Gen-Now speaks up
August 12 is marked as International Youth Day. The General Assembly of the United Nations on December 17, 1999 in its resolution 54/120, endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth (Lisbon, August 8-12, 1998) that August 12 be declared International Youth Day. The first International Youth Day was observed on August 12, 2000. This year’s theme is Be seen, be heard: Youth participation in development. As we mark this International Youth Day, three of our young achievers took out their time to share with our readers their thoughts, aspirations and beliefs.
From the dentist’s mouth
She is quietly confident; soft spoken but there is definitely something authoritative in her demeanour. Meet Dr Prabigya Shiwakoti of the reputed Dent Inn, who looks
much younger than her real age (don’t you know it’s impolite to ask a woman her age?), who completed her BDS from Bangladesh and has been practising since 2001.
While most girls would love to look young for the rest of their lives, I think it’s a hindrance for me as a doctor. People are reluctant to trust me when they see me for the first time — I can almost feel a patient’s nervousness. I usually show them photos of my earlier patients to show them that I have dealt with similar problems. Their level of confidence automatically rises.
Being a dentist
Dentistry is a very new field in our country. When I went to study in Bangladesh, there were no dentistry colleges in our country. I think young doctors give more time to their patients since this is a new profession. We are not stuck with the age old traditional systems. We keep ourselves updated with new techniques and ideas.
The young people have new ideas and energy, but since most of them are migrating — this is a big loss for our country. My friends often complain that whenever they want to start something new, they don’t get enough competent manpower as most of them have left the country.
I remember one of my patients from New Zealand telling me once: It’s not only the politicians, we are equally responsible for our country.
Freedom of expression
I think people in our country do not know how to effectively raise their voices. This trait is something that has been there for generations, and which has been passed on to us and still prevails.
Burning tyres should not necessarily be our way of expression. Maybe those who understand and perceive things in a different way are not involved in it. Maybe I haven’t been able to understand the situation as a whole. Sometimes I feel like even the media is portraying the youth in a wrong way. I think media should be more responsible.
Living in Nepal
I am very happy here. It’s because of my hard work that I’ve achieved so much, which wouldn’t have been possible elsewhere. But regrets cannot be outruled especially when you see the traffic jams and the state of the country.
Previously it was embedded in a child’s mind by his/her parents that s/he has to either become an engineer or a doctor, and most have followed it. I think the new trend these days is that parents tell their children that after completing class 12 they will be sent abroad for studies and that is the perception children are growing up with these days.
Role of youth
It’s sad that people go to a foreign country and put in so much effort there, but are reluctant to do so here. They just put the blame on others and sit back. The youth can certainly lead the country if given a chance.
This year’s IYD theme
I think youth should put forth their honest opinions. They should not be swayed by what others are saying, they should have a sense of correct judgement and do what they believe is right. I think for youth to contribute, to participate in the development process, they should be dedicated to their profession and make the best out it. — As told to Eva Manandhar
She has arrived — at a pretty young age Stuti Basnyat is shouldering the responsibilities as a Corporate Communications /HR Manager at Laxmi Bank. In a sector like bank, which is ever growing in Nepal, she has had an encouraging start, and with her zeal for her work, she definitely has a promising future.
For me, the youth symbolises strength. Energy and passion are the things that come to my mind first. But apathy among the youth saddens me. There is a sect of youngsters, who are indifferent and they just take things at face value. I think they should question and seek answers for things happening around them. They should understand the implication of their actions and decisions. I feel they have become very myopic as they hardly focus on the long-term perspective.
Happy at work
It’s been a year now and I am very happy with my professional life. Young people are very much encouraged at our bank, and thus, there is this vibrant energy that makes everyone work to the best of his/her ability.
Being a team of young people, there is this commitment to make things happen and to take on new challenges. Young people are more audacious and have an edge on making tough
decision than the previous generations.
Fighting brain drain
There is so much talk abo-ut brain drain as most of the young people opt to go abr-oad. I see lots of opportunities in our country. As an individual, one has to find opportunities and grasp them rather than going abroad.
Finding an anchor
The major challenge for the youth of Nepal is to find a purpose in life. There is this vacuum and the youngsters are blindly following others rather than identifying their own ambition.
Awareness is something that we all have to take up seriously. It is a major responsibility of ours now. We have to be aware of not only our surroundings, but also of what we are capable of. Besides this, we all need to work towards making a difference in the life of others.
I can see that some are clear about what they want to do in life, and are serious about that. But then there are some, who are indifferent and all they want is to move out of the country. I want to tell them to make the most out of the opportunities they have in our country. Also stop taking things at face value.
This year’s IYD theme
The theme sounds very interesting and apt to the present context. Most of our politicians have been in this field for a very long time and now there is this vacuum in leadership. This is a very challenging job but I believe the time has come for the youth to come forward and take up the challenge. — As told to Krita Raut
He has been at the helm of our national cricket team, and for captain Binod Das it is not just a sport — it is a passion that he has pursued since he was 14. And 10 years since, he stands tall being the man who had lead the team to more victories than one can count.
Being a role model
I see many youngsters looking up to me. The respect they give to me and my work is tremendous, and I too should be able to deliver the expectation that they have in me. It’s not that I feel pressurised due to all the expectations, but I feel obliged for the capability they see in me. Many see my achievement as an inspiration, which I feel might encourage others to follow their dreams.
Scoring for country
When we go abroad to play, it important that we be on our best behaviour as we represent our country. We are given the responsibility of carrying our country’s image in a foreign land, and I assure you that none of the players from the cricket has gone ‘missing’. As a team, we work hard to bring about a difference in the country through sports. If we play our matches well, that will be a reason enough for all to cheer about.
Greener pastures abroad
The youth today are prone to leave the country for the ‘American dream’. Half of the youth today are outside the country, and many are trying to flee as soon as possible, which is not very encouraging for a developing country like ours. The best talents in each sector are moving to the land of opportunities. I don’t think it is wrong if they leave for studies and use the knowledge in our country later — there would be nothing better than that. I don’t get the concept of working at a small job abroad, instead of working in a good post here.
I don’t see anything wrong with youth participating in politics as long as they channel their thoughts and power in something constructive. Each youngster of the nation, no matter what their choice of career, should be well aware of the political situation of the country. Involvement is important, but one has to be capable in all ways to be the leader and take on responsibility.
The stronger the next generation is in their thoughts and action, the stronger will the nation be. It is important that they get good education, facilities, infrastructure and platform to showcase their talent. As in my field, I have seen very good players who are still very raw; if they are trained well, they can be very good. The U-15, U-17 and U-19 teams of Nepal are considered the best in Asia. If they continue doing as good as this when they reach the national team, then Nepal will surely make a mark in the international cricket arena.
Don’t give up
It is very important to have positive attitude about the future of the nation. If the youth gives up, what else can be expected? I don’t think we should give up hope. We are given a chance and this is when we have to bring about a change. I think it is not late yet and more can be done by staying here.
This year’s IYD theme
This indeed is the perfect slogan. Be active in anything you are involved in, be seen and be heard. You can make a difference in your own field. Do something positive for society, the nation and most importantly for yourself. — As told to Abhilasha Subba