Republic day marked in India

NEW DELHI : Though they are miles away from their homeland, the Nepali people always think about their country and its sorry state of affairs. This was reflected in a poetry contest organised by the Embassy of Nepal to celebrate the first Republic Day here on Friday.

Through their poems, the children of Nepali migrant workers, said that they wanted to see peace restored and enough job opportunities created in the country.

Nilam Thapa won the first prize in the competition with her poem titled 'Ma Ta Pardesi Bhaisakechu' (I've become an outsider). Raju Bohara and Sita Bishwokarma were declared second and third respectively. The winner and the runners-up became richer by IRs 3,000, 2,000 and 1,000 respectively. Ranju Bohara and Priyanka Sharma were awarded IRs 500 each as consolation prize. Though some of the students struggled to pronounce Nepali words, their messages were loud and clear.

Uma Kant Parajuli, cultural councilor at the embassy, said the poetry contest was organised to encourage the children of Nepali diaspora to learn and speak their own language and while living in a foreign land. Speaking at the Republic Day function, acting ambassador Khush Narayan Shreshtha said consensus among the Nepali stakeholders both within the country and outside the country was needed to restore peace and speed up the pace of development in the country.

UML-affiliated Nepali Migrant Association's president Khem Chandra Dhakal said Nepal was declared a republican country only after a hard battle. "We should all strengthen the republican system by pursuing the policy of consensus," he added.

Central member of UCPN-Maoist affiliated All India Nepali Unity Forum Radha Pant said her party was not satisfied with this 'bourgeoisie republic' and therefore wanted to establish a more progressive republican order.

"We want to see republic system like that of India. We don't want the system similar to the ones in Pakistan and Sri Lanka," said Yubaraj Baral, general secretary of Everest Chamber of Commerce. He also said they wanted to return home and invest in various projects. "But our homeland still lacks appropriate investment environment," he rued.

Pramod Kharel of NC-affiliated Nepali Janasamparka Samiti said all Nepalis needed to act collectively as per the spirit of consensus.