Mahabir Pun first dreamed of connecting his village of Nangi to the internet in 1997, and has been working ever since to bring the internet to rural Nepal. Mahabir was born in Nangi, and completed his primary education there.
After working as a teacher for several years, he completed a master's degree in education at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Mahabir has constructed computer labs at several schools in the area and planned out the entire Nepal Wireless network. He plans to to continue to expand access in the future.
a. Mahabir Pun was elected Ashoka Fellow (http://www.ashoka.org/node/2754) in 2002 by Ashoka Foundation, USA, which is the global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs. The foundation recognizes people from around the globe, who have "innovative solutions to social problems and the potential to change patterns across society".
b. Mahabir Pun, was given Overall Social Innovations Award for 2004 (http://www.globalideasbank.org/site/news/index.php?articleId=116) by the Global Ideas Bank (aka the Institute for Social Inventions) based in UK.
c. The Ramon Magsaysay Foundation of the Philipinnes awarded our Team Leader, Mahabir Pun Ramon Magsaysay Award 2007 for Community Leadership (http://www.rmaf.org.ph/Awardees/Citation/CitationPunMah.htm). Mahabir Pun and the Nepal Wireless Team thanks everyone who has helped us get this recognition.
d. University of Nebraska, USA invited Mahabir Pun for winter commencement speech and awarded Honorary Degree, Doctor of Humane Letters in December 2007 for his outstanding work for his country, Nepal.
Mahabir wish to thank all volunteers involved with him, as the recognitions he got are for all of them as well. He is working on the fourth phase of the project in 2008 with his team.
Johan is from Belgium. He first came to Nangi in March 2002 to set up a Linux server in the school computer lab. He returned in 2003 to pilot test an internet connection to the nearest ISP. His father came with him in 2003.
Johan did a lots of research work at the testing phase of Nepalwireless networking project. He taught Mahabir Pun the very first and the basic ideas about the wireless networking.
Jonni is from Finland. He volunteered in Nangi village during the spring of 2002 to test wireless networking using WLAN equipment with Johan Verrept. He brought the first two PCI wireless cards for testing in Nangi. He also helped to build the area's first sauna.
Later, he has helped in building e-mail services for the network on his server. He is the sponsor of nepalwireless.net site and is helping to maintain it. He visited Nangi again in 2004 and taught programming amongst other things.
He is currently a student of Helsinki University of Technology for master of science degree. He also runs an ISP and is hosting Nepalwireless.net site for free.
Jonni is a team member of the second phase of networking project. He ivisited Nangi in 2007.
Mark came to know about our wireless networking project from Robin Shields while he was an undergraduate student at University of California at Los Angeles. Mark came to the villages to help develop the wireless network with a grant he received from the Donald A. Strauss Foundation. With the grant money we became able to complete the first phase of our project.
He studied complex systems as an undergraduate. Now he is pursuing a career in medicine at Stanford University USA.
Sage lives in Boston, USA. He has been to Nangi village many times since 1996. He has a masters degree in sociology with a focus on gender and women's groups in rural Nepal. He has worked as a software developer, a dishwasher, and many other things. Now he is happy in his current incarnation as a carpenter. Aside from working on the wireless project and other Nangi projects, Sage is working to establish a Peace Brigades program in Nepal to defend human rights in the conflict. For the current system, Sage did the sizing calculations, selected the radios, and contacted the companies to get equipment provided at cost.
Sage worked for about a year for Peace Brigades - a human rights organization and spent several months in Nepal. Sage has come to volunteer in Nangi village for four times.
Robin first came to Nangi village as a volunteer teacher in 2002. In August 2003, he returned to help build the wireless network and has came to Nangi village for the third time in April 2005 and to help upgrade the network.
He completed his PhD in International Eeducation from the University of California at Los Angeles in 2008. He also works as an application and embedded systems programmer in instrumentation and automation.
Robin is a team member of the second phase of networking project. Since his first visit, he came back to Nangi in 2004, 2005, and 2007 to help setup the wireless network. He speaks Nepali language very well.
7. Philip Mucci
Philip Mucci first came to Nangi on behalf of the Huguenin Rallapalli Foundation in January of 2004. Philip and the foundation continue to research ways to improve the self sufficiency, sustainability and overall quality of life at Nangi and the surrounding villages. Recently, Philip has been working with other volunteers and the systems in Nangi to implement an Intranet with a public message board, teleteaching to address the shortage of teachers and a telephone system for the village.
Philip visited Nangi for the second time in April 2005 and helped to create a web server and Asterix server..
He has been working as a visiting scientist since 2004 at Royal Institute of Technology, Center for Parallel Computers, Stockholm, Sweden. He is also research consultant to Innovative Computing Laboratory, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN USA.
Philip is a team member of the second and third phase of networking project. He came in April 2006 to volunteer for the project for one month. During this time Philip helped to set up a full fledge VoIP server in Pokhara. WIth the help of the server, we have now connected Wi-fi netwrk to PSTN network of Nepal Telecom. He also helped to test video multicasting for the tele-teaching program. Philip is planning to come to Nepal to volunteer for a longer term in 2008.
8. James Pearson
James is from California USA. He heard about the Nepal network project through Mark Michalski and volunteered to help construct the network in August of 2003. He graduate in Business Economics from UCLA.
James enjoyed his trip to Nepal. He is working on his bachelors degree at the University of California at Los Angeles, USA.
