August 19, 2010
Bishnu Adhikari (MAIEP ’07) will be named “2010 CHOICE Humanitarian of the Year” at the annual CHOICE Humanitarian gala dinner on September 18th. “Bishnu has literally touched the lives of thousands of people” says CHOICE Humanitarian board member Sharon Spaulding.
CHOICE, which stands for Center for Humanitarian Outreach and Inter-Cultural Exchange, was started in 1982 by Dr. Tim Evans, and is dedicated to ending poverty by focusing on sustainable village development.
In 1989, Bishnu Adhikari returned home to Nepal from Russia where he earned a master’s degree in engineering. Back home he watched his then-60-year-old mother carry water from a well about a mile away from the house. She refused to let him carry the water for her, and that day Bishnu promised her and himself that he would dedicate his life to improve the quality of life for his family and other families like his in Nepal. Bishnu has been true to his words—not only did he build a pipe from that well to his village, but he has been instrumental in the completion of 21 water projects, the building of 33 schools and 900 bio-gas digesters that have improved the lives of many families in Nepal.
In 2007, Bishnu added a master’s degree in International Environmental Policy from the Monterey Institute to his already impressive resume. He is passionate about eradicating poverty and improving lives while always thinking about the impact of our actions on nature and the environment. Through his leadership at CHOICE Humanitarian he has helped bring their model of sustainable development to 11 districts and 133 villages in Nepal.
As Bishnu says, his desire is to see the need for international aid disappear, and to see that local resources and leadership are fully utilized so that villages become self-developing. “I hope one day to be out of a job!”