Category Archives: common sense

to bring common sense back to Nepal :)

भूकम्पको के दोष!

dharahara

एकैपलमा झण्डै ९,००० नेपाली मारिनुमा भूकम्प जिम्मेवार कि अहिलेसम्मको राजनीतिक–आर्थिक–सामाजिक संरचना? भूकम्पलाई दोष दिने हो भने यो त प्राकृतिक नियमितता हो। हरेक वर्ष संसारभरि यस्ता प्राकृतिक विपत्ति आइरहन्छन्–गइरहन्छन्। केही दिनअघि जापानमा पनि नेपालमा जस्तै ७.८ रेक्टरको भूकम्प गयो। तर, त्यहाँ एक जना पनि मरेनन् त! त्यसो भए के फरक रह्यो त त्यहाँ र यहाँ?

मूल कुरो त्यहाँको नेतृत्व र संरचनाले आफ्नो नागरिकको जीवन रक्षालाई पहिलो प्राथमिकता बनाएको छ। हाम्रो नेतृत्वको चेतनामा नागरिक रक्षा महत्वपूर्ण कुरा हो भन्ने नै छैन। किन यस्तो भयो त? पहिलो कुरो त जीवन रक्षा गर्ने भनेको के हो त्यो बुझ्नुपर्छ। विपत् परेपछि बचाउनु मात्रलाई जीवन रक्षा गरेको मान्ने कि पूर्वतयारी गरी ज्यान बचाउने संरचना र चेतना जगाउनेलाई पनि भन्ने? विपत् आएपछि त जनावरले पनि जीवन रक्षा गर्छ। मानव त त्यो हो, जसले विपत् आउनुअघि नै बच्ने तरिका बनाइसकेको हुन्छ। यही कारण ऊ र उसको समाजको क्षति न्यून हुन्छ। एकचोटी सोच्नुहोस् त, कसले यस्तो वातावरण बनायो, जहाँ पुस्तौँअघि बनेका माटोकै घरमा बस्न हामी अहिले बाध्य छौँ? कसले त्यस्तो वातावरण बनायो जहाँ नियम मिची जथाभावी कमसल घर–बाटो बनाउन दिइयो? प्रजातन्त्र आएको दुई दशक बित्दा पनि कसले नजिकको अस्पताल पुग्न दिनहुँ हिँड्नुपर्ने बाध्यता कायमै राख्यो? कसको नेतृत्वमा यस्ता संरचना बने जसले विपत्मा लाखौँ नेपालीलाई हप्तौँसम्म एउटै त्रिपाल पनि दिन सकेन र खुल्ला आकाशमा भोको पेट बोकी सुत्न बाध्य तुल्यायो?

कुरा स्पष्ट छ, हाम्रा हजारौँ दिदीबहिनी–दाजुभाइको मरणमा हाम्रै नेतृत्वको शैली जिम्मेवार छ। जुन नेतृत्व प्रणालीअन्तर्गत निर्देशित रही जसरी कमसल घरदेखि बाटाहरू बने त्यसैद्वारा निर्दोष नेपाली मारिए। अस्पताल नजिक नबनाइदिँदा र बनाइएका पनि विपत्मा काम नलाग्ने खालका हुँदा धेरै नेपाली मरे। देशको नेतृत्व भनेको त जनताको अभिवाभक हो। हाम्रो जीवन बचाउने अनि सहज बनाइदिने दायित्व हाम्रो नेतृत्वले बोकेको छ। त्यसैअनुरूप नियमकानुन बनाइ त्यसको पालना गराइ देशलाई अघि बढाउने जिम्मेवारी नेतृत्वको हो। विपत्ति आउँछ भन्ने थाहा हुँदाहुँदै केही नगर्ने हाम्रा राजनीतिक, आर्थिक र सामाजिक नेतृत्व यस विपत्को जिम्मेवार हुन्। कुनै एक नागरिकले गल्ती गर्दा थोरै ज्यान जाला, तर देशलाई नेतृत्व गर्नेले नै गल्ती गर्दा हजारौँ मान्छे मारिन्छन्, लाखौँ घरबारविहीन हुनपुग्छन्। अनि लाखौँ निर्दोष नेपाली गरिबीको भुमरीमा फस्छन्।

अहिलेसम्म देशको नेतृत्व सम्हालेकालाई मेरो प्रश्न के छ भने, तपाईंहरू कस्तो नेतृत्व प्रदर्शन गर्दै आउनुभएको छ? जहाँ पूर्वअनुमानित विपत्ति आउँदा पनि लाखौँ घर भत्किन्छन्? हजारौँ विद्यालय ढल्छन् अनि असंख्य बाटा बिग्रिन्छन्! तपाईंले कस्तो समाजको परिकल्पना गरिराख्नु भएको छ, जसको संरचनाले भूकम्पको एकै झट्कामा झण्डै ९,००० नेपाली मर्छन्? लाखौँ घरबारविहीन नेपाली परिवारलाई के जवाफ दिनुहुन्छ? सुन्दर, समृद्ध नेपाल बनाउँछु भन्ने दसौँ लाख विद्यार्थीलाई के स्पष्टिकरण दिनुहुन्छ? अनि तपाईको नेतृत्व शैलीका कारण आत्मसम्मान गुमाइसकेको देशदेखि दिक्क बनेका ३ करोड नेपालीलाई तपाईंको जवाफ के हुनेछ?

