“常言道，你若没有希望之光，就无法从黑暗中幸存”回忆起上马蒂水电站开工以前的日子，家住Sildujare，今年50岁的Chandra Bahadur Ale如是说。作为四个孩子的父亲，曾经的他为了生计而陷入繁重的农耕工作中，对生活感到绝望。直到上马蒂水电站工程需要征用他唯一的土地。“我卖了我仅有的资产，希望换一个更好的将来。事实证明我做对了，我用得到的钱投资了一辆公交车。看看我现在！我有足够的钱来供我的儿女读书，还能给他们一个更舒适的生活”他咧开嘴笑着说。“这个中国的水电站不仅给了我希望，也为我的子孙提供了一个更好的生活。我比任何人都要感谢这个项目，感谢中国！”Chandra激动地说。
上马蒂水电站项目给在电站工作的技术员工提供了一个非常棒的学习环境，让他们可以充分挖掘自己的潜能。“我不再一心想到国外去了，我在这当接线技工，学到了很多知识。” Jeevan Shai Thakuri说着 ，脸上充满了活力和希望。中国项目不仅有助于解决电力生产难题，还改变了年轻人的思想，技能和工作态度。现在他们有足够的自信去应用所学，独立发展了。他现在和老母亲、妻子和一双儿女生活在一起。无需到国外工作让他的母亲可以得到妥善的照顾，他的孩子可以在父母的保护下健康成长。现在他的孩子要去附近上学了，一家人十分幸福。
Sajiv Shree Ramtel是一名在电站工作的运行班员，“在这里工作，我学会了尊重自己的工作和时间。这听起来简单，但对我提高专业技能和个人发展是非常重要的。”他严肃地说。尼泊尔是一个知识青年流失非常严重的国家，当地报酬优厚的工作机会可以有效减少人才流失。
China Energizing Nepal ‘Light of Hope’
'They said darkness cannot survive unless you have a light of hope' a 50 years old nostalgic Chandra Bahadur Ale of Sildujare VDC 09, says remembering all those hard times he survived before the beginning of the project Upper Madi Hydro Power. Father of four children living in substantial farming, he was frustrated of his life until the project demand his only piece of land. 'I sold my only property with a hope for better future and it turned out very well. I invested that money for buying bus. Here I am now, wealthy enough to educate my son and daughter and provide them a quality life' he said showing his outburst teeth. 'This Chinese hydropower project has not only provided me my hope but all my coming generation a better life. I cannot be more thankful to this project and China then anyone' Chandra expressed emotionally.
China's investment in Nepal has proved its way worth in so many different ways. One project can change many people’s life, here Nepalese life. Nepal used to live almost a 20hours a day load shedding schedule before one year only. The situation was horrible. We had access to electric device, which was also mostly imported from China, but cannot be used when required because of the load shedding. Important machines and office used diesel power for electricity which was very expensive resulting in the increase of the rate in most products. 'Our living schedule was maintained by the load shedding routine. We had to do the entire major task waiting for the electricity' says a local girl Shikha.
'Upper Madi Hydropower also Upper Marsyangdi A hydropower has contributed a lot for the removal of this load shedding problem in Nepal. We are happy and grateful for this Chinese project' says Energy Minister Janardan Sharma.
Life shines brighter with continuous electricity. People of Nepal know this better because they have experienced worse. But not more, China with all force is in verge of developing its energy project in Nepal and Nepal is expecting China's help as well.
People on other side of world are busy worrying about reaching to another planet or galaxy and the people here are worrying about reaching just to the city which is not more than 20km in distance. The retaining walls near the dam and riverside area has opened the path 24 hours which used to open seasonally before the construction. People beyond that path had to walk to reach the city. 'Sometimes I had to cross the big river bare foot taking the sanitary items and salt on my head and walk all the way from the city. Rainy seasons used to be worse because of landslide from unpredictable locations' says Jhalak Prasad, only shop owner of the village. Their life seems miserable hearing those words full of emotion. But the hope never ends and the project started making road good enough for transportation.
Furthermore, technical engineers are provided with a very good learning environment to explore their potential to highest level.'I am no longer interested going abroad, I have learned much working as electric wiring technician in this Upper Madi Hydropower' says Jeevan Shai Thakuri, young man reflecting energy and hope on his face. China's project has not only helped in generating electricity but also thought the young minds, skills and discipline. They are confident enough to use this skill and develop themselves independently. He has been living with his old mom, wife and two children and has been able to take care of his mom. His children are living in parental protection and going to school nearby. The family is happy.
'I have learned to respect my work and time. Sound may be simple things yet very important aspect to develop myself professionally and personally.'Sajiv Shree Ramtel one of the engineers of Upper Madi hydropower said with a serious note. For a country where brain drain of massive young people, well paid employment opportunities in their local environment is a significant plus point.
Besides providing technical posts, other work opportunities are provided by Upper Madi hydropower project and more local people are eoloyed. The villager’s life quality are improved and the local economy got more developed.
In April of 2015, massive earthquake hit Nepal during this period; many people were homeless and family less. Effort was made from all the side and China stood up for Nepal very strongly. Madan driver of this project is hopeful now who had lost his home during this massive earthquake. “Bank has agreed to give me a loan as I am employed in Upper Madi hydropower now” he said hopefully.
Bagawati Lamichhene, Nirmalpokhari 23, a single mother of one child and old widow mother to be taken care of, was dependent on conventional agriculture for their live hood. The product was not good enough to cover their food needs for the whole year. She was struggling until she found this project and she works as a house keeper now. This has given her a way to afford her child’s school fee and basic requirements.
Young one to old one and children to parents all are positive after the start of this project on their area. The village which used to be a land only for the local people now has a new Chinese neighbor which is already a great deal for the villagers. Chinese has left its impression from local level to national level and international level.
This poultry farmer Bishnu Magar has his words 'I like the way Chinese like chickens and how they crave for its legs vigorously'. He humors his words showing the satisfaction he has from the project. Previously he was a jobless young man roaming around the village wasting his energy nowhere. But after the project he planned for the poultry farming where he shells chicken and egg. Now he is living a normal happy life.
'Once my small daughter suffered from diarrhea, though it is a common disease due to the damaged road I was not able to take her to hospital in time. I still remember that day, it was raining heavily and river was above the level of head and no vehicles. I had a very frightful night.' Mina didi(sister) sigh in the middle of doing her chores. 'Sometimes I think they are angels for all of us, roads are good now. They are maintaining the roads every season. They are also using local labors making most home employed. I even heard the ambulance service will also be provided soon for all villagers' she said with that pretty smile on her face.
“Though I did not understand his language, that Chinese was there for helping my husband while he falls from the tree” says a woman whose husband is lying at a hospital bed out from any serious injuries. Chinese helped him with his car while he saw the accident. Chinese and Nepalese have those friendly and helping relations. They may not be able to express out clearly but they know each other to some extent. “I don’t know how to speak thank you in their language but I mean this and may god bless their nice heart” says his tearful mother.
China has stand on this land Nepal with these kinds of small, big and beautiful hopes. China has lived up to Nepalese heart. No matter what the government says, law says when we smile they smile back greeting “Ni hao” and we say “Namaste”, that is the type of relation we share, simple and pure. Also their knowledge, skill, discipline has always been an example to all the Nepali workers and people around them.
In nutshell, this energy trade process is a long term relation and still more are yet to come. Some other hydropower projects are proposed like West Seti of 720MW and some are completed like Upper Madi, Upper Marsyangdi A, but Nepal is always grateful and keen for China's support for never ending time.【Alisha Paudel】