Tag Archives: Joanna Lumley

Interview with Mike Crawshaw, author of “To Make a Killing” and treasurer of the charity “Hands Together”

By Veronica Di Grigoli

Years ago, when I first started working in a bank in London, Mike Crawshaw was my boss. Although he was the head of a huge department of people, he was so down-to-earth that he made friends with everyone.

Mike Crawshaw in Nepal 2

Since then, he has co-founded an Australian-British charity that fosters education in Nepal, and also written a thriller called To Make a Killing.

For my guest post on NepaliAustralian, I interviewed him about the charity and his novel.

How did you first hear about the charity Hands Together?

My friend Anne Rose -The Chair of Trustees – approached me to be treasurer because she knew I had a financial background. In fact the charity was not yet established, and so I had to set it up with the Charity Commission.

http://www.handstogether.org.uk/

Children at one of the schools in Nepal

What does Hands Together do?

Alleviates poverty and helps with education in Nepal, with a particular focus on Tiplyang which is the home village of Tul bahdur Pun. He was a Gurkha soldier who won the Victoria Cross, fighting alongside the father of the actress Joanna Lumley, the uncle of Anne Rose and Elizabeth Allmand. The three families have kept ties ever since, and Joanna Lumley is patron of the charity.

How did the charity get started, and what is your involvement with it?

Just before Tul bahadur Pun died, he asked that the school in the village of Tiplyang be rebuilt. This was done with private money from the Allmand, Lumley and Rose families, and with the help of the Gurkha Welfare Services.

Mike Crawshaw with NGO team who help with the charity
The charity was then started to help run the school, and help give education and relieve poverty in surrounding areas. The original founder of Hands Together Tiplyang Project was Elizabeth Allmand who lives in Australia. She started the charity in Australia and then asked her sister, Anne Rose, to start a UK arm of the charity. For charity commission purposes the two arms have to be separate, but in fact we work as one and make all decisions together.

What are the things you like most about Nepal?

The peaceful loving nature of the rural population, their spirituality throughout every day life, and the natural beauty of the mountains.

Mike Crawshaw in Nepal with garlands

How often do you visit Nepal?

Twice in the last three years.

I know you like the outdoors and that you’ve enjoyed camping for years. What is your favourite thing to do when you visit Nepal?

Take in the views of the Himalayas from a quiet mountain spot.

You have decided to donate all the proceeds from your novel to the Hands Together charity. What is your book about? (No spoilers!)

It’s a banker-bashing murder mystery.

Michael Crawshaw with book

The book is very witty, and the main character is a real joker. How much of it is based on real people and real events?

All of it and none of it! In the acknowledgements, I have written: “This is a work of fiction.” But clearly a little part of many people has inevitably, sometimes subconsciously, been absorbed into characters and settings. You know who you are!

Although your book is a crime story, it is deeper than the average thriller. What message does your book aim to give people?

It’s partly a modern day morality tale, with the old message that money doesn’t buy you happiness.

What kind of people would enjoy reading To Make a Killing?

To Make a Killing by Michael Crawshaw

I have found so many different types have enjoyed it: pensioners, teenagers, priests, footballers, mothers, daughters. It is an easy read, with simple humour and a highly topical story line, so I think it has pretty broad appeal.

To Make a Killing is available from Amazon.com or to order direct from the publishers www.tomakeakilling.com. All proceeds from the book are donated to the charity Hands Together.

If you wish to make a direct donation to the charity, you can do so via their website.

http://www.handstogether.org.uk/

 

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Maiti Nepal

There are lots of Charities out there but Maiti Nepal is very close to my heart. I really believe in their cause and I salute Anuradha Koirla for starting an organisation that is helping Nepal stop human trafficking.

Maiti Nepal was established in 1993 and is working hard to prevent trafficking of women for forced prostitution, and rescuing flesh trade victims and rehabilitating them. They also help women who are exploited and neglected by family and society.

Maiti Nepal’s objectives and target group from their website:

“Maiti’s focus has always been on prevention of girl trafficking, a burning issue for Nepal. Rescuing girls forced into prostitution and helping to find economic alternatives have been our key struggle. Rehabilitation, although not literally possible especially with former prostitutes, is one major challenge we have accepted in our work. The practical steps would be to counsel them and provide non-formal education on health, laws, basic reading and writing. They are also trained to develop income-generation skills and provided Maiti’s shelter until they are ready to stand on their feet. The sexually abused girls, abandoned children, potential victims of trafficking, destitute women, prisoner’s children, returnees from Indian brothels, girls and children infected with HIV and Hepatitis B, intercepted girls are the major target groups or say, beneficiaries of our programs. “

Anuradha Koirala is the founder of Maiti Nepal. She has been recognised by different organisations across the globe for her incredible work for the society. She has won UNIFEM Prize 2007,  Queen Sofia Silver Medal Award 2007,  The Peace Abbey, Courage of Conscience  2006 to name a few.

In 2010, she became the first Nepali to win CNN Hero of the year 2010 award and recently she was honoured by Manhe Peace Prize 2011.

 While interviewed by CNN, Koirala said

“We try to give them whatever work they want to do, whatever training they want to do, because when you’re economically empowered, people forget everything. People even forget [she is] HIV-positive or was trafficked.

Our girls are border guards who have been trafficked themselves. They easily recognize a girl that is being trafficked or will be trafficked,” Koirala said. “The girls need no motivation from me. They know the horrors of the brothel, and they are here to save their sisters. “

Prabal Gurung, Joanna Lumley and Demi Moore are active supporters and goodwill ambassadors of Maiti Nepal.

Aunradha Koirala and Maiti Nepal need all the help and support we can provide.  Please visit their website and like them in facebook.

http://www.maitinepal.org/

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Maiti-Nepal/160015294061757