Melbourne Saptaha has officially concluded. The Saptaha which was held to raise funds towards realizing the dream of Nepalis owning their own community centre in Melbourne has raised about 11 lakh dollars (1,100,000). 1032 people became life members – families and individuals. The required amount for the land acquisition and construction of a community centre was 15 lakh dollars (AUD 1.5 million) of which 1.1 million has been raised.
Famous Guru Dinbandhu Pokhrel from Nepal led the Saptaha with his enchanting and enlightening verses and stories. Devotees listened to him with great enthusiasm learning facts about the Bhagwad Geeta and various other stories.
Upon conclusion of the Saptaha, President of Australia Nepali Multicultural centre, Chandra Dipak Pokhrel addressed the crowd. “Thanks to Nepalis, not only in Melbourne or Victoria, but nationwide, the Saptaha was able to raise 1,089,686 Australian dollars towards the cause”. He also said that plans and mechanisms to use the funds wisely were being developed. The organization already had $250,000, a result of prior fundraisers. The money was now going to be utilized to acquire land for the community centre. Saptaha committee’s head secretary Keshav Kandel also addressed the crowd, thanking the community for its active involvement. Manaoj Ghimire, Secretary of Saptaha thanked everyone who made it all possible. Pandit Dinbandhu Pokhrel was honoured by Honorary Consulate General Chandra Yonzon, Ex NRN ICC President Shesh Ghale, and Community Centre’s president Dr. Chandra Dipak Pokhrel, jointly.
Pandit Dinbandhu Pokhrel, who had arrived from Nepal for the Saptaha said he was astonished watching the volunteers work, dedication towards the cause, and the love and affection he was showered with. “This Saptaha shall serve as an example to many others”, he said.
Organisations/Individuals who have pledged large amount of funding towards the cause said that the Community Center will help unifying Nepalis all around Australia.
Shesh Ghale, ex NRN ICC President while addressing the crowd reminisced how Nepalis in Australia had shown excellent signs of solidarity during the Nepal Earthquake in 2015 and thanked them for it. Shesh Ghale has pledge $200,888 towards the cause. He also emphasized on a sustainability of the centre which will help future generations.
Hon. Consulate General to Victoria also thanked the organizers of the Saptaha for working towards such a noble cause. He said that it is his dream to see a community centre in Melbourne which we can call our own. Yonzon, who had previously donated $50,000 pledged $50,000 more. He also said that his contribution is nothing in comparison to the help and support he has gained from the community.
Although the Community Centre will be built in Victoria, the donations were not limited to the state. Pledges have been pouring in from NSW, Northern Territory, South Australia – the entire nation. Also present in the Saptaha were NRN Oceania’s Regional Coordinator DharmaRaj Adhikari. NRN Australia’s founding President Mana KC,and President of International Jhapali Society Dinesh Pokhrel. The Saptaha was also supported by NRN Australia, Nepalese Association of Victoria, DidiBaini Samaj Victoria, Gulmi Society Victoria, Chitwan Society Victoria and various other organizations through various approaches.
A 501 member organizing committee was formed by Australian Nepali Community Centre. There also were different committees formed for different departments – food , media, volunteers, ration management. Almost 5000 Nepalis participated in the Saptaha.