Sydney hotel stay irked Mahabir Pun on the final night of his Australian tour

Mahabir Pun
Mahabir Pun (far right) at the University of Queensland with Tika Bhurtel (far left) I Photo: Supplied

15 August 2017: Mahabir Pun, the man behind Nepal’s National Innovation Centre, left Australia little unhappy and little mortified because he had to spend the last night of his Australia tour at a Sydney hotel.

He hates staying at hotels, southasia.com.au has been told by one of his associates in Brisbane.

The Magsaysay Prize-winner apparently detests staying at hotels because he considers it “waste of money” and also he is uncomfortable in that environment. He would rather have that money saved and spent on his mission, the National Innovation Centre.

Mr Pun raised approximately $60,000 to $70,000 from his tour of Australia, said Tika Bhurtel, a member of Brisbane’s Nepalese community who was one of few Nepalese Australians instrumental in organising the fund-raising tour of Mr Pun. He said the actual figures could very as he did not have the latest on the funds raised.

Any country Mr Pun visits for fund-raising events or to deliver speech, he is understood to have stayed with Nepalese families and that’s what he actively seeks. Mr Bhurtel said the proponent of NIC feels more comfortable that way rather than being feted at hotels. So, when the Brisbane man informed Mr Pun about the hotel booking for his final night in Australia which happened to be in Sydney, he was little upset and unhappy.

“He called me from Bundaberg and asked me to cancel the booking immediately if possible,” Mr Bhurtel said. “Can’t they offer me even a sofa in their lounge or something?” Mr Pun apparently asked him.

During his three week-long stay in Australia, he spent only one day in hotel and which was in Sydney, whereas rest of his stay in Australia was spent with Nepalese Australian families.

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