Namaste connected: hiking for emails in Nepal

No Wi-Fi? No problem. Not for this Nepalese adventurer, anyway.
© Clemens Purner
By Red Bull Australia

The year is 2016 and we are all spoiled rotten. Thanks to smartphones, everything is at our fingertips: information, movies, video conferencing, dinner, accommodation. You name it, there's an app for it. And if our need for instant gratifaction is hindered by - god forbid - a slow internet connection, it's completely acceptable to regress into a childlike state and kick and scream until somebody, anybody, turns the modem off and back on again.

So wrapped up in our need to be constantly connected are we, that it's easy to forget that more than 60% of the global population live without the internet. And up until 2006, the remote villages of Nepal's Myagdi district were included in that 60%. That is until a Nepalese man by the name of Mahabir Pun decided to take action.

After returning to his village of Nangi having graduated from the university of Nebraska at Kearney in 2001, Mahabir was determined to improve both the economic and educational situation for the people inhabiting his part of the Himalayas.

He set up numerous job-creating community ventures but kept hitting the same snag: he had to walk miles between neighbouring villages to communicate with those he was trying to get on board.

In 2002, Mahabir founded the Nepal Wireless Networking Project. And he didn't do it because he wanted to take photos of his dinner to share on Instagram, he did it because he knew access to the internet could have lasting and meaningful benefits for the people of Nangi and the surrounding villages.

In this short film, talented filmmaker Clemens Purner tells the full, wonderfully inspiring story. Mahabir's was an adventure with a purpose, and they're our favourite kind of adventures.

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