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On the occasion of Pakistan Day ( 23rd March 2017)

24 March, 2017

 Free Medical Camps Highlight Nepal-Pakistan Relations


Dr. Manju Ratna Sakya

General Secretary

Nepal-Pakistan Friendship and Cultural Association


Nepal and Pakistan are not geographically connected but their friendly, diplomatic, political and religious relations are warm, cordial and problem-free since their diplomatic ties were established in 1960. The bilateral bonhomie is going strength to strength. Pakistan’s cooperation to Nepal in different fields, especially technical and education spheres is highly praiseworthy. However, the friendly relations are not just limited to the official level. The people to people relations between the two friendly nations have grown to the much satisfaction of both.


It is the non-governmental organisations that play a vital role in boosting the people to people relations. In this context, I would like to mention the role of the Nepal-Pakistan Friendship and Cultural Association (NPFCA)  in cementing the relations between the two nations. It was set up in 1961 with a humble goal of expanding the people to people relations between the two nations. Since its inception, NPFCA has been conducting various activities aimed at bringing the nations closer. In addition to organising routine annual interaction-cum-cultural programmes where the leaders and representatives from different political parties put up their views on Nepal-Pakistan relations, NPFCA has been organising free medical camps for the last four years. The doctors, who graduated from Pakistan, have offered their voluntary services to the people visiting health camps.


NPFCA has started free medical camps from the Nepalese Doctors who graduated from friendly country, Pakistan operated at Paropakar H.S. School, Bhimsensthan, Kathmandu which was inaugurated by Hon’ble Vice-Chairman Ms. Onsari Gharti on 12th April 2014. This first Camp was quite successful and we have been highly encouraged from the local people.


Similarly, at the request of people of Kathmandu City, NPFCA organised second free medical camp at Paropakar H.S. School, Bhimsensthan, Kathmandu. This camp was inaugurated by Hon’ble Minister of  Women , Child and Social Welfare Ms. Neelam K.C. on 30th May 2015. Nearly 510 people were benefitted directly from this Camp.


Likewise, NPFCA organised third free medical camp at Paropakar H.S. School, Bhimsensthan, Kathmandu on 2nd April 2016. This camp was inaugurated jointly by Hon’ble Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Women, Child and Social Welfare Mr. C.P. Mainali, H.E. Ambassador of Pakistan Dr. Mazhar Javed and NPFCA chief Mr. Himalaya S. Rana.


Last year, on 30th April 2016, it conducted a fourth health camp in Dapcha Kashikhanda Municipality, Bhakundebesi in Kavre district which was inaugurated jointly by City Mayor Mr. Damaru Dahal, H.E. Ambassador of Pakistan Dr. Mazhar Javed and NPFCA Supremo Mr.Himalaya S. Rana. It drew very positive response from the locals.


As a general secretary of the Association, I would like to honestly tell the readers that the free medical camp held at Bhakundebesi was highly fruitful and beneficial for the needy and poor patients who are unable to afford expensive treatment in the private hospitals. As everybody knows that the state-run hospitals are not equipped with adequate human resources and equipment, the commoners are forced to go to the private clinics and health facilities for the health services. The situation in the villages and far-flung parts of the country is quite disappointing. It next to impossible to get the service of MBBS doctors in the health posts in the rural areas. In most cases, the junior health workers run such health posts. In some cases, it is office assistants (peon), who treat and subscribe medicines to the patients.


Many locals from Bhakundebesi are demanding that the medical camp be again organised here to benefit them. Last time, around 500 patients visited the camp and received medicines free of cost. They comprise the poor, needy, children, women, disabled and senior citizens.


At the request of local people, NPFCA organised the fifth Free Medical Camp at Paropakar Higher Secondary School, Bhimsensthan, Ward No.20 on 4th March 2017 (21st Falgun 2073), Saturday and it  served 493 people at the Free Medical Camp.


The local people who aged between 80-85 years old also benefitted from the Camp. All these people received medical services in orthopedic, gynecology, ENT, Peadiatric, Diabetic, Dental, Kidney, ECG & X-ray services, General check-up etc. All these people were very happy to receive free medicines too from the camp.


The Camp was inaugurated amidst a special ceremony by Honble Minister of Industry Mr. Nabindra Raj Joshi, HE Charge d' Affaires Mr. Javed Ahmed Umrani and  President of NPFCA Mr. Himalaya S. Rana jointly by lighting a traditional oil fed PANAS Lamp. Addressing at the inaugural function of Camp, Honble Minister of Industry Mr. Nabindra Raj Joshi appreciated the NPFCA for organizing the free medical camp targeting the poor and deprived communities living in the capital city.


In the program, H.E. Charge d' Affaires of Pakistan Mr. Javed Ahmed Umrani said, " Nepal and Pakistan maintain relations in all fields of mutual interest. Our relations are based on bonds of friendship and mutual respect. We share same Himalayan terrain. Nepal has Mount Everest and Pakistan has H-2, the second highest peak in the world. Similarly, we are liked by Himalayan waters flowing from Kathmandu to Lahore and finally Karachi in the Arabian Sea."


