Home Features Dr Katrin follows father Tony’s footsteps
December 6, 2022

Dr Katrin follows father Tony’s footsteps

  • Ekraj Pathak

When we met at a hotel in Kathmandu five days before the elections on November 20, Dr. Katrin Hagen was preparing to leave for Rolpa. This year also her work was a free health camp.

A 74-year-old specialist in orthopedics, she comes to Nepal every year, visits every nook and corner of the country, runs health camps, and provides free treatment, especially in orthopedics.

How many times have you come to Nepal? Her answer to our question was, “I haven’t counted, I don’t know. It must have happened more than 40 times. This is the third time this year.

Lately, I have been coming to Nepal for my father’s work to introduce Nepal, free treatment to the citizens of remote areas of Nepal, and if I have time, I am coming to Nepal for hiking. She came to Nepal for the first time in 1952 when she was four years old, along with her father. I remember that there was no airport in Nepal at that time.

There were only a few toilets. Transportation here was very difficult and so was the lifestyle of Nepalese people. His father i.e. Tony Hagen. This name that has made Nepal known to the world may not need to be known in Nepal. Tony Hagen probably came here in 1950 as the first tourist in Nepal.

Since there was no airport in Nepal, he came here by ship to Calcutta. After that, he used to tell the world outside Nepal that he was attracted by the beauty of Nepal. Tony, who is often found in the mountains, hills, and rivulets here, was a person who has traveled more in Nepal than the average Nepali.

He cannot be mistaken as a foreigner who has done the first and most trekking in Nepal. He came to Nepal in 1950 during the Swiss cooperation project and remained closer to the geography and beauty of Nepal than the Nepalese. He has walked about 14,000 kilometers in Nepal, he has probably walked more than all the tourists in Nepal.

He has brought the Nepali lifestyle, traditions, and ethnic diversity to the outside of Nepal, along with the geographical condition of Nepal and the biological diversity of the Himalayan region. The book ‘Nepal’ prepared by him, which is respected by the Nepali tourism sector, covers the multifaceted aspects of Nepal’s geography, tourism, and many lifestyles.

The documentaries prepared by him covering our Himalayas and Himalayan tourist features as well as many cultural aspects have greatly helped to make Nepal known outside of Nepal. Because of his contribution, Nepal granted him honorary citizenship of Nepal. Katrin Hagen says that she comes to Nepal half to expose her father’s love for Nepal and half to provide health care herself.

The Tony Hagen Foundation, which she opened in Switzerland as an orthopedic surgeon, works only in Nepal.  “Nepal is a country that my father loved and the country that respected my father. It’s not enough for me to come here once a year, I want to keep coming”, said Catherine.

She runs health camps in several districts of Nepal and provides free health services to the helpless and the citizens of remote areas who cannot reach healthcare.

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