Category Archives: English

Economic blockade in Nepal

Nepal is a land-locked country with a complex topography.  The Himalayan region in the Northern border makes it hard for Nepal to build a good transportation system linking with China. India borders Nepal in three directions; namely East, West and South. While there is a provision of visa requirement for Nepalese to go to China, no such provisions are required for the people of Nepal and India to cross the border. Therefore, Nepal has no choice but to depend heavily upon India to meet most of the daily needs.

In April-May 2015, Nepal suffered a deadly devastation as the result of a massive earthquake. It is estimated that more than $7 billion will be required for the reconstruction purpose. Enlisted as one of the least developed countries, allocating such a huge sum of money for reconstruction remains a challenge for Nepal. Lack of technical capacity, infrastructure, human resources etc. delay the process. Despite these challenges, Nepal is continuously struggling to march ahead towards the path of recovery.

Just four months after such an upheaval, what has aggravated the plight of Nepalese people is the continuous economic blockade imposed by India starting September this year. The cumulative loss from the blockade has exceeded the amount of money allocated by Nepal for post-disaster reconstruction.

Nepal amended its new constitution in September 2015 for the first time after it turned into a federal democratic republic since 2008. With the political reforms in the country, federalism had stood as a big issue. While there are so many factors that prevent new federalism structure from its implementation, one of the major one has been the dissatisfaction shown by a greater fraction of people residing in the Southern belt.

People in the south (commonly known as Madhesi) claim that they have not been able to enjoy equal rights as other Nepalese. However, it should be acknowledged that new constitution has given a lot of priority rights to represent these people at the core of the national politics. Turning their dissatisfaction into protests, people in South demand an ethnic divide of the country.

Making the unrest in southern plain a cause, India has stopped supplying the daily necessities into Nepal for the last two months disregarding various bilateral, regional and international agreements. This has led to a severe humanitarian crisis in Nepal at the moment. There is shortage of fuel, food and critical medical supplies throughout the country. According to UNICEF, the disruption of vital life services has put more than three million infants at risk of death or disease. More than 1.6 million children have been deprived of schooling in the due course. Due to the lack of gas supplies, people are compelled to use firewood to cook food at the moment. Peoples rising dependence on firewood has increased indoor pollution. Fuel crisis has triggered black-marketing.

Therefore, it is very necessary for us to give a due consideration to this crisis and spread the message to the international community to help 28 million people of Nepal.

One Young World Summit 2015: Joshi’s reflection

I had an opportunity to participate in One Young World (OYW) Summit that was held in Bangkok from November 18 -21 in 2015. It was my honor to represent YouMe Nepal Trust being the sole representative from Nepal and meet with 1300 delegates from over 196 countries or regions, charities, NGOs, corporations and universities.

OYW

OYW Summit is a premier global forum organized by OYW which is a not-for-profit organization. The aim of the summit is to create a platform for youth between the age of 18-30 and help them build lasting connections so that they learn to develop solutions to the world’s most persistent problems.

Founded in 2009, OYW has staged 6 annual summits so far: London (2010), Zurich (2011), Washington (2012), Johannesburg (2013), Dublin (2014), Bangkok (2015). In these summits, well known figures from different spheres of politics, business, social causes etc. are invited as counsellors. Some of the notable figures or counsellors include noble laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, Kofi Annan, Unilever CEO Paul Polman, former president of Ireland Mary Robinson among others.

During my participation, I shared the vision of YouMe Nepal Trust with as many friends as possible and also spoke about the reason behind its establishment. Many delegates expressed their willingness to visit Nepal and also volunteer at schools built by YouMe Nepal in the future. In addition to that, I was also selected to make a call to Conference of Parties (COP) of the United Nations on behalf of Nepalese youth addressing the Prime Minister of Nepal.

This was truly a life-time opportunity that made me realize the kind of world we ought to live in: a world where we are not judged by the country of our origin but by our sense of responsibility to serve humanity.

This was also featured in one of the widely read English Newspapers of Nepal (http://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com/news/2015-11-26/nepal-represented-at-one-young-world-summit-2015.html)