Tokyo – It was on Thu, 23 Jul 2009 18:24:41, all of us got a message from Maksha (Dr. Maksha Ram Maharjan) through our group where we were asked:
Dr. Maharjan at 2010 Partnership Forum, Manila. Photo courtesy of IISD Reporting Services
Photographer: Franz Dejon
Vote for me
“I am one of the candidates for the civil society observers for the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience committee of the Climate Investment Fund. I am expecting your valuable vote. I am very sure your valuable vote will definitely help me to win the position and provide me an opportunity to serve the poor, marginalized and women who are more vulnerable to climate change.”
I recall redirecting this message to our group to vote for Maksha with a note “I have already done.” (The Newah), many responded and some even didn’t forget to send a cc to our group mail.
I am selected
On Aug 11, 2009, Maksha wrote：
“I am selected. It has really empowered me to continue my service to the poor and vulnerable communities who are suffering from climate change.” He didn’t fail to say “my sincere thanks for your continued support and the great opportunity you have given to me. Without your support my selection for the observer wouldn’t be possible.” (Maksha Ram Maharjan, Ph.D. Natural Resource Environment & Climate Change Advisor, CARE Nepal)
You are the true hero
Then comes an email dated August 2, 2010 from Keshav (Dr. Keshav Lall Maharjan), I went on reading….and stopped, reread…I went on…
“You are the true hero of the battle field, of the battle that we all human beings have to fight hard to live a life. In many cases you had pioneered it. Your deeds will be remembered far beyond the imaginable memories and somebody will definitely continue the noble work you have started. Hence, leave the rest to us and you may live in peace.”
I moved my eyes up and reread “I know you may not physically be able to read this mail. But, I do also know this mail will definitely reach you.”
I guessed I confused many of you with all the paragraphs and quotes above didn’t I? So was I completely confused with Keshav’s massage. I wrote him back, pressed him for more information. Despite his busy schedule, he confirmed.
“Yes, Dr. Maksha Ram Maharjan passed away on July 27th, 2010 at Norvic hospital and cremated on 30th July at Sankhamul, Lalitpur. He left his wife Pingla Singh and two sons, Manish and Pranish.
I simply didn’t want to believe what was said to have happened to Maksha, I checked with CARE Nepal, where Maksha had worked for. “We appreciate your concern for Maksha (ju). Maksha ju’s untimely and sudden demise comes as a shock to all of us at CARE and we are yet to recover from it” replied Shreya Singh, Communication & PR Manager, CARE Nepal.
I empathize with Shreya, who had actually worked with Maksha at CARE Nepal for a longer period of time, and with Keshav, who lives in the same neighborhood in Manbhavan Jyaulakhya, and recalls Maksha’s visit to his house to pay condolence call when Keshav’s father passed away some time back. I can imagine how Maksha must have been dearer and nearer to many like Shreya and Keshav, when Maksha’s departure made me felt equally an irreparable lost of friendship that I simply developed a year ago with his simple request to vote for him. He attracted me closer than a fellow Nepalese, or a fellow Newah community member.
Although we haven’t had exchange that many emails, his messages were short, sweet and right on the point. I recall one of them when some of our own community members tried to stand out incorrectly, he wrote to us:
“I can’t imagine how Jyapumi can separate from our strong Newar Community. In this respect, I don’t think separate registration in Aadivasi Janajati Sangh will be a meaningful initiation for the well-being of our Newar community. If someone is leading such ridiculous initiation, I would like to request him/her to stop it immediately.” (Maksha R. Maharjan, Ph.D. 27.07.09)
I am confident that Maksha represented all of us at the time of the need of our unity. It was a striking message he left with us. I am unable to forget it, Maksha. And above all, it was your tireless contributions you made for the benefit of the poor, not only of Nepal but the world’s poor. Your Goodbye Maksha, the prince of the poor! Keshav and Shreya have more to say about his contributions. (Suva Newah)
A batten touch to Keshav
(Dr. Keshav Lall Maharjan’s that message that confused me)
Maksha,…I know you may not physically be able to read this mail. But, I do also know this mail will definitely reach you.
