This profile was prepared when Sharad Parajuli was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2001.
The New Idea
Nine years ago, Anil began arranging medical treks to address the immediate health care needs of people living in the most remote, mountainous areas of the country. Through his nonprofit organization, Himalayan Health Clinic, he leads foreign doctorsmost are clients from Europe or the United Statesto villages high in the Himalya. Nepali health workers and community leaders meet and learn from the trekkers. At the same time, the doctors gain exposure to the health challenges facing developing countries and contribute (through their fees) to the ongoing efforts of the people they train. To date, Anil and his staff have run treks in the Dhading, Colakha, and Ilam districts, where they have trained more than one hundred twenty foreign doctors, nurses, and volunteers. More than sixteen thousand people have been treated, and over eighteen tons of free medicines have been dispensed. Anil pays close attention to monitoring and follow-up to insure that the interactions lead to a sustained effort to improve health care. He also sees that the treks help build trust with communities, a trust that allows initiatives in education, family planning, and income generation.