Magsaysay winner’s kin elated

Mahabir Pun promises to spend prize money on community welfare

Narayangarh, August 1:

Kith and kin are revelling over the announcement to honour 52-year-old Mahabir Pun, who has worked as a teacher at Birendranagar and Khairheni in Chitwan district, with the Magsaysay prize.

Elated at the announcement, Mahabir’s aged mother, an asthma patient, said that her son has done the family name proud. His paternal aunt Birmati Pun crowed, “My nephew has plucked the stars.” Pun’s married sister Gaumaya, who had come to visit her mother, said her elder brother Mahabir had done the entire country proud. Mahabir was supposed to return to Narayangarh earlier.

He, however, managed to reach only yesterday. Mahabir’s younger brother Dambar Bahadur Pun gushed, “Dai is now the talk of the town.”

Mahabir’s other sister Dhanmaya Pun said, “It’s great to know he has won such a big award. You switch on the radio or turn on the TV and there he is, making the headlines. We are so happy and my children have declared him a hero.”

Mahabir’s students are elated, too. Shree Raj Bartaula, 37, said, “Though we could not get to meet Mahabir sir after he returned, we are jubilating as he will be back and we’ll get to seek his blessings.”

Asked how he felt at getting the award, Mahabir answered,”The fact that I got it does not overwhelm me. If I had not got it, I would not have felt sad either. I don’t feel that I have done anything big. I intend to spend the $50,000 prize money on community welfare.”