Ambica Shrestha
Owner of Dwarika's Hotel. President of Heritage Conservation. British Council Alumnus

The British Council when I knew them then was, of course, the British Library plus the British Council. Our organization called Business and Professional Women aimed to offer, among other things, secretarial training courses for young girls. In 1976-78, when we started, there were no secretaries in Nepal. Realizing that language skills were of paramount importance for secretaries, we approached the British Council for help. They sent us volunteers to teach these young girls English, so that was my first encounter with the British Council.

The Chief of the British Council then, Mr. Lyndon, was very interested in organizing different kinds of cultural activities. He was also a great friend, therefore I was very involved with his projects and knew a lot about them. Later on, I frequented the library to read magazines and newspapers which were not widely available. When the Nepal Britain Society was established, I got more actively involved with the Council which was already an organization that was well respected.

I also had a very good friend who worked there, Mr. Giri Manandhar. He was like a human encyclopedia and could recite poetry from Shakespeare and other British poets. It was wonderful listening to him recite poetry, and this stands out as another fond memory I have of the erstwhile British Council. 

I have always been an avid reader and the British Council provided me with a great opportunity to explore my passion for literature. These days I am not that involved with the Council, primarily because the library no longer exists. However, I strongly believe that the British Council is one of the best things that happened for Nepal especially due to its involvement in English language teaching.