Atul Koirala and his mission to transform Nepal through handwriting

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Atul Koirala is a man possessed. An MTech in Computer Science and Engineering from Russia, he is, as the corporate speak goes, “professionally, technically sound and business savvy with a 25+ years pioneering career reflecting strong leadership qualities, who is known for playing strategic roles in developing and implementing cutting-edge solutions for growth of the organisation and enhancing overall process efficiency”. He is, as is acknowledged in the corner rooms, “a highly motivated individual with a team-based management style and excellent interpersonal and communication skills, focused on achieving bottom-line results while formulating and implementing advanced methodology / technology to meet a wide range of needs”. But that is not why we are featuring him here in the Inked Happiness.

Atul Koirala is also the Member Secretary – the moving spirit behind the think tank Sushil Koirala Memorial Foundation (SKMF) in Nepal and is selflessly working to inculcate the art of handwriting among the young in the country as a means towards furthering education, which in turn is a part of the bigger goal of fast-tracking the socio-economic development of Nepal.

In a free-flowing chat Atul Koirala talks about Nepal, handwriting and the SKMF. Excerpts:

Inked Happiness: Why are you stressing on handwriting and calligraphy as a focus area?

Atul Koirala, Sushil Koirala Memorial Foundation (SKMF): Handwriting is so absolutely fundamental and without the alphabet, everything falls apart, everything. All culture depends on the alphabet like: the first sound of the baby अ- आमा in Nepali, म – माँ in Hindi. At this age of time, there is a computer but the computer itself depends on the alphabet. Imagine Computers without alphabets or the Universe. If the alphabet disappears, the computer would not be the computer, there would not be a flow chart, there would not be any science and there would not be any signature in the documents. Using the alphabet, we can find all kinds of intelligence of the child or person, which helps to open the new doorways for them.   

Inked Happiness: What are you doing to aid the search for excellence in this field?

Atul Koirala, Sushil Koirala Memorial Foundation (SKMF): Handwriting is unique to each individual writer, unlike typewriting.  One’s handwriting style, and especially one’s signature, is a public and permanent statement, like a fingerprint. Learning to write well can help make that statement strong and beautiful.

We have already organised a major programme with the globally acknowledged domain expert Prof K C Janardhan, which was attended by students, parents and teachers and was very well received. Plans are afoot to take the initiative forward to touch and transform more lives in Nepal.

Inked Happiness: What are your plans for the immediate future?

Atul Koirala, Sushil Koirala Memorial Foundation (SKMF): We have observed, from the last program held in, November 2018, in Kathmandu, that students, teachers and parents are generally not aware of the importance of handwriting and they are therefore, least concerned about its importance in the overall scheme of knowledge dissemination. We are trying to convince school managements to conduct this kind of classes as an extra-curricular activity up to 7-8 classes.

Handwriting is so important because of one very specific reason, studies are continuously / increasingly showing that when something is written out by hand it is more easily remembered than the typed one. Once my Russian professor told me whatever you can write in the   lecture class, just write it down, if we write something by hand it’s like something we are carving   in our mind with the tip of the pencil or pen, which is a lot  easier to recall and remember.  That’s why even in today’s digital age, many professionals keep a small notebook and pen so that they can note down the points thereon and refer back to them later as comfortable.  

Atul Koirla and his mission to transform Nepal through handwriting

Inked Happiness: What have been the major areas in which the SKMF has focused in the past? What have been your achievements?

 Atul Koirala, Sushil Koirala Memorial Foundation (SKMF): 

Let me make two things absolutely clear right up front. First and foremost, the SKMF is a think tank or a policy institute – a research institute that performs research and advocacy concerning topics such as social policy, political strategy, economics, technology and culture. And secondly, much of what we have achieved, or the contribution that we are making as change agents, is due to the vision and single-minded devotion of Dr Shashank Koirala, the Chairman of SKMF, who has been the real game changer so far as the organisation and its activities go. SKMF has always tried to take a holistic view and has focused its attention on a number of socio-economic areas that it felt called for its devoted participation. One area of interest is the development of entrepreneurship in Nepal. While the people of Nepal are globally regarded for their entrepreneurial spirit, we feel the need for a bridge that will connect the man on the street with the Society’s concerns and the Government’s responsibility. SKMF has been working towards bringing this holy trinity together for the greater good of the people and a number of workshops, seminars, aimed at both creating awareness and the preparing of the ground have been already been conducted with more in the pipeline.

