Mock Youth Parliament : A Huge Success
Picture Courtesy: Nischal Aryal Over the last decade or two, Nepal has been subject to a transitional political environment. From the despair of being in crisis for so long, to the absolute delirium of finally getting a new national constitution just recently, we have experienced all the highs and lows that politics has to offer. Even with the new constitution in place, Nepal is seen as probably the worst politically managed country in the whole of South Asia. The duration of this crisis has drowned the Nepalese citizens in pessimism and many believe that our country will never reach its potential in our lifetime. In light of this ongoing political situation in Nepal, Cheers Nepal (a youth led organization), with sponsorship from UNDP (United Nations Development Program), organized a Mock Youth Parliament on 19th December 2015, at Nepal Tourism Board, Exhibition Road. This event was organized in order to bring together hundreds of future leaders of Nepal and discuss about the current national issues and their opinions on how to solve them. Moderated by the Vice President of Cheers Nepal, Dinesh Thapa, the event brought together youths from different groups who discussed on two national issues— "Federalism, and The Quota system". The first of its kind in Nepal, this program proved to be a huge success as 9 United Nations delegates as well as renowned media personnel from Republica and The Kathmandu post visited the event. The overwhelming success of this program has proved to be a springboard for an even bigger event being organized on January 2, 2016 by the same organization at Hotel Himalaya (Youth parliamentary session with experts). DWIT's very own students Nischal Aryal, Dipesh Bhandari and Alan Khadka, who had previously worked with UNYSAN (United Nations Youth and Student Association Nepal) for youth empowerment and leadership promotion and current board members of Cheers Nepal, played a huge part to make this event successful. We conducted a small interview with Nischal Aryal about his thoughts after the program. Here's what he had to say: How did you think of this idea and how did you get UNDP to sponsor it? When I was with UNYSAN, I came to meet with the President of Cheers Nepal, Prem Lamichhane. We discussed about the fact that most of the countries have had a youth parliament, except Nepal. So we wanted to try it out for the first time in our country. After that we wrote our project proposal and visited UNDP Nepal's country director Renaud Meyer and thus presented him our idea. He immediately agreed to support and sponsor our project. How did you organize and advertise this event? Well, after getting the thumbs up from UNDP, I was invited to the UN house along with Dipesh and few other members of Cheers Nepal. We were presented with criteria for the event that we had to meet. We created a google form to select participants and advertised it on all social media platforms as well as with our media partner TechLekh and bestinktm.com. Out of 300 applicants, only 60 were selected. Lastly, we arranged the venue and gathered everything else that was required and the event thus went along really well. How was the overall experience? It was certainly challenging but I think everyone who participated enjoyed and learned about how politics work in our country. Dipesh and I talked to Renaud Meyer about how we could incorporate IT with the developing the nation like ours. He said that if we have any ideas that could benefit the community, we will have to submit proposal for the project and UNDP would be more than happy to look into it and fund the project.