By LB THAPA FOR ONTOTHEROAD

I use my personal money to clean natural places of this beautiful city. I have no property, no home and also no bank balance back in my country. I have spent all the money that I had earned over the years. Now, I rely on my friends and well wishers who help me to continue our mission: Daniel Ji, a Korean national, running a project that involves in cleaning activities of natural places of great value.

The natural beauty of Pokhara has always captivated the attention of many visitors. Among many admirers of this city perhaps Mr.Daniel JI and Mrs.Jemma JI, husband and wife, must also be included for good reason. The couple, for the first time, had visited Nepal in 2006. Ever since then they have been living in Nepal and doing the most important work…it is cleaning the places of great values in Nepal.

“For the first time I came to Nepal in 2006. At that time my sole purpose was to climbing the Mt.Everest. I made a few attempts to scale the mighty Everest. While climbing the Everest my eyes fell upon the litters which were strewn everywhere. About that time an idea flashed into my mind and I decided to spend my rest of life cleaning the places of great values in Nepal” said Daniel Ji.

Daniel Ji and his wife.

Daniel Ji has established a project that he calls Green Clean Pokhara Movement (GCPM). However, before he established this project, he had already spent several years in cleaning the areas such as Mt.Everest, Khumbu, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Kathmandu.

These are the most visiting places where visitors carry foods and several other things and throw empty containers and wrappings around. “I really felt very bad when I saw filths strewn everywhere. I instantly decided to devote my life to clean the areas of natural beauty, because it was impossible for me to see such garbage around these beautiful places” said Daniel Ji.

Many people think that Daniel Ji is a rich Korean who gets lots of dollars from abroad. But this is not true. Daniel Ji and his wife Jemma Ji are common people like any middle class people of Nepal. If there is any difference then it is willpower. Yes, willpower. When Daniel Ji had decided to clean the places of natural values, he did not give a thought that how money would come.

“Frankly speaking when I first thought to clean the natural places of Nepal, I had very little money. I strongly believe in god and I am sure he will show us the way. If I am truthful and dedicated to my work, then I should not worry about any obstacles.

I have used every single penny that my wife and I had. Now, I don’t have a house, bank balance any sort of property. Despite that we have been working continuously. It has become possible due to my friends, well wishers and some volunteers. I am always grateful of those volunteers who are working with me without expecting any benefits. They deserve much kudos” praised Daniel Ji.

Daniel Ji admires Lama Pasang from Lomangthan who has been running Himalayan Children Care Home at Lakeside and father Anthony Fernandes from Goa, India. Father Fernandez is the principal of St. Francis School. The children of Himalayan Children Care Home and the students of St.Francis School have been regularly giving their hands as volunteers.

“It is due to lack of awareness that most of the Nepali people pay least attention to cleanliness. They keep their houses clean and think their jobs are done. However, I have also met some very good people who always helped me. A few years ago, I forgot the name but the Chief District Officer (CDO) of Pokhara would regularly visit and helped me at my work.

At times even he used his personal money to get the work done. He was really a very nice officer. There are very few high ranking officers like him in Nepal. I should also praise the active participation from Nepal Armed Forces (NAF). On different occasions the personnel of Nepal Armed Forces and our team worked together” said Daniel Ji.

About three decades ago Daniel Ji was converted to Christianity. He had been a priest at a Roman Catholic Church from 1976-1985. When he left from the active duty as a priest, he went back to his birthplace and started a coffee shop at Seoul.

He was running his coffee shop right before he started working in Nepal. He sold his coffee house and used all money to support his project. Then gradually he sold everything that he possessed…such was his devotion to his work.

Daniel Ji vociferously praises the support of his wife Jemma Ji. “Right from my childhood I was a kind of religious person. I always believed in service and doing good things in life. I would not be able to attain my goal without my wife’s help. Today we work together. I am very lucky in the sense that god has given me Jemma, a wonderful wife. Without Jemma I am nothing…I will be handicapped” said Daniel emotionally.

Daniel and Jemma got married in 1985 and since then they are living together. After having inspired by the great work of Albert Subaichhiu, Daniel was fired with the passion of doing something meaningful in life.

And eventually he got the meaning of his life…a close relation with nature…preserving nature by keeping it clean…what a great work! Today Daniel and Jemma feel as if they are the happiest couple living in earth and for everything good they give thanks to god. 

Jemma Ji thinks that unless and until government and public decide to keep the surrounding environment clean, it is impossible to keep things clean for long time. “How can you keep places clean for long time when people regularly throw rubbish wherever they like?

It happened many times when we thoroughly cleaned some areas but after some time it turned out to be even much dirtier than before. This incident indicates the people in general are not aware of their duty and responsibilities. They somehow want to get rid of filths of their houses only. We need to change this kind of thinking among the people”.

We Nepali people must learn a lesson or two from the great work from Daniel and Jemma. They have devoted their lives to keep our surrounding environment clean. By being Korean nationals they can do all this for us then what is our responsibility? It would be a shame on us if we don’t understand our responsibility now and act it today with all sincerity and devotion. Never to forget that no living creature can survive on earth without clean environment. A dirty environment will cause diseases, pollutions, and global warming.

Those people who are interested in the work of Daniel Ji and Jemma Ji can contact the couple at 52j@hanmail.net. They have their office at Rastrabank chowk and they can be reached at 9806641167/9849306624. Daniel Ji and Jemma Ji are always willing to work with any team, group or individuals to keep the environment clean.  

LB Thapa, the blogger

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