19 September 2019
Binay Shah's organization aims to help integrate Nepalese people into the mainstream Hong Kong community.
Binay Shah's organization aims to help integrate Nepalese people into the mainstream Hong Kong community.

How one man tries to help HK’s neglected Nepalese community

Among hundreds of organizations and groups related to the Nepalese community in Hong Kong, only a few do proper work for the benefit of the community. The Hong Kong Integrated Nepalese Society, or HINS, is one such entity that is at the forefront and actually doing a lot of good to the community.

HINS, steered by its charismatic, capable and dedicated leader Binay Shah, has been working on many projects since 2004, taking initiatives that are particularly beneficial for the community. And the group has no plans whatsoever of moving away from that direction anytime soon.

According to Binay Shah, the main purpose of an organization like HINS is to help integrate the Nepalese people into the mainstream community of Hong Kong so that they can contribute to the society as a whole.

Just to list a few, here are the services HINS has been providing so far for the Nepalese community in Hong Kong:

- Provide Cantonese classes
- Disseminate information on safety rules and regulations in the construction industry
- Organize seminars on health awareness and arrange free health checkup services
- Arrange computer classes
- Promote cultural programs
- Provide regular classes on drug, alcohol and family-related issues including counseling, if necessary
- Provide English as well as basic Nepalese language classes
- Arrange familiarization visits to police, fire and custom departments
- Organize group visits to popular Hong Kong places
- Provide legal help, offering interpreting services and expertise, if necessary
- Organize variety of sports in order to bring the community together
- Provide gathering halls or spaces for the community free of charge for special events when necessary
- Provide information to the community on job vacancies
- Try to bring all the Nepalese people together and get them united

HINS received nominal grant of HK$500,000 from the government in the last few years, but it came with a condition of having to hire two staff. After meeting the employees’ salary bills and paying for utilities such as water and electricity and other expenses, there was not much to left to spend for the community.

Given the piffling grant from the government, the group’s projects had to be funded through donations, ticket charges or from the directors’ own pocket.

This is what makes the work of dedicated and selfless individuals like Binay Shah so significant, and the whole Nepalese community in Hong Kong should be grateful to him.

“Seeing our community divided into so many groups is hard. By putting all of our differences aside, we can work together for a united goal,” says Shah.

In support of Nepal’s tourism industry, Shah got to work on a project called “Land of Everest”. Under the initiative, an essay competition was arranged between students from Hong Kong universities and the winner was sent to Nepal for a 9-day whirlwind holiday trip as a reward.

Shah counts the initiative as among the best jobs he has done so far for the community in Hong Kong.

Despite all the difficulties, the nature of the thankless job, and the struggles, Shah is committed to the noble cause of helping out his disadvantaged community, saying he is determined to carry on with the work as long as he is physically capable.

We all should wish him the very best!

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EJ Insight contributor