Being a social worker in Nepal
"What are you studying? I have been asked many times. "What’s that?' would invariably be the next question to my answer: Bachelor of Arts in Social Work.
When I completed my intermediate in science from Birgunj, accidentally I came to study ‘Bachelor of Arts in Social Work’ in Kathmandu. I called it an accident because BASW was my ultimate option to avoid engineering. It was a tough job avoiding engineering. Trust me, it’s not an easy job to convince typical Madheshi parents about your career; where my parents wanted me to study engineering. And honestly, choosing BASW is one of the best things that happened to me.
“What’s that?” is the reaction I customarily get from my friends, relatives and strangers when I talk about my study. This is because social work hasn’t been recognized in Nepal as a profession, even though social works is sketched from centuries in Nepal. The concept of social work can be found in works such as ‘Daan’ (charity) and in the name of earning ‘Punya’ (good deeds). Similarly, practice of cultural and religious institutions like- ‘Guthi’ (a social administration), ‘Dhukuti’ (a trading practice), ‘Parma’ (a practice of agricultural labor exchange), ‘Dharma Bhakari’ (grain bank), ‘Bheja’ (a labor support), and many more can be found in history of social work in Nepal. But social work as an academic discipline formally started in 1996 with Bachelor in Social Work offered by Kathmandu University. Now, more than 50 colleges are running BASW courses under affiliation of Tribhuvan University only. Masters in Social Work courses are also run by Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu University and Purbanchal University.
Nepal, going through political transition, is in dire needs of right and professional practices of social work to take the country on sustainable path. Social work professionals, practitioners and educators facilitate and work within communities to highlight and create actions to enhance and/or to protect the environment in which the communities live.
Social workers have been struggling to get recognition in Nepal. Granting legality to social workers by providing license, allowing them to compete in government jobs through special recognition by Public Service Commission of Nepal and institutionalizing National Association of Social Workers or similar organizations which could function as a registered union are needed in Nepal. This is necessary to initiate and respect social Workers, to ensure a social work student like myself does not have to respond to questions like ‘what’s that?’
Around 7,500 social work students from more than 75 colleges and four universities are celebrating “World Social Work Day 2017” with the theme- Promoting Community and Environment Sustainability at Smriti Bhawan, Tribhuvan University on March 21. Kindly join and encourage us. Happy World Social Work Day 2017!
Sah is BASW student at K&K International College.
Challenges for reconstruction
One of the major challenges faced in the reconstruction process of Nepal is the absence of elected local government. Lack of government in local level was reflected in the major pre-disaster and post-disaster events, where it took months to reach the affected region and still no widely-accepted data is available. In the absence of an elected local government, top-down approach of governance has its own accountability deficit.
Apil KC/Keshab Sharma
Making sense of Adityanath's rise in Modi's India
The most notorious incitement of communal hatred by Adityanath was his exhortation to 'kill ten woh log ['them' meaning Muslims]' rather than knocking the doors of legal system 'if one Hindu is killed' in riots.
Identity and nationhood
Whoever says nationhood is not important would be lying. For example, belonging to a particular nation may give certain advantages to a person that one belonging to another nation would not get.
The shankha blower from Bichour
Coincidentally, Ram Lal Joshi, the Radio Nepal singer had his house adjacent to ours and had been hearing him blow it every day. Hari worked as a bagainche in Singha-durbar during day. Ram Lal got him to blow the shankha as a part of musical instrument for Radio Nepal’s iconic signature tune.
Traffic Police in Kathmandu
As busy and hassling as the traffic system in Kathmandu is, the Traffic Police here have to handle an equally strenuous job. Over 1,400 traffic officers in and around the Kathmandu Valley battle against the pestering traffic and air pollution each day.
Menstrual taboo outdated
I have seen my sisters and friends isolated and treated in discriminatory manner during their first menstruation cycle. They were not allowed to look at the sun, to touch water source, flower, fruits, any male family member, nor even hear their voice. The activist may claim the situation has changed and I do agree but still during every month my loved ones turns into untouchables beings.