- Text by Adam White
Born and raised in the remote Nepalese village of Nangi, Mahabir Pun had to set out on a two-day hike whenever he wanted to read his emails. The neighbouring village of Pukhara was the closest place with access to the internet, so Mahabir made the voyage every month for six years, constantly pondering whether there was an easier way to get online. Help arrived after he sent an email to the BBC, asking whether his dreams of building a wireless network to connect Nangi to the rest of the world was a possibility.
The BBC News website subsequently picked up Mahabir’s story, and tech experts from around the world reached out to Mahabir to offer help. Using DIY technology he made and sourced himself, Mahabir was soon able to turn his dreams into reality, and forever alter his local community.
Directed by Clemens Purner, Hiking for Emails is a stirring, sumptuous short that tracks Mahabir’s journey to bring the tiny village of Nangi into the modern world. “Of course it did not only mean that I could check my emails now more conveniently,” Mahabir says at one point in the film. “It was the start of something much bigger.”