"This facewash suits your skin," said a store proprietor wearing a sticker on her left cheek, as Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal entered the exhibition hall in Bhrikuti Mandap. There was no way the prime minister could refuse her supplications. "Really," said Nepal, "Did you make this yourself?" "Yes," she responded, "we made it ourselves and it's completely natural." Convinced, Nepal reached for his wallet, but the proprietor stopped him. "Don't worry, this is a gift."
Madhav Kumar was visiting the 10th Cottage Industry Festival and National Industrial Expo at Bhrikuti Mandap, which began on Thursday. The PM spent 30 minutes there on Saturday shopping, observing stalls and receiving gifts. He received the facewash, worth Rs 120, and other items as gifts from the proprietor, and bought other things he wanted.
He later caught site of an organic coffee stall. "How much is the coffee?" he asked. Upon receiving an answer, he asked again, "Is this made in Nepal?" He reached for his pocket but, perhaps finding no money there, instead asked an assistant to buy a packet.
Nepal may not have visited each of the 145 stalls at the exhibition, but he did visit many. He bought several things besides the coffee, like Rs 150 worth of ginger juice. All in all, he spent Rs 695.
As he left, he told media persons that he was very happy to see so many Nepali products, and assured government help to brand them and market them internationally.
"It's not only goods that can be exported, but also the technology that backs them," he said.