21 October 2016
Niraj Gurung (left) has joined the Hong Kong police, setting an example for youth from the Nepalese community. Photo: Tim Gurung
Niraj Gurung (left) has joined the Hong Kong police, setting an example for youth from the Nepalese community. Photo: Tim Gurung

Why the Nepalese community in HK is feeling proud

Amid the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong, one good piece of news almost went unnoticed last weekend. Had it not been for social media, I too would have not known about it, let alone gather enough information to be able to write about it. The news is so good and inspiring that it certainly deserves a mention here, and the whole Nepalese community in Hong Kong should feel proud.

The Nepalese society in Hong Kong has been in the news mostly for wrong reasons. Sometimes it is for drugs, humans trafficking and gang fighting, while at other times it is for reports such as illegal consumption of wild buffalo in New Territories, children falling off windows, etc.

There has hardly been any good news from the community for a very long time, so this piece of information should be welcome relief for the long-suffering minority group.

Niraj Gurung, 19, a grandson of a former soldier from the 6 Gurkhas Rifles regiment and the son of Bhim and Ganga Gurung, has become the first person from the Nepalese community to become a member of the Hong Kong Police. 

Niraj, whose family hails from Syangja district in Western Nepal, has made his community in the city proud. After completing six months vigorous training at Aberdeen, a graduation parade was held on April 30. Gurung is posted now at Tuen Mun police station.

It is not only good and inspiring news but also a proud moment for all the Nepalese in Hong Kong. Niraj has set a good example for the community, and we should encourage more young people to follow his footsteps.

As a police officer, Niraj can help serve as a bridge between different communities and promote mutual understanding. If we have a few dozen Nepalese officers like him in the Hong Kong police, it will be a great moment for the Nepalese community. Thanks to the pioneering move of Niraj, it could well become a reality someday in the future.

Gurkhas are known for their unparalleled bravery and unconditional loyalty. But there is a perception that they are only good for security and construction jobs. Meanwhile, some children of former Gurkha soldiers have problems in integrating with the local society here. Given this, joining disciplinary services like police is definitely a good start.

Niraj’s enlistment in the HK police should open the door for youth from other ethnic minorities as well.

In order to keep youngsters away from drugs and violence, Hong Kong police has been running a program called “Himalayan” in Yuen Long and “Blue Diamond” in Kowloon, which encourage youth, especially those from ethnic minorities, to join disciplinary services.

Niraj was the outcome of such initiative, joining the police force after attending the program for one and half years. 

His grandfather guarded the border, his father participated in the construction of Tsing Ma Bridge, and now the son is patrolling the streets of Hong Kong so that the city can remain safe.

We wish Niraj and his family the very best. You have inspired many people, and we hope the community will cherish and learn from this great moment.

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