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Youths dream of 'Beautiful, peaceful Nepal'

Republica, Kathmandu, 12 March 2013 - Sixty youths from 29 districts of Nepal gathered in Pokhara recently with the determination to work for the development of the country. Members of the US Embassy Youth Council promised to work for the development of their community, and Anil Shah, Executive Director of Mega Bank, boosted their resolve.

“The youth are not only the builders of the nation, they are also the present. Hence, my belief is not on my relatives, my friends, or even the political leaders, but on the youths of the nation,” said Shah. This statement managed to encourage the participating youths who came from various places, diverse communities and different employment and who had diverse views.

The participants had resolved to bring in positive thoughts to their society and thus build the nation. Carrying the belief that it was not by burning tires on the road but by involving young people in the policymaking level that the nation can be made prosperous and each participant had the same dream of a “beautiful peaceful Nepal.”

“Don’t the young people have the guts to be involved in politics without burning tires?” asked Karuna Parajuli from Pokhara who is studying in Kathmandu and is a member of the All Nepal National Free Students Union (ANNFSU). She stated that it was time that the young minds represented Nepal and if they have to snatch some power and authority from the leaders in order to develop the country, then so be it. She explained that she had joined the US Embassy Youth Council to unify youths who carry similar dream of developing the nation.

ANNFSU’s leader Menka Pachai has similar thoughts. “We’re not allowed to take up the actual role of the youth in politics,” she said desolately. “So now we’ve to assume the responsibility we have and help in boosting our country.”

Surat Giri, a researcher, has different experiences to support his belief on why the country is not developing. He understands that though Nepali youth put in their best in various areas, the fact that they cannot reach the policy making level is a drawback. “It’s essential that youth should be involved and be allowed to participate in policymaking level,” he said. “Youth participation is important in their issues. I’m thinking of raising such issues through the Council.”

Kailali district’s Rup Sunar wants to do something for the Dalit youths. “These youths are still very far from the reach of information,” he said. “I’m working to ensure that they have the access to information and even to employment.”

Neha Poudel from Birgunj says that she joined the Council to do something for the society. “In various areas in the Terai region, marijuana is still illegally farmed,” she said, “With a group of young friends, I’m working on stopping marijuana farming.”

Lured by the prospect of good income, the people in the district are now habituated to smoke marijuana. “Many young people are now addicted to it and some have even lost their lives due to it,” she said. “We’re now working on stopping the farming of marijuana and encourage other kinds of farming.”

Neha has worked in an organization called Syano Paila in Birgunj, taking the responsibility of raising funds. At present, she is involved in a campaign to stop human trafficking. She believes that traffickers should be brought to book, and through Syano Paila, she is striving to see justice done. She plans to strengthen this campaign with the help and coordination of more young people. A participant of Miss Nepal 2011, she won the title of fourth runner-up as well as Miss Popular Choice.

Sushil Adhikari is visually impaired and he is grieved that the government has not paid any attention to the rights of the handicapped. He has trained many visually impaired people in computer and is working to change the way the society views them along with other handicapped people. “We’ve not yet been able to enjoy or exercise our fundamental rights set by the government,” he said. “So I aspire to spread positive messages in the society and do creative work.” He as worked for voice software which is installed in mobiles and helps visually impaired people. The software helps them to maintain their privacy.

A nursing graduate from Lalitpur, Pawitra Basnet gives training in basic healthcare and reproductive health in schools and community. She says that she doesn’t have any intention of going abroad to work.

The image of people dying of common diseases in remote areas is trapped in Santosh Nepali’s mind. From Jumla district, he says, “Since there’s no health service facility, people have died of common diseases in remote areas. My plan is to have health services available to the people there.”

Saroj Karki works with Youth for Blood in Biratnagar. The organization was set up two years ago and now has branches in Dharan, Lahan, Damak and Kathmandu. Saroj says that till now it has helped more than 1,500 people by providing fresh blood.

Ganesh Dhungana from Dhading says that Nepali youths do not have reading habit. “We’ve operated libraries in 15 schools in the district. We’ve also built the biggest library in the district,” he says. He is the leader of Yuwa Sanjal. They have published four books, two each in English and Nepali, and have also been presented with an international award.

Affiliated with Antardristi as a psychological consultant, Rajani Bharati works with children who are victims of torture and sex abuse. She trains them in dance, music and yoga and also spends a day of each month with 21 children who live in Opportunity Village in Hemja in Kaski.

Twenty-six year old Shivaraj Chaulagai from Ratamata in Sindhuli runs computer classes at a local school. “We’ve started compulsory computer classes in three schools of Kavre, Ramechhap and Sindhuli,” he said. “We’re planning to take computer literacy in all villages.”

Shivaraj started the campaign with four friends while studying at Western Region Engineering Campus in Lamachaur and they have plans to expand it in other districts.

Media person Sabana Paudel used to conduct a slot for women’s rights and against domestic violence on her weekly radio programs, touching on issues of trafficking in women, domestic violence, dowry and violation of human rights. She said, “Many women who were victims were able to get justice through the radio programs.” he, in her radio shows, used to call on youths and sometimes politicians. Paudel, who ran the radio show on women’s rights for 27 weeks, currently works for Nepal Television as a newsreader.


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