The success of NRNA greatly lies on bringing back youths to Nepal

Posted 10 months ago by Sandeep Bhattarai

Dr. Surya Paudel,Vienna Austria

Dr. Surya Paudel,Vienna AustriaNon-resident Nepali Association (NRNA) is a dynamic diaspora of Nepalese community living outside Nepal. Founded in 2004, it aims to channel contributions and ideas of thousands of people from more than 70 countries through a single pipeline.

With the main motto of “for Nepali by Nepali” NRNA has been leading several exemplary projects in Nepal including health, environment, development as well as educational sector, and not to forget tireless efforts and contributions from NRNA members during natural calamities. For instance, an ambitious project of model village is on progress in Laprak which was badly hit by a ruthless earthquake a couple of years ago.

Because of current scenario in Nepal, a huge number of professional brains and non-professional youths have been migrating out of the country which is definitely a big loss for the nation. Political instability and socio-economic conditions should have catalyzed such scenario (this can be a different subject for discussion). Whatever be the reason, it is unfortunate that the trend does not seem to improve in the coming years as well. However, in order to change such “brain drain” into “brain gain”, NRNA should be able to shoulder the responsibility of acting as a sort of casting net to hold them again and make use of their skills, expertise and resources for the benefit of Nepal.

The global NRNA community has been warmed up because of elections for new executive committee all over the world. Besides, fever is even higher in Europe due to 10th European regional meeting and 8th European regional women conference in Frankfort that kicked off a couple of days ago. The meeting was able to gather distinguished personalities from several countries including Nepal.

However, it is an open question if the NRNA has been able to feel the pulse of all classes of Nepalese residing outside. Despite lots of initiatives taken so far, I still feel that either the beauty of NRNA has not been well perceived by a majority people or it has not been well taught at the grass root level. Further campaigns and actions are necessary due to the fact that in many countries including USA, UK and Australia, NRNA has only been able to attract a small fraction of Nepalese people, thus leaving a large set aside.

A remarkable progress has been achieved so far on exploring investment opportunities in Nepal and it is further aimed to increase the potential in the line following the European regional conference. Besides, NRNA should also work on creating a strong network among professionals from various sectors and link their expertise with institutions in Nepal. As a sort of thought, a panel of veterinarians might work together with project partners in Nepal in order to improve socio-economic conditions through community participation (for instance, Laprak village can be set up as an example). Furthermore, the knowledge can also be transformed to someone who wants to go back to Nepal and run a livestock industry.

I come from a NGO background but I have certain reservation in saying that majority of projects running or completed in Nepal through NGOs/INGOs are well enough to create a prosperous and self-sustainable Nepal. Simply saying, if you provide a fish to a man, you feed him for a day but if you teach him to fish, you feed him for lifetime. I am raising this issue here because the projects that are led by NRNA should not go in the same line as many NGOs/INGOs who choose to provide fish instead of teaching how to fish. For this, projects that would ultimately create a self sustainable community should be emphasized.

During my interaction with Nepalese people from different background living in many countries, I get a common feeling that many of them, especially youths would like to go back but are afraid to start a new life again. Thus, at the end, I believe that the success of NRNA greatly lies on motivating such youths and helping them to get established again back in the country that would definitely have long lasting benefits in many ways, for instance, maintaining the social and cultural purities through many generations. In this regards, professional networks from different discipline and their voluntary services as mentioned above would be of great benefit. Ironically, the target of NRNA should be not to increase its members rather decrease in the long term.


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