It is a great pleasure to be invited in this august gathering of the celebrities, intellectuals and dignitaries including distinguished guests on this great occasion of handing over of the Shankhadhar Sirpa, an Award started in fond memory and honour of the Great National Vibhuti (Hero) Shankhadhar Sakhwa and express my deep gratitude for giving me this rare opportunity to stand before you all and address. I on behalf of myself and the Newars in Sikkim extend hearty felicitations and convey our New Year greetings and best wishes for good health, prosperity and long life to you all.
First of all, I take this opportunity to remember on this solemn day the Great Vibhuti Shankhadhar Sakhwa and many of our forefathers who have contributed immensely here and outside in Sikkim, Darjeeling and different parts of India by their hard labour and unfailing dedication to make the name of we the Newars a distinct identity the world over and offer our heartiest tributes in their fond memory and seek your permission to proceed further on.
Born and brought up by two mothers from amongst the first family to reach Sikkim, Taksari Chandrabir Newar and his son Rai Saheb Ratna Bahadur Pradhan of the Chandra Nursery, we from our Harishankerlal Ramshankerlal Nepali Kothi (Established 1887) Chaukhambha Banaras family had the great privilege to be blessed to be in Sikkim. Rai Saheb Hari Prasad Pradhan from Sikkim had the distinguished career as the First Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in Nepal. Presently, our living legend Ambica Shrestha of Hotel Dwarikas, from Kalimpong is too a Sikkim daughter, we are proud of. I also mention here of Uday Sunder Shrestha from Darjeeling for his SPACES design magazine here. Besides these, we have many who have contributed to the floriculture here decades ago.
The spirit of joy and celebrations witnessed here during the celebrations of National festivities of Yomari Punhi and Jyapu Diwas recently reminded me of those seen earlier in Nhu Dan Bhintuna Rallies here. On arriving here my friend Maheswor Shrestha of NESOCA welcome me to the native land. On Yomari Punhi, when we reach to meet and seek the blessings from the eldest of my family to share the same descent, 91-year old uncle Deo Shanker Lal Shrestha and his 86-year old wife Indira Shrestha, we are overwhelmed by the love and affection showered on us by expressing his desire, “Whatever be the problem here of water and electricity, you come back to Nepal.” Same evening our Jwai Saheb Rajendra Shrestha visit us at our Tengal residence to hand over a copy of his recent book, Vishwaka Sanghiya Rajyaharu, Samvidhan Sabhaharu ra Nepalko Baato and thus add to our joy of delicious and nourishing Yomari his wife and our niece Anjali brought for us in the morning. Similarly, my relative Dipak Shrestha of Hetauda Wapau (already awarded by this Shankhadhar Sirpa) sparing his valuable time reach to accompany me in this function. Such opportunities of love, affection, respect and hospitality given to us make us firmly believe in the well cultured tradition of we the Newars to be still in the safe hands standing on a strong base.
In honour of the Great National Vibhuti Shankhadhar Sakhwa, on the initiative of the Shankhdhar Sirpa Samiti to honour the commendable role played in promoting and contributing extraordinarily to make possible the Nepal Samvat gain the supreme position and recognition with publicity far and wide, Shankhadhar Sirpa has been correct thing and a right and timely decision to award for the Nepal Samvat 1130 to the Sinha Swah Khala: for organizing motorcycle rallies at different places and for the Nepal Samvat 1131 to the Nepal Mandal dot com for all the possible help extended through the internet. I congratulate on behalf of the Karuna Devi Smarak Dharmarth Guthi and on my personal behalf as well the Shankhadhar Sirpa Samiti too along with these two winning teams and their dedicated talented team-mates and pray Goddess Saraswati to bless these able sons to be inspired to take up more such noble tasks in future too to emulate and replicate and extend my heartiest best wishes.
With intention to share weal and woes, encouraged and inspired by the response to the website www.karunaguthi.com presented during our sojourn in the US last year, we have to offer another one www.newarsinsikkim.org or Sikkimya Newa: or Sikkimka Newar on the auspicious occasion of the New Year and express our gratitude and immense thanks to the respected Chairman for formally announcing its launch before the august gathering here. Along with this, we have offered before this august gathering and important function our 19th and latest publication aimed to serve those in Sikkim, Darjeeling and rest of India and outside Nepal to learn the Newar language through English Teach Yourself Newar – Newah Bhaye Learner prepared by Daya Ratna Shakya and thank you for its formal release here today. I urge you all earnestly to kindly accept our attempt and extend support to lend a helping hand to the cause of our dear mother language.
At the end, I thank respected Ganesh Ram Lachhi ju, General Secretary of the Shankhadhar Sirpa Samiti and all the dignitaries present here for giving me this rare opportunity to be here in the ancestral place of Bhaktapur from where my maternal descendants migrated and to listen as well as to submit a few words before you wearing the symbol of our Newah dress and identity, the Bhatgaunle Tupali and allow me to offer dedicated to our society before the fellow Newah fraternity the world over and seek your permission to conclude my address here.