfortunately for the people of Nepal, it is.

All of us with internet access know that it can bring great changes to people who find themselves struggling to keep up in an ever changing world; keep up with information, opportunities, education, and technology that enhances lives, changes attitudes and unites people from around the globe. Studies have shown that internet access can help eradicate poverty by improving individual opportunities in education and advancement of skills both at the local and global levels.

Dr. Mahabir Pun, 2014 Internet Hall of Fame Inductee, has been working for years to achieve the goal of access to the online community for the citizens of Nepal. Many have joined him in his efforts, but we, as a global, connected, and caring community have to become the voice beyond borders for this life-changing mission of Dr. Pun’s.

According to Dr. Pun, the Rural Telecommunication Development Fund (RTDF) in Nepal has amassed over $100 million (US), and the fund, thanks to a yearly contribution of 2% of the annual income of each of the licensees under the Nepal Telecommunication Authority, will continue to grow by millions every year and yet, it sits in the bank producing very little results. You can watch his interview (in Nepali) on the state of the fund.

Working tirelessly for more than 12 years, Pun says he, and his organization, has been able to connect only 200 schools to the global community.  He estimates that the results of the combined efforts of his, and only a few other organizations, have led to internet access for approximately 500 schools, total, in rural Nepal.

Dr. Pun is confident that if the fund is put to good use, every mountaintop of the country would have internet access within the next 5 years, and that a much shorter time span could be achieved if the work picked up speed.

And yet, it is sad to hear him say that he has reached out to every Minister in the Ministry of Information and Communication, and yet nothing is getting done. This is primarily due to the many turnovers in government personnel and structure that have occurred in Nepal during recent years. You can hear him saying,  "I hope this award will help me to convince the government to do more" during his 2014 Internet Hall of Fame acceptance speech.

But we can help this work ‘pick up speed’, cut through the red tape, and realize Dr. Pun’s vision for a globally connected Nepal by joining hands to reach out to the Minister of Information and Communication in Nepal; Mr. Sherdhan Rai.

Here’s how you can be a part of this effort: Become a voice beyond borders and sign, then share, the attached petition designed to end the digital divide in Nepal.

It will request that the Ministry, and the Government of Nepal, make and meet the following goals:

  • Make Nepal a digitally connected nation by the year 2020. 
  • Form a committee, with Dr. Mahabir Pun as its Chairman, to plan and implement a program to end the digital divide between the rural and urban areas of Nepal.


Sign the petition today, and then, let's Spread the word:

  • Reach out to everyone you can to spread this message and ask the members of our interconnected world to help in this effort.

When access to information is available far and wide, we can achieve the heights that we may have once only dreamed of….And perhaps achieve heights that we have yet to dream. You can read more about the petition on my blog.

Disclaimer: Sudiksha Joshi, who started this petition, had not been in contact with Dr. Mahabir Pun before starting this petition drive, but since starting it, he responded by saying that this is do-able.



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