Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
Moving up the ladder, Nepal



Nepali poets have always waxed lyrical about village life. But hidden behind such words are the agonies of millions who have been deprived of even the most basic necessities. Lately, villagers have proved that it is possible to improve living standards and raise income levels not by migrating abroad, but staying put. This urge to see one's homeland turn into centres of prosperity has spread across the country and villages are undergoing massive changes through the efforts of local communities.

A few years ago, planning expert Pitambar Sharma used to worry that newly constructed roads wouldn't translate into progress for villagers. Today he is elated to see families transform their kitchens into restaurants, homes into hotels and class rooms once again humming with the sounds of students.

Former chief-secretary Bimal Koirala says that the villages are the sole reason Nepal has not turned a failed state. "Leaders in the cities promise revolutionary changes, but it is the rural areas which are propping up the country's economic and social development," he explains.

Take the case of Dhuskun village in Sindhupalchok district. Only recently, village leaders travelled all the way to Kathmandu to consult with officials at the Ministry of Local Development about the plans and prospects for their village. Having learnt the hard way that progress comes only with local involvement, Dhuskun residents have formed committees to manage education, transport, irrigation, electricity, telecommunications, and even livestock.

Similarly, villagers from Dalla in Bardiya, Namje in Dhankuta, Bagarkot in Dadheldhura, Bhujung in Lamjung, Karnas in Parbat, Dumarwana in Bara, Bhulke in Surkhet, Shankarpur in Sarlahi, Chuntal in Kabhre, and Jyamire in Palpa have turned around the fortunes of their families and communities with floriculture, tourism, home stay programs, horticulture, and livestock rearing. Perhaps Nepalis who are returning to families this Dasain will be encouraged by the unprecedented progress and might want to stay behind to build a better future for their hometowns.



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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