Kedar Bhakta Mathema
Former Vice Chancellor, Tribhuvan University. Ambassador to Japan
My relationship with the British Council goes back to the mid-1950s when I was a student in Vishwaniketan, a public school in Tripureshwor. My friends and I were frequent visitors to the Reading Group in New Road, its name before it was converted into a library. The Reading Group had a good collection of reference books, dictionaries and magazines. There was a magazine called Knowledge Full of Pictures that caught our fancy. We spent many an afternoon flipping through its pages. The librarian was a very wise man called Thakur Lal Manandhar. Later British Council moved to the beautiful building in Kantipath.
While studying literature at Tribhuvan University, I went to the British Council to meet experts and to watch movies, borrow books etc. When I started my professional career, I came in contact with the many British Council representatives e.g. Mr. Arbor Nut, Mr. Clough and Mr. David Waterhouse. I also remember the time when the British Council brought over cultural troupes from Britain. I recall most specifically Under the Milkhood by Dylan Thomas; and this other famous storyteller who used to recite the stories of Oscar Wilde namely the Selfish Giant. I watched many Shakespearean plays too. I have very fond memories of those days.
British Council during my adolescent days played a very important role in helping me to develop my taste for literature, art, poetry, and music. I also enjoyed my association with the British Council experts and advisors like Eric Glendinning, who helped me a lot when I was writing English textbooks for grade ten. The book was for His Majesty's Government Ministry of Education.
The British Council helped many educated people obtain higher degrees from Britain in fields like English teaching, education, literature, engineering, and medicine. Their contribution toward the development of manpower required for the progress of our country is undeniable. I too was able to go to Edinburgh to study with the help of the British Council so I will say this: the British Council has played a great role in making me what I am today.