Another area that the SKMF has identified is that of sexual violence, exploitation and human trafficking where too, we have been working with single minded devotion and are trying to bring together all concerned – from the policy makers to the law enforcers, the voluntary organisations working on the ground and the media – for a concerted crusade against the menace.

Atul Koirla and his mission to transform Nepal through handwriting

The preservation of Nepali culture, especially its literature is a focus area for the SKMF and we are also chipping in with our limited resources to work towards the achievement of the logical goal. One highly successful endeavour in the field has been the SKMF initiative titled “Me and Literature”. 

At the SKMF, in keeping with our philosophy of aiding the all-round development of Nepal and her people, the stress has also been on the development of sports and games. The SKMF was instrumental in organising the First International Wheelchair Cricket Tournament in Nepal as well as the ACC U-16 Eastern Regional Tournament. Other sporting activities are organised, and sports persons encouraged regularly.


About the Sushil Koirala Memorial Foundation (SKMF):           

The SKMF was set up primarily to realise the vision of former Prime Minister Sushil Koirala who dreamt of a modern, secular, and progressive Nepal. Koirala imagined a prosperous and equitable Nation free of prejudice, where all citizens regardless of their demographic variation can participate as equals; a country that provides a chance for its citizens to realise their rights. To empower the people SKMF works towards strengthening the democratic governance of the country and restore the faith in democratic principles. The Foundation also aims to empower economically vulnerable groups to realise their rights. Similarly, it aims to conduct research and advocate public policy, acting as a bridge between knowledge and power under democratic principles.

To fulfil its mission, the Foundation works to bring together the country’s best knowledge and   expertise to develop and test innovative solutions, address adaptive social problems and create a long-lasting impact. SKMF lives by its values of inclusiveness, innovation, integrity, accountability, relationship and professionalism.

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44 Replies to “Atul Koirala and his mission to transform Nepal through handwriting”

  1. He is the supremely talented , the most adorable , intelligent , the man with dream-and vision and the man who has capacities plus abilities ( capabilities to make the realization of the dreams and visions into reality. His contribution to uplift the nation and society as well as betterment of the society is proudly remarkable . And his honest effort is priceless . He is a catalyst , innovator , think tank and knowledge bank.
    His expertise , his knowledge , wisdom and the way he is managing the knowledge as knowledge manager is commendable and highly astonishing . The society and people of the nation consider him as a real hero and the way he is doing exceptionally incredible job to bring quantifiable and functional changes is amazing .

  2. I know Mr. Atul Koirala as personal adviser of former prime minister Sushil Koirala and member-secretary of Sushil Koirala Memorial Foundation. Apart from that, he is an enthusiast to bring about some real changes in Nepal through constructive activities such as enhancing entrepreneurship, revitalizing the country’s politics, encouraging potential and emerging researchers entrepreneurs, litterateurs, students and sportsmen for their contribution to the nation. He has been doing these activities through the foundation. Further, he occasionally writes on contemporary issues for newspapers. His campaign on calligraphy is one of the good examples of his initiatives. I would like to express my best wishes for his all success in his all good attempts.

  3. Dear Atul dai
    Excellent job.I believe this initiative will contribute our country to enhance art, culture, literature. Keep going. I am with you.

  4. I have received an ample of opportunity to interact with the man with vision and action, Mr. Atul Koirala, who strongly asserts,-” Ability without vision is a disability”. He stood as a true source of inspiration for youths and aspiring people. To me, he is very humble and sober in nature. No doubt he is characterized by engineering mind and therefore has daunted to unfold various multifaceted ambivalence bogged in the society and in a nation by means of SKMF. Nepal has a heap of expectations and would always seek to bagged his contributions in nation-sate building process.

  5. I have known Mr. Atul Koirala since childhood days. He was always a bright person filled with positivity, always aiming to make our country more cultural and a better place with his creativity. Him efforts to promote calligraphy is a really good initiative as calligraphy offers a lot to the individual practicing it.
    It is meditative, it makes a person more creative hence building the brain and in return it can offer u income along with lots of fun.
    I would like to wish him all the best for all his endeavors. Best of luck😊

  6. With the pleasure to work with Mr. Atul Koirala at SKMF, i have preceived him to be person full of optomism be at his professional or personal life. Mr. Koirala undoubtedly is one of the deferential person I have come across. He has been an exemplar for many Nepalese with his tremendous work ability.The trait he has that statles me the most is his “never giving up” attitude.
    I wish him all the luck for his future endeavours.

