Get organised

The fact that the media can be a powerful tool to give voice to the needy in an underdeveloped and exploitative society has often been proved by the impact it has on the social front. Be it news or articles relating to the helpless or exploited, poor or displaced, the media can play a decisive role in the lives of the desperate lot. When a newspaper, for instance, highlights news or prints a picture of a woman with three children compelled by circumstances to live on the streets for six days without food, it can generate a widespread sympathy and invite many an individual and organisation to their rescue. Time and about, the media’s social sector reporting has generated huge pressure on the indifferent authorities to look into the matter and act accordingly.

However, past experience has shown that if such efforts are unorganised there can be overlapping in the people’s willingness to help the disadvantaged. The result very often is utter chaos. While there is no shortage of people willingly to donate money and other essentials for the poor, probably because to help those in dire straits is a part of the Nepali culture, the process is usually haphazard. Though a lot of money is usually collected in donation drives and charity functions, given the hurried way of dealing with things, the entire amount never reaches those for whom it has been collected in the first place. This can render worthless any humanitarian effort. The idea behind emphasising the dismal circumstances facing many Nepalis is actually to mobilise enough support for the victims, and not to raise a share for the government officials or the NGOs to squeeze a profit in the process.

It would be better if things are done in a coordinated manner, probably one of the most difficult things to achieve in Nepal. If social services are to be strengthened, the State along with the private bodies and the media have to work together. Otherwise, not much can be achieved. There are thousands and thousands of people in the country who are the victims of injustice and who urgently require all possible humanitarian assistance, especially the minority and disadvantaged communities whose plight has long been ignored in Nepal. But no problem can be left inadequately tackled if a mess is not to be made out of any genuine initiative at the people’s level.