Interview with Mahabir Pun

Q) What inspired you to work in social sector and build e-commerce/internet facilities for villages?

There is a saying, `necessity is the mother of invention”.Every thing we do is for meeting our necessities. Whatever work I did in the social sector, first I saw the need of the society that made me think about doing something. I don’t think it came from inspiration but from the needs of society and that is how I started my work and built internet facilites for villages.

Q) Which project are you working on currently?

Currently I am working for National Innovation Center. It is not a project but a campaign and it will go on and on. I have done small projects also like ORS Networking projects, community development projects, income generating projects, tourism projects to fulfill the needs of the community. I am fully spending my time to establish ways to run National Innovation Center.

Q) Has your vision of research center come to fruition?

It is coming, so far we are going on two prongs.One prong is we have established innovation center from where some young innovators are working on different ideas and different projects.  Another prong is we are trying to find ways to make it sustainable through different kind of projects to generate money to support the innovation center. This is how the innovation center is functioning.

Q) How can the scientist in today’s time bring a change globally? What is the future of Nepalese scientist in coming years?

Science meansnot just pure science but scientist means somebody who creates ideas of something new. Any changes that are happening around the world are because of the science. Without science change is not possible. If without science if things were possible even animals could have done things that humans are doing. Science has brought inventions to fulfill the need of the people. After being able to satisfy the basic needs of human beings other needs like entertainment and to do all this science is an absolute necessity.Science is not only making atom boms or aeroplanes.Science is everything done to fulfill our needs. Without science no change is possible. At the present time there is no environment for scientist to do something.In the future if government has the same attitude as in today, Nepalese scientist have a very dim future. However, from the innovation center to encourage scientist and their innovative work we are willing to give them any kind of help to make their own future. Making their future bright means making nation’s future bright. That is what we are doing. In coming 10 years our goal is to support young scientist and innovators to make inventions and that is what we are trying for.

Q) How deep is knowledge of science and technology? What impact has it made to the lives of common people?

The knowledge of science is vast. Nobody knows how deep it is. Science and technology comes from mind and our mind has no limitations.It is impossible to know that. It has changed the way people are living, people are working. Earlier people were engaged in hunting so they made weapons. That was science and that made their life easier. Making tools for agriculture was also a science. Then they made cars, aeroplanes that made life easier. The thing is it has made life easier and life complicated also. To understand and implement science and technology we have to give time to make it work. So it is easier said than done.

Q) Howcan the government help social scientist realizes their ideas into a framework of nation building? What initiative of theirs can accelerate the potential of growth and productivity?

The main thing from government is they should give their support on every kind of research and development. That is what all the governments of developed countries are doing.It is the ideas that can lead to nation building and the role of the government is to manage those ideas brought by scientist, innovators and social entrpreneuers. Government should support and cash their ideas and that is what developed countries is doing.That is something not happening in Nepal. The irony is this role has not been realized by government of Nepal.

Q)You have stood as role model for youths by achieving” Best social innovation award in overall category” from United Kingdom. What is your message to Nepali entreprenuers and innovators about making an impact from their own discoveries?

We have innovators and entrpreneuers in Nepal, until and unless we commercialize the ideas of innovators and entreprenuers our country will not benefit. Government should create a platform where the beginning stage of innovators while they are coming up in that case government should totally support their efforts.Government is not doing that. My message is “Try your best”. Don’t quit because government has not helped and come to us to National innovation center.We will try our best to support your cause.

Q)  How can the infrastructural work of our Country lead to progress in economic and social sector?

Infrastructure development is necessary for economic development of Nepal.The first priority of government is to build infrastructure. This is just 50% work for the economic development of the country.Another 50% is to manage and run for the economic development. Economic development doesn’t happen itself. Inorder to do so, we have to keep our talented and innovative people. Government should bring policy or programs to sustain talented people to develop technology, ideas and business and they areseen going overseas.

Q) One thing you wish you had done or not able to do as you planned?

  During 26 years of my time, I fully worked as social entreprenuer and social worker. I tried so many things to help the communities. Now what I have thought is it is still not enough. The lesson I learned was by doing social work only a country cannot develop. There are thousands of people doing social work in Nepal. Their wish to make Nepal a better County. Social work cannot bring prosperity. I did social work and I helped people as many as I could. I am happy with that. For economic development we must pool talented and innovative people. I learned this life’s lesson and trying to implement it which has not happened but it is still possible.


Mahabir Pun is a Nepalese teacher, social entrepreneur and an activist known for his extensive work in applying wireless technologies to develop remote areas of the Himalayas, also known as the Nepal Wireless Networking Project.  He is a widely known figure in Nepal, and his work has been recognized by the Ashoka Foundation, the Ramon Magsaysay Foundation, University of Nebraska, and Global Ideas Bank. He is the man of humanitarian who work for inspiring many youth to return their own country and serve it for its development. Mahabir pun is a person of phenomenal qualities; he is always ready to eradicate different problems inside the country.

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