Nepali youth wins it big in Los Angeles

Los Angeles, July 29

At a time when Nepali players are gaining the experience of participating in the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles, Jenish Amatya and his elder sister Kanchan impressed a panel of judges with their ideas to be selected in final five of the Social Enterprise for Youth win Intellectual Disabilities.

The Amatya siblings, who has been in the United States since 2011, presented their business idea and investment plans for the betterment of the people with Intellectual Disabilities and their project was liked by a panel of judges that included celebrities, top entrepreneurs and World Games officials. The Philippines, Pakistan, Chicago and Indonesia were the other teams in top five.

“This is a big achievement for us,” says Jenish, a junior year student of economics and computer science at the Wheaton College in Massachusetts. After they were selected in top 10 from among 65 participants, the Amatya siblings pitched in their idea in front of the judging panel and they were able to impress them. His sister, Kanchan is studying International Business and Finance at the University of Oklahoma. “The idea is to help the people with Intellectual Disabilities by providing them with vocational training so that they can live on their own,” says Jenish.

“A day care centre has already been opened in Kathmandu and we have planned to expand it to districts to accommodate as many people as we can in the shelter,” he adds. “In our society, people with Intellectual Disabilities are considered as disappointment. We want to help them to make them able to lead their lives. We can provide them with opportunities and they can earn their livings,” says Jenish.

Jenish got involved in the sector after he visited a school where such kids study in Kathmandu last year during his winter vacation. “I really got into it when the powerful earthquake jolted Nepal in April,” he says. “People with Intellectual Disabilities are already vulnerable and the devastating quake made it more difficult for them,” he adds.

“We were able to raise $30,000 through a campaign here and help them to ease their pains,” says Jenish, who is associated with Artism Care Nepal, is not new to social work, he and his team had helped to establish a Sustainable Fish Farming Institution last year in Machhapokhari, Dhading.

Asked about the future plan, Jenish said the team has an aim of expanding the centres in districts to help people with Intellectual Disabilities. “There are 300,000 such people in Nepal and we plan to reach out to as many as we can through our association which will have people from different walks of life,” he says. “We will form a board of dedicated and honest people and work for the cause. We will connect with Special Olympics Nepal and will launch the campaign,” he adds. “People here are willing to help us in our project and I am confident of raising at least $100,000 to begin with,” he adds.