January 10, 2005: Headlines: COS - Nepal: Douglas County News Review: Jagan Kaul met his American wife, Maureen, while he worked against the communists in Nepal in the late 1960s. He was developing a series of children's books to support nationalism. She was a Peace Corps' volunteer -- the artist behind the illustrations in the books.

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Nepal: Peace Corps Nepal : The Peace Corps in Nepal: January 10, 2005: Headlines: COS - Nepal: Douglas County News Review: Jagan Kaul met his American wife, Maureen, while he worked against the communists in Nepal in the late 1960s. He was developing a series of children's books to support nationalism. She was a Peace Corps' volunteer -- the artist behind the illustrations in the books.

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Jagan Kaul met his American wife, Maureen, while he worked against the communists in Nepal in the late 1960s. He was developing a series of children's books to support nationalism. She was a Peace Corps' volunteer -- the artist behind the illustrations in the books.

Jagan Kaul met his American wife, Maureen, while he worked against the communists in Nepal in the late 1960s. He was developing a series of children's books to support nationalism. She was a Peace Corps' volunteer -- the artist behind the illustrations in the books.

Jagan Kaul met his American wife, Maureen, while he worked against the communists in Nepal in the late 1960s. He was developing a series of children's books to support nationalism. She was a Peace Corps' volunteer -- the artist behind the illustrations in the books.

India native cultivating diversity

Caption: Kashmir-born Jagan Kaul of Roseburg is a consultant for the United Nations. STEPHEN BRASHEAR / N-R staff photo

JULIANA RENNO, jrenno@newsreview.info
January 10, 2005

For Jagan Kaul of Roseburg, the meaning of diversity is a definition of himself.

A native of Kashimir, India, the 77-year-old has had a diverse upbringing and education. His family is diverse; his works are diverse. And he is focused on bringing more diversity awareness to Douglas County.

"I think as the days go by, things are changing," he said. "We cannot ignore minorities. The best is to know them, interact with them, work with them, building a bridge."

Kaul is a veteran when it comes to international and cultural issues.

He studied in Pakistan, Kashimir and Calcutta in India, the United Kingdom and the United States. He holds two doctorate degrees, one in Urdu, a Pakistani language, and the other in international relations and laws. He also studied medicine.

Kaul's life story goes through at least 68 countries, where he worked as a foreign correspondent for the United News of India, an affiliate of the Associated Press. As a journalist, he also participated in several United Nations international conferences, he said.

As an advocate for social and cultural causes, he worked for Mahatma Gandhi's organization, Sarvadhya Samaj, to promote social transformation in India after its independence in 1947.

He also helped as an emissary during the Dalai Lama's transportation from Bhutan to Dharamsala in northern India, where the Lama now lives and governs in exile.

He met his American wife, Maureen, while he worked against the communists in Nepal in the late 1960s. He was developing a series of children's books to support nationalism. She was a Peace Corps' volunteer -- the artist behind the illustrations in the books.

Since they moved to the United States in 1970, Kaul has dedicated his life to promote not only the Indian culture, but the importance of diversity -- the value of minorities -- in every community he's touched.

"He's a tireless advocate for the underdog, always fighting for social good," said his son, Kiran Kaul, a chiropractor in Roseburg.

In fact, while living in South Dakota, Kaul ran for the state Legislature in 1992, 1994 and 1996. Though he never won, he believes his mission was accomplished.

"The idea was to project the presence of minorities in that part of the U.S. (Midwest)," he said. "People in this country cannot afford to live in a cocoon."

It was while Kaul was living in Sioux Falls that he was approached by the United Nations to work as an adviser for international relations, and later as an adviser for the United Nations Environmental Program.

He's also worked with the Kashimir Overseas Association, providing the U.S. government with information on the region's ethnic conflict, which has killed six of his family members and has touched the lives of more than 1 million people.

He moved to Roseburg about two years ago, to be closer to his son and family. But the work with the U.N. and other agencies continues, thanks to technology and the Internet.

His work with the UNEP is now focused on water supply, sustainable biodiversity, rapid population growth and sustainable tourism. He also works as a consultant for Diversity USA, an organization that promotes minorities.

"We're not agitators," he said. "We educate people."

But Kaul has a soft spot for India and is now working to promote the Indo-American Association of Oregon. His main idea is to show the culture, entice curiosity and encourage dialogues.

"When you learn about other cultures, you go as a student to learn what they are all about," he said. "You should have no preconceived notions."

To Kiran Kaul, the process of learning about his own background was difficult at first, but later he felt stronger, proud of his heritage -- and appreciative of his father's efforts.

"He tries to coordinate the community and pull people together," Kiran Kaul said of his father.

Kaul now sees a new challenge. With the recent tsunami disaster in South Asia, he said, roughly 472 small islands on the coast of India were washed away and more than 17,000 people have died in that area. Ironically, he said, the media has concentrated its reports on a few areas hit by the tragedy.

"Whatever the case may be, there are 12 countries affected by the tsunamis," he said. He hopes to reach more people and direct them on how to aid all the affected areas.

Jagan Kaul doesn't seem to have any intention of slowing down soon. His daily yoga practice, his family and his love for work keep him going.

"There's lots of work to be done," he said.


* You can reach reporter Juliana Renno at 957-4230 or by e-mail at jrenno@newsreview.info.





When this story was posted in January 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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Story Source: Douglas County News Review

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