हाम्रो देशका नागरिकलाई पनि म सोध्न चाहन्छु– कस्तो नेतृत्व चुनिराखेका छौँ, जसले हजारौँ नेपालीको असामायिक मृत्यु हुने संरचना जोगाइराख्छ? कस्तो नेतृत्वलाई तपाईंले साथ दिनुभएको छ, जसले बनाएको प्रणालीले दसौँ हजारलाई एकैपटक अस्पताल पुर्यातउँछ? कस्तो नेतृत्व पद्धति जोगाइराख्नु भएको छ, जसले लाखौँ परिवारलाई भोको पेटमा खुल्ला आकासमा सुताइ एक बोरा चामल र एउटा त्रिपाल माग्न बाध्य बनाउँछ? नेतृत्व भनेको तपार्इंले रोज्ने हो, तपाईंले नै बनाउने हो अनि तपाईंले नै ठड्याइराख्ने हो। स्मरण रहोस्, अझै पनि पश्चिम र पूर्वी नेपालका ५८ जिल्ला जहाँ भूकम्पले प्रत्यक्ष प्रभाव पारेको छैन त्यहाँ बस्ने नेपाली उस्तै खतरनाक संरचनामा बस्न बाध्य छन्। त्यो संरचना कुनै पनि बेला अर्को भूकम्पले सखाप पारिदिनसक्छ। अनि फेरि हजारौँ (लाखौँ?) निर्दोष नागरिक मारिनसक्छन्।

कि तपाईं विकल्प खोज्दै हुनुहुन्छ? यस्तो वैकल्पिक समाज र संरचना बनाउन लम्कन चाहनुहुन्छ, जहाँ अहिलेको भन्दा ठूलो भुइँचालो आउँदा पनि न्यून क्षति हुनेछ। जहाँ बाटो भत्के पनि तुरुन्तै पहिलेभन्दा बलियो बन्छ। दुर्भाग्यले घर ढले पनि एक रात पनि खुला आकासमा गुजार्नु पर्दैन– एक बोरा चामलको लागि हात जोड्नु पर्दैन– बिरामीलाई समयमै अस्पताल पुर्याटउन सकिने छ।

अहिलेकै नेतृत्वले नेपालीको जीवन रक्षा कदापि गर्न सक्दैन, वैशाख १२ को भूकम्प र त्यसपछिको जीवन यसको साक्षी छ। अब नेपालले नेपालीको जीवन भक्षक होइन जीवन रक्षक नेतृत्व खोजेको छ। हरेक नेपालीसँग आज प्रष्ट दुइटा बाटो छ। राजनीतिलाई पानीसँग तुलना गर्ने हो भने दुषित पानी सफा गर्ने बाटो लाग्ने कि अझै ढल मिसाइराख्ने? अर्को भूकम्प वा अन्यखाले विपत्ति आउँदा के गर्ने? एक बोरा चामल र एउटा त्रिपाल लुछाचुँडी गर्ने कि २१ औँ शताब्दी सापेक्ष नेतृत्व बन्ने–बनाउने?

राजनीति र देशको सम्बन्ध भनेको नुन र खानाको सम्बन्धजस्तो रहेछ। खानाका परिकार जति मीठो बनाए पनि त्यसमा नुन नहाली सुखै हुन्न। नुन पुगेन वा चर्को भयो भने पनि खानयोग्य बन्दैन। त्यसैले राजनीतिबाट टाढिएर पनि समाधान निस्कँदैन। धेरै राजनीति गरेर पनि काम छैन। त्यसैले अब पनि सही नेतृत्व चुन्न, बनाउन र थेग्न आफूभित्रै सुतिरहेको विवेक जगाएनौँ भने सानै विपत्तिले पनि तपाईंको छोराछोरी, आमाबाबुमात्र होइन आदरणीयय देशका सपुत पनि गुमाउने छौँ। अनि यसको दोष पनि आफ्नो भाग्य वा निष्ठुरी भगवानलाई दिनेछौँ। अब भगवानलाई होइन हाम्रै नेतृत्वलाई औँलो ठड्याउने बेला आएको छ। २१ औँ शताब्दी सापेक्ष नेतृत्वको माग छ अहिले। जस्तोसुकै विपत्मा पनि आफ्नो जीवन रक्षा गर्ने नेतृत्व चाहिरहेका छन् नेपालीले।

कस्तो हो त यो २१ औँ शताब्दीको नेतृत्व जसले नेपालीको रक्षालाई पहिलो प्राथमिकतामा राख्छ?

