A middle-aged man. Slightly on heavier side. Endorses a classic moustache. He carries a smile on his face. He talks gently. He is very calm. He knows cricket. He is a businessman. He wants to contribute in cricket. He is Sachidanand Gupta. A Dhangadhi resident. Father of three sons. A visionary. A responsible citizen.
Mr. Gupta owns a vegetarian momo restaurant, named Calorie Veg Momo Center at LN Chowk, Dhangadhi. He has served Dhangadhi for 10 years now with his delicious momos. Trust me, I am a carnivore. There is no reason why I should eat a veg momo but when I tasted one in Calorie Veg, I simultaneously ate another while continuing my conversation with Mr. Gupta. Those are some tasty mo:mos you can find out here in Dhangadhi and, probably, in Far West.
Well, that is not the only reason why you should eat momos in Calorie Veg. The bigger picture is, he donates a rupee per plate he sells to cricket. Following the footprints of visionary Subash Shahi, Sachidanand Gupta decided to contribute for cricket in Dhangadhi. Sachidanand Gupta knows how to make momos. He loves cricket. And, he had this idea.
He wants cricket to grow. He wants peoples/kids to know Sharad Vesawkar or Gyanendra Malla as much as they know Abraham de Villiers or Chris Gayle. He wants “The City of Cricket” Dhangadhi to be the city of cricket and he contributes for it.
He rues the fact how we lost the opportunity to have ACC headquarters in Pokhara, Nepal when CAN failed to impress the ICC associates. He has seen how popular NPL was in Dhangadhi and how Amir Akhtar & Subash Shahi organized it successfully. He says some has to stand up. Someone has to start contributing. Doesn’t matters big or small but an initiative is what inspires people. He does.
Sachidanand Gupta comes from Dohariya, Uttar Pradesh, India. He was born in Dhangadhi but had early part of his childhood spent in Dohariya. He came to Dhangadhi, Nepal in 1991/92. He started the business of momo in 2002/03. Before, it was a General Store. He lost his father in his early age. As much as any kid would like to pursue his studies and career as per his wish, he was forced, along with three other brothers, to work and support his family.
He used to play cricket. He played cricket with Pashupati Paneru, once the no.1 player of Badminton in Nepal. They both used to open the batting for their local team. He was a good player of his locality but a career in cricket that too 10 years ago was a dream which he never saw.
However, cricket didn’t stopped in him. He used to shut the shop to watch special cricket matches like World Cups and India-Pakistan. He used to have television set in his shop. And then Subash Shahi happened. His visions, his contributions for Dhangadhi inspired Sachidanand to help from his side too. He started by donating for DCA’s tour to Sri Lanka. He also announced prize money categorized for “Rising Player of the SPA” in SPA Cups.
He believes in a child’s physical and mental growth which can be only developed by playing sports. Not necessarily cricket, but any sports will help your kid to be stronger and fitter by mind and body when life comes challenging hard.
He is a strict follower of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibilities) and he keeps requesting every businessman in Dhangadhi he meets to contribute something for society. Make it cleaner and healthier. He wishes to develop an Oxygen Plant in Dhangadhi for Hospitals. He wishes to improve ICU facilities. He wishes to improve quality of schools with all round opportunities in study as well as sports. Thus, he requests every businessman of Dhangadhi and so on to whole Nepal to follow their CSR and help Dhangadhi/Nepal to be more healthier and fitter.
And not every story is simple as it looks and as much as I wished it should have. Sachidanand Gupta is not a Nepali Citizen. Not yet. He don’t have Nepali Citizenship. The rules doesn’t allow him now but when he could have he was denied the citizenship with some legal reasons. His Grand father has the citizenship but his father didn’t had. His father died hence Sachidanand was deprived of the citizenship since then citing he don’t have father’s citizenship to prove he is a Nepali Citizen. Though, he has the birth certificate from Nepal.
But that doesn’t stops him from contributing for a better Dhangadhi. A sporting Dhangadhi. He loves cricket and the young kids, teenagers, students talking cricket in his restaurant while enjoying his delicious momos satisfies him from core of his heart.
A humble Sachidanand says, “We shouldn’t think what the Nation is capable of giving us but how much we are capable of giving something to the nation.”
So, next time you visit Dhangadhi, don’t forget to eat the special veg momos served by Calorie Veg Momo Center at LN Chowk. Not that you may miss the most delicious veg momos you can ever eat but the opportunity to donate few rupees for the noble social cause of uplifting the profile of ‘the city of cricket’.