The first tourism minister Dr. Harka Gurung who was renowned as a geographer, demographer, planner, minister, non-government organization expert was also equally fond of mountaineering in Nepal.
It was during the time of Dr. Harka as the first tourism minister of the government of Nepal that few tourism entrepreneurs, mountain climbers approached him to do something to help them establish the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) which now has become very instrumental in initiating climbing training for the new climbers.
The NMA founding member and world record holder Everest submitter Shambhu Tamang still remember how Dr. Gurung was fond of mountaineering and loved to see the climbers. So, Dr. Harka as Minister encouraged the climbers to go ahead with their dream to establish the NMA for the betterment of the mountaineering sector which is considered to be one of the backbones of the tourism industry in Nepal.
According to Tamang, Dr. Harka Gurung instantly took steps to prepare all kinds of necessary documents for the establishment of NMA on behalf of the government and even got an endorsement from the government side.
So, the pioneering intuition and initiatives of Dr.Harka had worked a lot in the establishment of the current NMA according to the NMA officials because Dr. Harka was a visionary intellectual for various fields.
Without his timely support, encouragement, and initiatives the NMA would not have come into existence. Dr. Harka’s profound intellectuality is exhibited through his book entitled, “Nature and Culture”.
As a demographer, he also wrote and published another book called “Dimensional Development of Nepal”. He was versatile in aptitude. His expertise as a development worker is also indispensable for the country.
According to tourism experts, Dr. Harka was also one of the pioneering persons to rename the mountain peaks and trekking trails in Nepali rather than the names used after the first visitor which was practiced before Dr. Gurung took up steps to stop such malpractices in Nepal’s tourism sector which proved to be very much fruitful.
So, Dr. Harka Gurung is remembered not only as a planner, demographer or geographer, and development expert but also a tourism expert who was mainly instrumental in the establishment of NMA in the country.
The Chairperson of the Nepal Mountaineering Association Shanta Bir Lama said that Dr. Gurung is not a person to be remembered once in a year, we have to follow the paths shown us by him.
This scribe was fortunate enough to meet with Dr. Harka Gurung in his NGO office’ NEW ERA’ located at Maharajgunj in Kathmandu around 20 years ago during which I came to know about his versatile personality.
Hail to such a great soul and great personality ever born in the Gurung community.
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