  7. We’re really pleased to get support from SKMF to organise world’s 1st traingular wheelchair cricket series who was held in Nepal amo g Nepal, India and Bangladesh n Nepal won the title. We wouldn’t be successful without the inspirarion of Atul Sir, who has worked very hard duringnour training session as game time. Once again, we want thank whole team Of SKMF as well as for his contribution.
    – Chhultim Sherpa, President of Wheelchair Cricket Aaaocoation of Nepal (WCAN)

  8. Dear Atul,
    This is a well articulated and insightful piece of article. You have broadened my thoughts and deepened my horizons on alphabets as a whole. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your views, thank you for that.

  9. Mr. Atul Koirala is highly motivated , enthusiastic person. I have known him from many years and closely observed his contribution on Technology , academics and in overall development of the society. I am sure he will do wonder on his new initiative.
    “Keep up the Good Work”

    1. Atul ji,
      Very commendable job you have persuaded as a philanthropist ģving your valuable time to reform
      and to reflects the society with healthy economic growth for the better life of the people , thank you with my best wishes .
      Basudev P. Gautam

  10. Since i know Mr.Atul Koirala from very childhood.He has very good personality.He is versatile,multi dimensional,positive ,most intelligent, creative person and very good nature.I have no words to appreciate ur creative work.which is benificial to everyone.
    I would like to wish him all the best for all his good work which is good for all mankind.”Keep up the good work”

    1. Yes Arjun , we know Raju ( I prefer to call him Raju than Atul ) since childhood as a nice and humble human being. We have many memories from the past .
      Handwriting is the great idea and I wish him the best to achieve this goal to reflect our identity, culture and society..!

      Best ,

  11. This is a great initiative by SKMF and Mr. Atul Koirala, a man of true integrity, professional, a philanthrop and with his engineering mindset, can build a well outlined roadmap for development of handwriting in our ever fast paced world ! With a social inclination to their work and lots of agendas , as mentioned in the interview, I can only wish SKMF and Mr. Koirala good work ahead and frankly speaking envy , that you are taking up such a burden for the upliftment and educating the society. Best of luck !

    1. Dr. Amir,
      It seems there is no such luck, it’s just a concept created by weak to explain their failures but hope your best wishes will be my Luck. Thank You so much

  12. I came across this interview coincidentally. I have known Mr. Atul Koirala for about 30 years now. He was always a diligent , sincere student during his university years and now with his initiative on promoting handwriting and social work in his country, can only wish him success in his , not an easy job.

    1. Galina Ma’am,
      It’s not coincident, I believe that every incident is to have happened for good, even though we see the bad result.
      Thank you very much

  13. Excellent idea Raju ( I called him Raju since childhood ; we r relatives and grown up together in Biratnagar) ..!
    I believe , handwriting reflects peoples’ identity, personality, culture, society and intelligence. Also , handwriting brings memory back , those days we used to write in postcards to greet family & friends during special occasions : Vijaya Dashami , Tihar, New Year, and Birthdays , and those memories are still fresh in my mind, because I wrote in postcards using pen and pencil.

    Many of my IT professional friends prefer to use pen and paper to make quick notes instead of using computer note pad. They believe that handwriting makes them to have better understanding and remember the material for a longer period than typing on laptop.

    I prefer writing the stories and movie screenplays first on paper , because writing on paper gives me more ideas , feelings , expression and energy as my mind and heart both works quickly together with my handwriting that same I cannot perform typing in laptop.

    Finally , handwriting is signature that gives happiness and satisfaction.

    Good luck Raju ( Atul )…!

  14. It is wonderful to read about handwriting and the emphasis that has been given on to it. This is yet another great initiative taken by Mr. Atul Koirala through SKMF which is really praise worthy.
    SKMF has contributed already a lot to the society in a very short time and the credit goes to Mr. Atul Koirala for his hard work.

  15. Its really incredible. Mr Atul you are the highly educated , brilliant & cool personality of the koirala family . Your family including you have been contributed & sacrificed yours life for Nepali People & Nepali Congress. Country Needs you type of extra brilliant n capable person. We wish you all the best. We all the people with you Atul Daa go ahead good luck.

