Bhakta Ram Lamichhane
South Korea’s newly-elected president Moon Jae-In volunteered to provide relief to earthquake survivors in Nepal’s Nuwakot district and went on a trek to the Langtang Valley last year.
Moon helped in the reconstruction of Arukharka Secondary School in Belkot, joining others to carry bricks and material for repair work. He also provided science equipment to the school.
“He is a very simple and humble man, and mixed well with the local people,” recalls Bhakta Ram Lamichhane, who is affiliated to labour unions assisting Nepali workers in Korea and helped organise the trip for Moon. He himself spent three years working in Korea.
The trek to Langtang was along trails that had not yet been repaired after landslides triggered by the earthquake, and Moon joined other Korean and Nepali colleagues to remove rocks and clear the trail. “I was surprised that a person who was to become the president of his country was so friendly and generous,” Lamichhane said.
Moon represented the Democratic Party and got 41.08 per cent of the votes when results were announced on Tuesday, defeating his nearest rival Hong Jeon Pyo, who got 24.3 per cent. Moon also contested elections in 2012, but was defeated. He has been sensitive to the needs of migrant workers in Korea.
Moon said he came to Nepal and Bhutan to “seek happiness and peace,” and spent two weeks in Nuwakot and Rasuwa trekking to the village in Langtang buried by an avalanche in 2015 and to Gosainkunda Lake. But he also spent time with Nepali returnees from Korea to inquire about their well-being.