James came back to Nangi village in October 2005 with three of this friends - Chris, Steve, and Tom. They carried eight suitcases full of Wi-fi radios, networking equipment and used computer parts. They also helped to put new radios at the relay stations and the villages.
9. Dev Mohanty
Dev Mohanty is originally from Bangalore but has lived for many years in France, Singapore and Bangkok. He has an extensive background in mobile communications, primarily with Ericsson Corporation. He is particularly
interested in using WiMax technologies to connect rural communities to the Internet. Last year he participated in the WiMax tests in Cambodia & Vietnam.
Our Team Leader Mahabir Pun, has been dragging Dev around rural Nepal for the last several months, connecting rural villages to the Internet and setting up Asterisk based SIP servers for VOIP calls as part of the Nepal Wireless Project. Dev has been a resident volunteer with NWP since last year August.
Dev is also working as a full-time volunteer with Open Learning Exchange as a Network Admin and is connecting the pilot school to the Internet, hardening the mesh network, and improving the school servers for the OLPC pilots in Nepal “I am excited about working on these projects in Nepal and I hope that the work
I do here, will help similar efforts elsewhere across the globe.”
Team Members in Nepal
After we finished the first phase of the wireless project in 2003 with the support of international volunteers and support, we are getting encouraging supports from Nepali members. Now we have the following Nepali people in the team as team members.
9. Rajendra Prasad Poudel
Rajendra is the Vice chairman of E-Network Research and Development, an organization based in Kathmandu. He has Master degree in mathematics from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. He has also completed Cisco Router training and Solaris Administration from Zoom House, Hyderabad, India. He is Microsoft certified system engineer. He also involved in Japan based ICT development organization called Japan International ICT Association (JIIA). Currently he lives in Japan and visits Nepal frequently. He is still the active member of the project and has been contributing a lot.
Rajendra had brought six students from College of Information Technology, Kathmandu in November 2005 in the villages for internship. The students taught basic computer skills and some hardware to the villagers ans school teachers in Shikha, Paudwar and Tikot village.
Kishor is Cisco certified academy instructor. He has Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Application from Goa Engineering College / Goa University, India. Currently he is working at Kathmandu College of Management as a Consulting Faculty for Cisco Networking Academy Program. He also teaches in Prime College Kathmandu.
He was Managing Director of a company called Sastra Network Solution. The company is into providing Network Solution and Services. Now he is working fulltime as a representative of CISCO in Nepal.
Gaurab Raj Upadhaya is freelance Information Technology Consultant. His is deeply involved in networking, TCP/IP, routers, switches etc. His area of expertise is Unix/Linux, Windows NT as well as Novell NetWare servers.
Gaurab travels around the world for business trips. Despite his very busy schedule, Gaurab is helping us to design the network and to develop communication software. He is also the chief network engineer for our wireless networks
Ramesh has Master degree in Information and Communication Engineering with wireless networking as major. He teaches at Department of Electronics and Computer Engineering, Kathmandu Engineering College. He is also working as Systems Manager for the college.
Ramesh visited Nangi village with his fellow teachers in June 2005 and 2007. Currently he is working with his students to develop video conferencing software for telemedicine.
Abhinandan has Bachelors in Engineering from University of Mumbai India with Computer Engineering as major. As a system administrator of Kathmandu Engineering College, he was involved in planning, designing, deployment and maintenance of campus wide Internet/intranet systems. He also teaches computer programming and computer graphics at the college.
Abhinandan visited Nangi village with his fellow teachers in June 2005. Currently he is working with his students to design 30 dbi antenna for our network.
Prasanna is from Tamil Nadu in India. He did his Masters Degree in Madras Christian College. He worked in AU-KBC Research Centre in MIT Campus of Anna Unversity, Chennai before coming to Nepal with the United Mission to Nepal. UMN seconded him to Gandaki College of Engineering and Science, Pokhara, as a Lecturer. Since Prasanna is in Pokhara, he has been very helpful for looking after the main server in Pokhara. He has also involved his students in the developing software such as bulletin board and Haatbazaar for our project. Here is what he says.
"My passion is to get the students here in Nepal see the need for their skills in Nepal itself. I want them to see how they can made a difference to their neighbours and the society by putting to use whatever skill they
gain. Also, I want them to see the available opportunities here in Nepal itself and thus making them stay in Nepal itself and contribute to its development. I have been doing whatever I was doing just to get the students into such things."
Mr. Prashant Manandhar is Director and Board Member of Nepal Research and Education Network (NREN, www.nren.net.np) , which is working in advanced research and education network through the means of ICT. The main objectives of the organization is to establish high speed dedicated network to support for the development of national computational grid for research and education.
Besides, he is System Director of Prime College, Nepal. He has also conducted CCNA classes as Cisco certified academic instructor and training of ICT Industrial Certification. He is contributing his expertise in Nepal Wireless for the implementation of content development on e-learning for 11 and 12 grades, wireless network and video applications for telemedicine and teleteaching. He has done Master in Science in Computer Engineering from StateUniversity " Lviv Polytechnic", Ukraine.
Indiver Badal is IT Consultant for Nepal Research and Education Network. He has advanced diploma in Business and Information Technology from NCC. He had been working with Internet Service Providers for over a decade. His area of expertise is Linux, Windows servers, networking, wireless and embeded systems.
He provides technical support and helps us design wireless networks. He is also involved in research and development activities of Nepal Wireless Project designing embeded routers and efficient wirless systems.