Dr. Sanjivan (San) Mahara became a Rotary member in Canada in 2004 after emigrating from Nepal in 1999. Born and raised in Katmandu, Nepal it was in 1996 San met Dr. Chandra Lekha Tuladhar, an active member of the Katmandu Mid Town Rotary Club.
He was immediately drawn into the world of Rotary and became a member. San said he “always wanted to do something for Nepal and was advised don’t do what you want, do something they need.”
In 2015 when San took his family home to Nepal, an earthquake hit the region within days of their arrival. In the wake of several aftershocks, San’s place of refuge became a tent in a backyard. Regardless, he extended his stay to serve the community with the help of friends and family was able to raise over $5000 to purchase basic relief supplies for earthquake victims. Upon his return to Canada, San held a Candlelight Vigil for Nepal in Nanaimo, BC and through the sale of T-shirts, with ‘Nepal’ printed on the front, raised another $5000 that the Canadian government matched through the Nepal Heritage Charity Foundation.
The construction of a covered area at the centre of the Tri-Ratna Co-operative School provided children with a place to learn, play and gather, out of the sun and rain; the first evidence of together ‘doing something needed.’ Each year following, San has organized a hike up Mount Benson, several walks around Westwood Lake, and even a trek to Base Camp at Mt Everest.
Over the last 7 years, he has continued to find ways to fill a need in Nepal. Through Rotary District Grants, partnerships with Nanaimo Daybreak, RC of Bellevue USA, RC of Lakewood USA, and Katmandu Mid Town Rotary Clubs, The Rose International Fund for Children, fundraisers, and friends, over US$100,000 has found its’ way back to Nepal.
In 2018 the earthquake-damaged Tri-Ratna School was rebuilt, in 2019, an education program for the blind was funded, in 2020, during lockdown, over 100,000 hot meals were served in Katmandu, and in 2021 disabled adults will have an opportunity to learn how to farm to lead an independent life.
Two images are of the covered area at the Tri-Ratna School. The one picture is of the crew that hiked to the base camp of Mt. Everest. The fourth picture is from this year’s walk around Westwood Lake and is the flag of Nepal.