Indira Rana Magar, Founder of Prisoners Assistance Nepal, visists Liverpool November 2014

Posted on 14 November 2014.

Nepalese Children’s Trust trustee, Sandra McKnight, says farewell to Indira, Subani and Roshani at Liverpool Lime Street Station.

On Thursday 6th November 2014 I set off for Liverpool to meet up with Indira who had been invited to speak at Liverpool John Moores University. I had not seen her for four years. Indira’s daughter, Subani, was with her and also little Roshani, a child from the home whose parents were in prison. On arrival at my hotel I had some lunch and in a very short while was accosted by Indira and enveloped in a bear hug. I was introduced to Sara and to Roshani, and it was decided that Indira, Subani, Roshani and I would have a look round the Catholic Cathedral while Sara did some last minute organisation before a tea and cake reception prior to the talk.

The Cathedral was very interesting and Subani lit a candle for peace. Subani is 18 and a beautiful young lady. Roshani is 11 and totally delightful.

We then proceeded to the University where people had started to arrive. I was introduced to Sara’s colleagues and also the man with whom she is writing her Nepali/English children’s educational book, who amazingly (or not) turned out to know Purna Gautam, head teacher at Melamchigaon School. Subani started the evening with a song, which I thought would be a Nepali one, but it was “It’s a New Life” which I suppose was appropriate. Indira’s talk was well attended, and she held the audience enthralled. Lots of questions followed and it was hard to get away, but we had to go as there was a meal booked for 20 of us. This was a pleasant affair and a good opportunity to get to know everyone better.

It had been proposed that I accompanied Sara and Indira and co on a tour around Liverpool on Friday morning, but a change of plan meant that Indira had to catch the London train around 10.20. Sara picked me up from the hotel and took me back to her house to collect Indira and the girls along with their luggage. We stopped off at a store to pick up some children’s vitamins which Sara was providing for the home, before going on to the train station, only to find that Indira’s train had been cancelled. In the event, we were able to get them on one just after 11.00. Sara went onto the train with them to settle them in, and was so busy doing just that, she didn’t see me gesticulating like a madman and trying to open the door! The train set off with Sara still aboard, and she had to get off at Runcorn and come back, which happened in a really short time. As my train wasn’t until the afternoon, I went back to the University with Sara to meet with the young student who was illustrating her book. This was all very interesting. The book is dual Nepali/English about a frog and comes with a story sack with puppets, and is also tied in with fair trade and fair working practices. It still has a way to go, but Sara hopes to be able to sell the package to schools to raise money.

Sara and I had lunch before I made my way back to the Station to get my train back home.

It was a only short time with Indira, but rewarding. As usual everyone wants a piece of her and she gives herself freely to all.

Sandra McKnight