Australian cleaner wows Nepalese people as he leaves behind a squeaky clean Kathmandu airport

Rajesh Hamal
Khem Sharma, on the right, with Nepal’s most popular cine-artiste Rajesh Hamal (in the middle) I Photo: Facebook, Khem Sharma

1 August 2017: A young Nepalese Australian who runs a cleaning business in Sydney CBD has wowed Nepalese people living across the globe as he leaves behind a squeaky clean Tribhuvan International Airport, the only international airport in the Himalayan nation.

Khem Sharma, who chatted to southasia.com.au from a plane on his way back to Australia, has just finished a month-long cleaning campaign at the Kathmandu airport which a local online media dubbed as “one of the dirtiest airports in the world”.

Mr Sharma hopes he has been able to transfer skills he gained during his decade-long engagement in Australia’s modern and scientific cleaning industry. The 32-year-old worked with nearly two dozen participants clocking up some 4,500 man-hours.

Khem Sharma
Cleanliness all around: results of Mr Sharma’s cleaning campaign I Photo: Facebook, Khem Sharma

Mr Sharma, along with Japan-based Nepalese tycoon Bhaban Bhatta, teamed up with Nepal government authorities to launch the cleaning campaign which aimed at modernising the way cleaning is carried at the Nepalese airport.

According to Brisbane-based media expert Dr Bharat Raj Poudel, this is a true example of “knowledge and skills transfer” by an NRN (non-resident Nepalese) back to his or her country of origin (Nepal).

Bhaban Bhatta
Japan-based NRN leader Bhaban Bhatta, speaking at a press conference on July 31 to mark the end of the cleaning campaign I Photo: Facebook, Bhaban Bhatta
Bharat Raj Poudel
Dr Bharat Raj Poudel, development media expert

“People always give big talk about knowledge transfer from abroad but this is the most hands-on transfer of skills I have ever seen,” Dr Poudel said in a conversation with southasia.com.au. The PhD graduate from Queensland University of Technology is part of NRNA Australia’s skills-related task-force.

As a commenter on a Nepalese digital media said, there aren’t any previous pictures of the airport to compare with what TIA looks like following the cleaning campaign by the Australian cleaning operator. However, the pictures on Mr Sharma’s Facebook post show restrooms that no one would expect to see in Nepal’s public spaces even in the wildest of dreams.

Yes We Can: TIA following the cleaning campaign I Photo: Facebook, Khem Sharma

Speaking at the Reporter’s Club to mark the end of the cleaning campaign, Mr Bhatta said that he was much “impressed” by a clean TIA as he arrived in the country from abroad.

Mr Sharma’s post about the conclusion of the cleaning campaign had already already attracted over 850 likes and 200 comments in less than 10 hours showing the appreciation of the public.

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