The group of isolated Villages up in the hill country where Madhav grew up is separated from the main road by an hours-long trek down the mountainside and the mighty Sunkoshi River. For years, the only way across during the wet season was by a narrow swinging foot suspension bridge across the bottom of the river valley. This obstacle kept the residents of these hillside villages separated from being able to easily reach modern medicine and economic opportunities.
Starting in 2013, Madhav Bhandari was elected to a committee by the local villagers to petition the Nepal Government for a motor bridge to be put over the Sunkoshi River Valley.
The motor bridge will connect these five villages with of about 15,000 people and a second district beyond that to the outside world.
Finally, in 2015, the Government of Nepal approved the funding for the major infrastructure project of building a motor bridge over the Sunkoshi River for the benefit of these people!
Survey work began during the dry season.
It was a time of great celebration and excitement in the villages. But then there came a controversy over exactly where the motor bridge should be built. What villages would it connect the most directly? In the photo below you can see Madhav talking to representatives of the different villages and you can see the narrow suspension foot bridge up in the air behind them. This is what is being replaced.
Finally, a decision was reached on the exact location of the bridge. Excavation began. It was delayed a few times for various reasons, but the bridge is finally scheduled to be finished in 2020. A temporary structure already has replaced the dangerous foot bridge.
This motor bridge will improve the lives of 15,000 people.
Below, Madhav Bhandari (in the baseball cap) speaks to a group of villagers who are looking across the river bed during the dry season toward the temporary bridge which will help them get to the nearest town year-round until the motor bridge is finished later this year. This has been an eight-year project, but the benefit to the 15,000 residents of the isolated villages will make it all worthwhile.