Highlighting on the activities of NPFCA, HE Charge d' Affaires Mr. Javed Ahmed Umrani said, "NPFCA is bringing closer the friendship bond by organizing free medical camps. This is my third year in Nepal and its encouraging that NPFCA is arranging free medical camps on regular basis. Last year free medical camps alongwith free medicines were arranged by NPFCA. The social welfare carried by NPFCA regularly is proof  that the Association is a dynamic and the vibrant forum as well as knows its basis job of helping people in need.


NPFCA had conducting free medical camps in Kathmandu and Kavre with a view  to providing health services to those, who could not afford expensive treatment  in mushrooming private hospital. The camps have been instrument in strengthening warm ties between Nepal and Pakistan and  similar free medical camps would be organized in the days to come.

In the Camp, senior Consultant Pediatrician Dr. Ramesh Malla who graduated from king Edward Medical University of Lahore in 1985, Senior orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Prabin Bahadur Pradhan who graduated from King Edward Medical University of Lahore in 2001, Child Specialist Dr. Roushan Jahan who graduated from Qaidazam Medical College of Bhawalpur and  other child specialist Dr. Najla Khatun who graduated from Fatmaziz College of Lahore had actively served to the patients in the camp.


Likewise, Consultant Surgeon Urologist Dr. Udaya Man Singh Dongol, MS GI Laparoscope Surgeon Dr. Suman Kumar Shrestha, Head & Neck Surgery Dr. Priyanka Gupta, Pediatrics Dr. Sushma Shrestha, General Physician Dr. Rojeet Shakya, Dental Surgeon Dr. Anju Joshi, Senior Ophthalmologist Dr. Beena Shrestha, IOM Dr. Hira Nath Dahal and  obstetrician & Gynecologist Dr. Chandra Laxmi Shrestha  had also actively checked to all the patients who were lined-up in the camp from 8:30 am.

Senior Consultant Pediatrician Dr. Ramesh Malla of SMS Clinic, Hattisar, Kamalpokhari had very sincerely participated in the camp with his young assistant Mr. Suresh Adhikari and  also contributed free medicians.

Likewise, Chairman & CEO of Vijayadeep Laborites Ltd. Mr. Pradeep Man Vaidya had also kindly contributed free medicines in the camp. Chairman of Nepal Cancer Relief Society Kathmandu Branch Mr. Ajaya Singh Suwal, Mr. Pradip Shrestha of Nepal Diabetic Society and Cipla Pharmaceuticals Ltd also contributed free medicines in the camp.

At the request of NPFCA, Nepal Diabetic Society Supremo Mr. Shiva Shrestha had kindly sent the concerning Doctors, Assistants with Medical check-up equipments at the camp. All the Executives, Office bearers, Medical Doctors with Assistants & helpers of Paropakar Central Clinic also Contributed their kind free services to NPFCA Free Medical Camp.


The patients suffering from diabetic, blood pressure, neurological, ENT, heart, paediatric and orthopaedic problems enjoyed free treatment and medicines. It was heartening to see the doctors, who studied in Pakistan under its scholarship scheme, conduct the camp. I think it is innovative idea to engage Nepali doctors graduated from Pakistan in the welfare deed. These doctors realised that they have social and moral responsibility towards those deprived of basic health amenities. I believe the medical camp reflects growing cooperation between Nepal and Pakistan.


Likewise, at the request of local people from Panchakal Municipality, Kavre, NPFCA is planning to organise Sixth free medical camp at the same place on 8th April 2017.


I just mentioned a small area of cooperation between Nepal and Pakistan. Pakistan has always been a nice friend of Nepal. Words fail to appreciate its support to the Nepalese during the devastating earthquake in 2015.  Pakistan was the first nation to dispatch the rescue and medical teams to Kathmandu after the killing temblor hit the Himalayan nation. The Nepalese people never forget the kind-hearted and selfless help the Pakistani government lent to Nepal in the hour of hardships and trauma.


Nepal and Pakistan are two important members of SAARC, a regional forum committed to the betterment of the people living in eight SAARC nations. Both nations aspire to a lasting peace and stability in their countries and region as well. Pakistan has been suffering from terrorism while Nepal the chronic political instability. Achieving political order is the overriding concern of both the friendly nations. We want that Pakistan play a very constructive and effective role to reenergise the regional body so that hundreds of thousands people will be lifted out of poverty and guaranteed a dignified life. Poverty and ignorance is the common enemy and the two nations should join hands to fight against them.


Nepal and Pakistan enjoy excellent relationship at both government to government and people to people levels. Both nations frequently see the high level visits and exchange of ideas. I strongly believe that the friendly relations between them will further grow and gain newer heights in the years to come


Long live  Nepal-Pakistan friendship.


# Dr. Sakya is also the President of Nepal Journalists Association.