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Learning more about Energy - The Story of Diggaj Regmi - Part 2

From Nepal to Australia – The story of Diggaj Regmi

Part 2

In part 1 the first chapter of the story, we heard about Diggaj’s first encounter with Electricity. This fascination takes him from his humble childhood in a remote village in Nepal to Kathmandu where he wins a University Sustainability project and is flown to England to present to the world. More on this…

England. What was that like?

I felt such happiness. I had never been out of Nepal before and London was such a big city. We went to the Shakespeare Globe Theatre to present our project. There were many other people presenting to all kinds of educational people, even the Education Department of the UK Government. There were so many ideas and when it came to ours I was a bit nervous. But because I was presenting on behalf of my country I shook it off and after a while, I started to enjoy it. The Nepalese Government had also given us some personal development training, so I used what I had learnt to get me through my first presentation. Which is why I think I really enjoy getting up in front of people now.

Did the audience like your ideas?

They did. There were discussions and we got to talk to other people in educational areas about what we had done.

How did that make you feel?

I felt that people were listening to what I had to say. It spurred me on to do more. I felt that Nepal had given me so much with my family and education that I wanted to give something back to my community. I felt a responsibility to give something back to my country.

Explain that.

It’s like I can never forget that feeling I had when I was a kid growing up in my village. Seeing the first light in our house and listening to the teacher talking about how energy was made. I felt that we were lucky enough to have power. It was a gift. I want all the people in Nepal to have this gift of power. There are villages that only have kerosene lighting in their kitchens and this has horrible effects on their lives. The fumes will hurt their eyes as they try to cook a meal. I remember having the chance to read at night in my bedroom, without a kerosene light, and how great that was. I felt that if I could give that opportunity to all the people in Nepal then I will achieve something. But first I must learn more.

What did you do after London?

I loved London and I saw so much opportunity there. Back home lighting my house was a big thing but in London, there was so much more. I said to myself let’s use this award to get further education. We stayed for a week in London and then went back to Nepal. There was no way my family could pay for a degree, so I started to think about how I could sell myself into a UK University. I applied to 3 Universities that had renewable and electrical power as a study option.  I got a placement in a “pathway” or foundation degree in College of North West London and with a full scholarship at the University of Glyndwr in Wales.

How was University in the UK?

At first, it was hard, so I studied at least 15 hours a day. I wanted to push myself, so I could get a distinction pass. Because English was a second language to me I had to try harder just so I could match the local students. I even used to study on the train.

How did you support yourself?

I took on a part-time job with an electrical (Ryness Electrical) in their technical sales area. I even got promoted to an assistant manager. I would work part-time during the semester and during the break, I would work full time. They were great to me and I loved it. They were so kind. When I had to take the time off to study for exams the staff would pull together and donate some money to support me when not working. There would be a card with many pounds in it saying, “good luck for your exams, and we’ll see you when you get back”. I felt part of a great retailer team.

Did you graduate?

I did, and I received a Bachelor of Engineering in Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology.

What did you do next?

I started to work full time with Ryness. I also worked on a 150kW Solar Farm as a Trainee Project Engineer (Install and Design). That got me “on the roof” working on real renewable energy projects. I learnt a lot. I wanted to work in Hydro Electricity, so I could eventually go back to Nepal and give the remote locations some power. But I still needed to learn more before I could do it successfully.

In the final chapter, Diggaj lands in Australia where his adventure continues…