The whole process seems to be just like yesterday when we all were bent to choose you to represent our country for the noble cause of helping the mankind in coping with the problems faced by the human beings in the earth. You were doing exactly what you were chosen for, with all your dedication, knowledge and the power. You were in Kenya working affectionately for the people there with all your wisdom. You were so much deep in it that you might have forgotten to spare some time for yourself which you surely deserved. You didn’t complain even when you were suffocating in Kenya while trying to help people suffering from malaria. Returning to Nepal, you were hospitalized but instead of taking good rest you were already booked for another trip to USA for similar mission. This you could never accomplish because you were already too good for that.
You are the true hero of the battle field, of the battle that we all human beings have to fight hard to live a life. In many cases you had pioneered it. Your deeds will be remembered far beyond the imaginable memories and somebody will definitely continue the noble work you have started. Hence, leave the rest to us and you may live in peace.
Deepest condolence to the family members, may you all have the strength to bear all this at this difficult time.
Keshav L Maharjan, Professor, Hiroshima University, Japan, Aug 2, 2010
Next batten touch to Shreya
(Shreya Singh of CARE Nepal, who cared to respond promptly with the following)
Maksha (ju’s) untimely and sudden demise comes as a shock to all of us at CARE and we are yet to recover from it.
Mr. Maksha Ram Maharjan started his career with CARE Nepal on Feb. 16th, 2001, as the Forestry Sector Coordinator. He later moved on to becoming the Programme Coordinator and Chief of Party of one of CARE Nepal’s major project called SAGUN that was focused on promoting a more pro-poor approach to forestry in Nepal.
Maksha(ju) focused his 30-year career on community forestry. Initially he worked with government as a district forest office and was one of the first DFOs to hand over forests to communities; so was at the cutting edge of community forestry in Nepal. SAGUN became a leader in this field, and Maksha became recognized as a leading expert in forest governance both in Nepal and more widely.
His work in Nepal was almost certainly the strongest pro-poor forestry program in CARE because of the depth of experience of Maksha and his colleagues in CARE Nepal, and key partners such as FECOFUN. Maksha was instrumental in helping to share this experience with other Country Offices – mostly recently through a visit to East Africa just one month ago.
Over the last year Maksha became the focal point for climate change programming in CARE Nepal. On the forestry side this included designing a REDD project as well as support to our work on developing social and environmental standards for REDD.
On the adaptation side he played a leading role in designing several CC adaptation projects. On the international front, he was the NGO representative to the Climate Investment Funds Partnership. He was also a global activist who fought for the rights of poor people at events like COP15, focusing on Nepali government and international delegates. He was invited speaker at the 2009 World Climate Conference.
Maksha (ju) was supposed to travel to the US at the end of this month. He had undergone a thorough medical checkup just a week days prior to his death. The reports were normal. He seemed completely normal and was working till 6 o’ clock in the office on the evening prior to his death.
We at CARE were informed on the 27th morning that he had been hospitalized due to some heart problem. The senior staffs of CARE were in constant touch with Mr. Maharjan’s family. However, nothing chronic had been anticipated as Maksha ji himself had called up to inform about his health condition.
We were shocked and grief struck on hearing the news about his demise on the same evening. The entire CARE Nepal family was present at Makshaju’s funeral to express our support and solidarity to his family members in this difficult time. Maksha jee provided technical advice on climate change not just to CARE Nepal but to other CARE offices globally. (Shreya Singh, Communication & PR Manager, CARE Nepal, Aug. 4, 2010)
* * * * *
Maksha is survived by his wife Pingala Singh Maharjan, and two sons Manish (USA) and Pranish (Japan). The Newah extend our deepest condolence on the untimely demise of our friend and wish him a blissful Nirvana.
To post your message of condolence, please click the “comments” below the line. – The Newah