  16. A man with wisdom, professnalism working through SKMF with great enthusiasm. Under the vision of Mr. Atul Koirala ; SKMF has contributed a lot for the welfare of the society in different sectors encouraging youths, physically challenged,disabled people. Definitely, it has created a platform for the thinkers to share their ideas,views,concepts,policys etc in all the sectors including both political and non-political.
    Therefore, I myself would be greatfull if I can support or contribute anything in future under the leadership of Mr. Atul Koirala who is very simple and energetic

  17. Fabulous concept!! Atul da is forever doing something creative to help the society!! I admire him for his keenness to contributing and keenness to learn various ways to be of service!! My respect grows each time I see him doing great work!! Your sincerity, passion to help and brilliance makes you very unique!! Very proud of you.. keep inspiring us dai 🙏🏻

    1. Manisha, comments from a personality like you, always make me aware to perform best and with differently.
      Thank you so much for your valuable time.

  18. It is encouraging to see that SKMF is bringing talents together to share ideas on contemporary issues. Great initiative, Atulji. Your efforts and commitment to discuss issues of common interests and concerns and address them through SKMF are exemplary. Be assured of my support. All the best,

  19. You are doing a great job putting yourself out of the political box Mr. Atul Koirala.
    My tribute to the respected former PM Sushil Koirala who lived as a simple, inspirational and legendary human being.
    He will always be remembered for his great contribution to the nation.
    My best wishes for the further success of SKMF.
    Keep up good work going. My solidarity.

  20. Very well said and in a lucid manner. In times where the world prefers and depends on technological tools for most of the tasks. You’ve drawn the attention towards something that is most neglected. Hats off you really think differently.

  21. Very nice work Mr. Atul Koirala. Handwriting develops motor skills. I wish we could go back to writing long letters like in the past with full of emotions. Hope you can revive the legacy of handwriting and beautiful writing by inculcating these habits from early school ages. Wish you good luck. The world needs more people like you Sir !!

  22. Atul jee ! You are doing really a creative job .Hand writing not only help to retaint knowledge or learned ideas for long but also greatly contribute to preserve one’s language and culture for long too .
    I am with you.
    Tirtha Raj Khanal

  23. Dear Atul, your project has my best wishes for its success because, as I understand, your project is aimed at mass promotion of pen-and-paper based writing in Nepal despite the ever increasing onslaught of computers, smart phones etc. Your project would be a significant contribution to the growth and support of conscious citizenry.
    Francis Bacon, a 16th-century British statesman-cum-philosopher, had once supported writing with the following words “Writing makes a man perfect/exact while Reading makes him full and Conversing makes him ready”. May God bless you.

  24. Atul sir, really a great job you are doing ,my best wishes allways supporting you for achive your goal. Thanks

  25. Dear sir,
    After reading two times, I m very glad. Myself this articles has given my immence feelings. Our empty childhood then this much development.
    Thank you !

  26. This is a great initiative by Mr. Atul Koirala to start off the SKMF who is a man of true integrity, a philanthrop and is full of enthusiasm. It’s a fantabulous job what you have been doing which is Better late than Never. My best wishes for your success.

  27. I have known Atul Koirala Sir for three years. I found him a kind, helpful and gentle person. He is a social worker as he has been providing opportunities to the youths of Nepal in different fields by conducting various activities.
    He has also been supporting a lot to the Pagoda Group since its initial phase to conduct Art Exhibitions several times which has helped to run the Group well so far. He has been contributing a lot to promote Nepali art and culture in the country as well as in the world. He has also contributed a lot to the Pagoda Group to establish a good relation with Soshil Koirala Memorial Foundation (SKMF). We are very grateful to him for his great support. We hope he would support and conduct various such activities to uplift the youths of today of the country in the future.
    Artist Roshan Pradhan
    Pagoda Group
    Nepalese Contemporary Artists’Guild.
    May 8, 2020

  28. Atul Ji,

    Thank you so much for sharing this with me. I found this initiative most unique and useful in order to strengthen foundation of our new generation. I commend your creative thinking and idea that you initiated through SKMF to contribute Nepali people with exemplary means and ways.
    Best wishes to you and SKMF.


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