Former Member of National Assembly Laxmidas Manandhar has abandoned the physical body on January 20, 2022 at the age of 93. Though Manandhar was basically a businessman, he is well known for his multifaceted personality. He is known as a social worker, a business entrepreneur, an industrialist and a litterateur as well. Noted business entrepreneur Manandhar, who was active in politics, social service and education, was known as a fearless, honest, energetic and helpful person. He had served as the chairman of Salt Trading Corporation for a long time. Manandhar, who had also served as the member of the National Assembly, was the coordinator of the Federation of Nepali Entrepreneurs belonging to the then Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) formed after the merger between the CPN-UML and the UCP ( Unified Maoist).
Manandhar, a social activist and veteran businessman became a central executive committee member of the Nepal Chamber of Commerce in 2018 BS and later assumed the position of the central treasurer of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI). Manandhar was known as the pioneer personality in the field of trade and industry sectors of Nepal.
He had been active for decades in the development of industry and business sectors, whether he was in office or not. He had always shown interest, raised his voice and drawn the attention of concerned stakeholders and organizations towards the interest and welfare of the business community.
A helping hand for business world
Nepalese businessmen used to ask him for solution of any problem and seek his advice on important issues. Manandhar was also ready to find solutions to such problems. Being a warm hearted person, he had also developed close relationship with many businessmen and industrialists of Nepal.
As he firmly believed that Nepal cannot attain economic development by importing everything from foreign country, he had established Nepal’s first flour mill, first vegetable ghee dust industry and Nepal’s first motor-tire industry. He is the founder of Nepal Food Industries Ltd., Nepal Vegetable Ghee Industry and Gorakhkali Tire Industry. Prior to the establishment of flour mill in Nepal, the Nepalese traders had to sell wheat in the Indian market and import floor from India. Realizing that there will be a good demand for floor within the country, Manandhar had decided to establish a flour mill.
He had lobbied for the development of a market for goods produced by Nepalese farmers and businessman, creation of employment within the country and thereby contributed in the development of Nepal’s national capital.
Manandhar had also made remarkable contributions in the field of social service. He was always in the forefront in helping those who are in need and used to provide assistance in whatever way in various fields such as construction and reconstruction works. Manandhar’s contribution to the upliftment and promotion of Nepal Bhasha (Newari language) and Newari culture was also remarkable. Having keen interest in the field of religion Manandhar had also served as the vice-chairman of Dharmodaya Sabha. As the official representative of the Dharmodaya Sabha, he used to get special honour while visiting Buddhist monks in different countries.
Manandhar was also the president of the Nepal Leprosy Association. He had been campaigning, at his own expense, for a long time to eradicate leprosy from Nepal and to raise public awareness that they should not be excluded from society and the family. Manandhar had also visited places like Sundarban, where leprosy patients were kept and drew the attention of the then government to help them by providing with free medical treatment as well as livelihood for the lepers.
Manandhar had also made outstanding contributions for the development of education sector. He was the President of Jagatsundar High School, Shanti Shiksha Mandir at People’s Campus, Paknajol. Due to his passion and interest in education, he was able to remain in the leadership of various educational institutions for a long time. He believed that Nepal would prosper and develop economically only if the children of Nepalis were educated through development of education sector.
Laxmi Das in the eyes of others
Laxmidas was a man of conviction, who can reach out anybody in the society at any time when there is a problem, says Rakesh Kaji Shrestha, former chairan of Nepal Chamber of COmmerce.
He was a dynamic and bold person, who is capable of providing leadership in the society, he pointed out. Laxmidas was active in Nepal Chamber of Commerce at the time when we were just born. There were very few businessmen in Kathmandu at that time. Noted business personality Ishwor Lal Shrestha was his contemporary businessman, who also became the president of Nepal Chamber. He used to call us when we face any problem in the Chamber and he gave advices from time to time to sort out the problem.
Surendra Bir Malakar
Manandhar was a brilliant entrepreneur, who never gets tired, says former President of Nepal Chamber of Commerce Surendra Bir Malakar. “He has made tremendous contributions in the development of trade and industry in Nepal. His contribution in the field of industrial development of Nepal can never be forgotten,” points out Malakar. “He is one of the pioneers in the chamber movement of Nepal,” he added. “He is a person of positive attitude, who never said no to any one whenever his help is sought.”
Dr. Gauri Shanker Lal Das
“Many people are not much aware that he was also an active social worker. He was involved in the Nepal Leprosy Association since its inception and later assumed the post of president of the association. He had made valuable contributions for the upliftment of leprosy patients. He had particularly, worked actively in building 200 shelters for the leprosy patients. He had also assisted for providing education and accommodation for the children of leprosy patients. He had also provided blankets and other assistances to the leprosy patients as the chairman of the Salt Trading Corporation. I was very much socked after hearing the news of his sudden demise. His death has caused irreparable damage to the country.” (By Pratima Sapkota)