Kathmandu: In a world where most people are concerned just about themselves and their families, there are a few individuals who view the bigger picture. These individuals are constantly exploring ways to contribute to the welfare of the entire society. They believe in hard work, determination and possess a never give up spirit. They go the extra mile to help those in need.
Mandira Raut Thapa is one such individual. She is the Founder, President of Utsah Nepal, a
social venture that works actively for women and youth empowerment, community development and agricultural reform. Utsah Learning Centre, a sister company of Utsah Nepal, provides a platform for the youth to learn the nuances of public speaking, debating and other various life enhanching skills.
She was also the Director of Leadership Academy for two years and the Producer of Today’s Youth Asia television shows that promote youth activism, ethics, empowerment and positive change. Her work experience and training has given her knowledge, skills and exposure to start her own organisation. Thapahas been recently appointed as the Secretary of the International Women’s Association of Radio and Television (IWART) Nepal chapter, that works as a platform for women journalists. Utsah Nepal has collaborated with a radio station and at the moment, she is involved in production and presentation of the motivational show, ‘Utsah’. Her programmes concentrate on uplifting the status of youth and women in the Nepali society and shedding light on social issues such plaguing our society today. She works toward guiding youth to convert their dreams into concrete realities for their better future and the overall prosperity of the nation.
Thapa says, “Leadership is something that comes naturally to me. Early in life I started to write articles, organise events, attend and conduct leadership trainings. I liked that my voice was being heard and my opinions were respected and well received by the public.” She adds, “I was the school Head girl and always believed that I had good leadership qualities. However, success does not come easily; everyone has to work hard for it. And, so did I.”
She had participated in the Indigo Humanities Week 2007 in South Korea and in ‘Conflict Resolution’, a workshop with women leaders organised by JBK Institute for Peace and Justice (University of San Diego) in 2007. She was also the youth speaker at ‘Women Building Peace’ organised by International Women’s Association of Radio and Television (IWART) in 2007. Moreover, she has also been a part of the ‘International Visitor Leadership Programme’ of US Department of State Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs in 2009 and was a speaker at the ‘Indigo Youth Book Fair 2010’ in South Korea. She believes that anyone can reach great heights of success if they are trained well and if the aspire to do so.
Thapa shares, “It is extremely important for every individual especially women to stand on their own feet. Education and training enhances creativity and intellectual capacity of a person.” She further adds, “The work and social activities I am involved in liberates me. I am passionate about empowering employees and teams I work with. We can move ahead only if the people we work with are happy and content. Many people do not understand this and work solely to out do others, this should change. Although being competitive has its own benefits collaboration and cooperation is what the world today requires the most,” she says.
In a society where women are mostly expected to take care of the household Thapa has reached the pinnacle of success professionally. She says, “Life is all about turning your vision into action. Always
love what you do and continue doing it until you get your desired results.”
A version of this article appears in print on July 19, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.