The Good Samaritan

Kathmandu :

He came. He saw. And he decided to do something for the Dalits of Narayansthan.

That’s the story of German national Rainer Stoll, who visited Nepal for the first time in 1997 and since then has been involved in the development of Narayansthan VDC in Baglung.

Stoll’s Good Samaritan deeds for the VDC are many. Together with his wife, he has opened a pre-primary school for the Dalits, manages a community health and sanitation programme, and is also the coordinator of bird conservation programme of the Balewa area.

Being a tourism-related person (he is MD of German travel agencies birdingtours and travel-to-nature), Stoll visited Nepal on the insistence of a friend.

Once here, he visited Narayansthan and was apalled by the poor living standard of the people and lack of education and health care. So he got involved with SWAN (Social Welfare Association of Nepal), which has provided various facilities for the villagers like bridge, school for blind, scholarship for the needy, health post.

Forty-five per cent of 7,000 odd people of the village are Dalits.

“I decided to get involved in the Dalit pre-primary education as it is essential for them to get education in the early age. We have cases where they enrol in schools late and drop out as they are not used to the environment,” said Stoll.

There are 45 children in their pre-primary classes, he said adding that along with education they provide nutritious meal every afternoon for the children.

Austrian doctor Greda Pohl volunteered to take care of the health post when one was built in the village, and even trained a few interested villagers as medical assistants. The health post today boasts of a health assistant, mid-wife and a community health worker. Not only has Stoll and his family done a lot for this village, but he also gets the tourists that he brings from Germany and other countries to Nepal to do something for the village.

He brings them here and shows them what is needed and what is being done and leaves it up to the visitors whether they want to extend a helping hand. More often than not, they do.

Stoll plans to promote family tours and adds that this will be able to generate funds for his projects for at least the next five years. Stoll also expressed plans to raise funds from the German soccer team.

His agencies are promoting village tourism on a big scale as he wants foreigners to see the real Nepal and her people.

“Previously when Nepal had the Maoist problem, our government did not provide insurance to those who visited Nepal. So the people were not keen to visit Nepal. But now things are different and I hope this peace continues and people will be more and more interested in coming to Nepal,” said Stoll.

Amen to that.