General

Youths rise to occasion

- DEWAN RAI, KATHMANDU
Youths rise to occasion

Apr 30, 2015-

In the aftermath of the Great Earthquake, Nepali youths have sprung into action, determined to leave their mark in much-needed rescue and relief operations.

Over 50,000 youth volunteers are involved in the Capital alone, according to youth organisations. Additional volunteers from local clubs and youth groups are engaged in a wide range of activities--from cleaning up roads and setting up toilets at temporary shelters to distributing medical supplies.

Pradip Pariyar, taskforce member of Youth Vision 2025 and president of the Nepal Policy Centre, claimed that thousands of youths, ranging from high school students to college graduates, are indirectly assisting humanitarian works after Saturday’s massive earthquake. “At least 3,000 youths are on the ground in (each of the 29) affected districts,” said Pariyar. Political parties too have mobilised their young cadres.

The National Youth Policy 2010 defines the 16-40 age group as youths, which comprise 38 percent population of the country.  

“The spontaneous acts of youths are not just about an adrenaline rush. It shows their altruistic side,” said Brabim Kumar, president of the Association of Youth Organisations Nepal (AYON), an umbrella organisation of 92 youth organisations in the country. “Youths have reached where the state failed to,” asserted Kumar. “They want to leave their mark on the ongoing humanitarian works.”AYON has already deployed 1,000 volunteers, including paramedics and medical doctors, to five districts outside the Valley. The organisation is receiving over 200 applications everyday from young people who want to volunteer in various districts. “The fact that Nepal’s youths are unemployed does not mean they are unproductive and insensitive,” said Pariyar.  “They may not know what to do but they want to make their contributions to the country.”

A country’s young population tends to be more idealistic, more likely to rise up to national duties, less cynical and open to new ideas and challenges. They also have boundless energy.  

As thousands of people were forced to camp out in the Valley’s rare open spaces, youth groups and local clubs swung into action. For instance, local youth groups in Lubhu and Bungmati did exemplary work taking health assistants to temporary shelters for health check-ups and building toilets for each tent. They are now raising funds for the victims.

According to Research Shrestha, a local youth activist, young people took action according to the need of the situation. “We identify local human resources to mobilise for the benefit of locals,” he said. Nepali youths from across the globe are also engaged in raising funds and collecting relief materials for earthquake victims. Some have created crowdfunding sites while other are utilising social networks like Facebook and Twitter to call for cash and kind. “That the youths are so active is also a result of the ease of connectivity. It is now easier to organise and take action,” said Kumar.

Published: 30-04-2015 10:11

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