It was 1 pm in the afternoon at Jagatmata Secondary school in Argakanchi where teacher Tika Ram Khanal was asking the students of grade 5th what they wanted to be in the future. Some said doctor, engineer, some said pilot, but a student in the 2nd bench answered that he wanted to be a social worker. At home, parents had told him, “Anybody can do things for themselves, but to do something for others is a great thing.” Listening to the answer, even the teacher got surprised. From earliest childhood, social service was of great interest. Father was a social worker himself. My father’s interest was also that his son would do something great for his own village and country. With the change in time, Krishna used to be surprised about the plane flying in the sky and used to wish such things could be established in his own village. He used to sometime imagine himself being a pilot. Teachers used to wish he became a doctor because of his good studies. However, at last Krishna did a Masters in sociology from Trichandra College.
Krishna who has experienced many good and bad things of life from Argakanchi, Palpa, Butwal, Kathmandu to New York is continuing his journey. While choosing the name of forward social worker in New York, Krishna Pokhrel’s name comes in front. Working as a chief Senior Vice president of NRN America, he comes forward now as the most experienced person to become the President of NRN America. In every state of America, he has a solid base. Moreover, he has a very good relationship with Nepalese throughout the US.
While he was staying in Ridgewood, there was not a single day he didn’t entertain a guest. When folks came out from Nepal, they came looking for Krishna Pokhrel’s home. Even when he was busy in his own work, Pokhrel rushed to help if somebody was in need. Example are him bringing Nepalese students from the airport and getting them employed. Serving the community is a joy for him and he finds peace in helping others.
After coming to America, he had jobs in the Education Department to Virgin Atlantic Airways, but he had seen many Nepalese frustrated of the life in foreign nations and some even getting ready to commit suicide. Abandoning other jobs aside, Krishna Pokhrel later joined New York Life Insurance company and insured hundreds of Nepalese. Krishna Pokhrel has already insured up to 1500 families for the New York Life which is good both for themselves and their children’s future. Hardworking Pokhrel has gone out of his way to assist Nepalese across America, even in other states besides NY. Folks with you are engaged in business, why are you engaged in social service, while being asked his question, Krishna Pokhrel replies, “If not us who will do, if not now when.”
He believes that the main secret to success is constructive thinking. Once a person is born, he has a duty to himself, his society and his country. A few years ago, flood in Kavre caused many people to do, a lot of properties destroyed. At that time, he went to Nepal and helped people both from his own side and as a member of NRN. Besides, when the earthquake hit Nepal, he went to Nepal and helped people at different places.
Krishna says, “I have seen and experienced many difficult things in Nepal besides poverty. The caste system is there. When I was a kid, I used to go, play and eat at my friends of so called low castes but they couldn’t come to my house. One couldn’t eat what they touched, they were berated. While I grew up, I started raising the voice. The main reason why Nepal couldn’t develop is because the leaders whom we consider the pillar of the nation are not proper.
Foreign intervention is because of us being weak. If one can build a strong home, nobody can do anything. The law is not put into action. Big people are enjoying while small ones are subject to law. Everything is haphazard. The natural resources of the country haven’t been properly utilized. Skilled manpower is going out of the country everyday and lack of situation to do anything inside the nation is the cause of today’s bad situation of Nepal says Pokhrel.
The days when he used to read under a Kerosene lamp to today being affluent in New York City, Krishna Pokhrel has gone through many difficulties. It is the youth who change the nation and community. Pokhrel believes in youth empowerment. Being unable to give time to his family because of social service is one complaint of Pokhrel. In the future, he wants to move along in a better way.
Society is the means to inform us. Due to the caste system, some have changed their surname to Nepal, some other Sharma. When I was 25, about 14 years ago, while I got off the airport in Washington DC, I was surprised. A different world, I felt. I had nobody in the US. I had only Lonely planet book in my bag. I spent a week in a hotel alone. After a couple of months, I came to New York City.
While in Argakanchi, I was a president of the public relation committee in Tansen, Palpa. There lived an old man and his wife in the village. One day, the old man died in the hospital because of lung cancer event here was nobody to help him during his stay in the hospital. He was so poor that not a single clothing was available to cover his body. I pleaded the villagers for help and covered his body and took him to the funeral spot. Thinking of those days makes Pokhrel sentimental today.
Personally, Mr. Pokhrel resides in New York City with his wife Rachana and a son and a daughter. Waking up early in the morning he has a habit of exercising, reading newspaper and books. He loves to read The Wall Street Journal. He attributes his success in the commercial arena to the honest hard work and has attained high level award at New York Life Insurance.
Secret of his success, he says, is his honesty towards his work, helpful attitude, being updated of science and knowledge and main thing he attributes his success is to his self confidence. Wherever he is, he likes to see Nepalise united and wants to make NRN a common home for all Nepalise. He wants to serve Nepalise people. The main thing he learned in his life is right work and right path. In the future the expects to make Nepalise proud by doing a great work.