१. यस्तो नेतृत्व जसले देशलाई विपत्को सामना गर्न पूर्वतयारी गरिराख्छ

२. यस्तो नेतृत्व जसले मद्दत गर्न चाहने र मद्दत आवश्यक रहेकाबीच पुल बनिदिने काम गर्छ।

३. यस्तो नेतृत्व जसले आफू त्रसित हुँदा पनि वरिपरि सबैलाई सहज व्यवस्थापन गरिदिन्छ।

४. यस्तो नेतृत्व जसले विपत्मा नागरिकलाई मजबुत बनाउन नवीन तरिका अपनाउँछ।

५. यस्तो नेतृत्व जसले गलत गरिएला कि भन्दै अनिर्र्णयमा बस्नुभन्दा सुरु गरिहालेर सिक्दै, सुधार्दै जाने बाटो निकाल्छ।

६. यस्तो नेतृत्व जसले देशको सरकारका शासन व्यवस्थामा देखिएका कमजोरीलाई तुरुन्तै सम्बोधन गर्छ।

७. यस्तो नेतृत्व जसले स्थानीय तहमा सक्षम नेतृत्व बनाइ त्यहाँका नागरिकलाई नै जिम्मेवार बनाउने काम गर्छ।

८. यस्तो नेतृत्व जसले महाविपत्तिको बेला आइपर्ने धेरै शंका र अविश्वासलाई कुल्ची उदारताको उदाहरण बन्छ।

९. यस्तो नेतृत्व जसले नेपाली नागरिकको जीवन रक्षालाई पहिलो प्राथमिकतामा राख्छ।

भूकम्पलाई अब उप्रान्त कहिले दोष दिने काम नगरौँ। बरु यो गैरजिम्मेवार सामाजिक–राजनीतिक–आर्थिक चक्रव्यूहलाई नै तोड्नेबारे सोचौँ। भूकम्पपछिको नेपालको यो कालखण्डमा अहिलेको नेतृत्वको शैली पूर्णरूपमा असान्दर्भिक प्रमाणित भएको छ। अबको नेपालले २१ औँ शताब्दी सापेक्ष नेतृत्व खोज्दै छ। जसले नेपालीलाई उद्धार र राहत वा पुनर्स्थापना गर्नेमात्र होइन, समाजकै दिगो नवनिर्माण गर्दै देशकै उत्थान हुने बाटोमा लम्काउँछ।

असार ३ , २०७२ को नागरिक खबर पत्रिकामा पनि पढ्नुहोला

nyatapola-main-art-night

Kathmandu Valley voted the most beautiful city in the world!

Version 1.0. नेपालीमा यहाँ पढ्नु होला

nyatapola-main-art

 

“Kathmandu Valley voted the most beautiful city in the world of 2030!” – Time Magazine.

Time magazine’s 2030 year-end cover page has just labeled Kathmandu Valley as the “Shining Pearl” of Asia! The world news media is abuzz with disbelief. “How could this city, shaken to the core by a terrible 7.8 magnitude earthquake in 2015, transform to such a beauty within 15 years? What is Kathmandu’s secret here?”

The magazine presents 10 convincing reasons from the world’s respected urban planners and city living legends who overwhelmingly voted, “Kathmandu Valley as the most beautiful city in the world in 2030.”

1. Kathmandu: The servant government city.
2. Kathmandu: A city of contradictions.
3. Kathmandu: The greenest city in the world?
4. Kathmandu: The living heritage city.
5. Kathmandu: The ‘recycle it all’ city.
6. Kathmandu: The city that never sleeps…
7. Kathmandu: An energy+ city.
8. Kathmandu: City of wanderlust.
9. Kathmandu, A city of common-sense.
10. Kathmandu, The start-up capital of Asia!

 

  1. Kathmandu: The servant government city.

“As I step into a local municipality (ward) office that, from the outside, looks distinctly 18th century aristocratic palace, carved in wood illustrating Nepali historical and mythological events, I am surprised to find myself entering a futuristic lobby adorned with beautiful paintings and sculptures representing Nepal’s various ethnic communities. Further along a big poster hangs on straight ahead “Democracy = Transparency.” Just a few steps further another one provokes, “Your Government, Your Servant. 

A ‘customer care’ officer greets me with a customary bow, ‘Namaste, How may I help you?’ There are no papers here. All essential processes from citizenship documents to marriage certificates to land taxes are all processed electronically. Housing checks and permits are scheduled online. After hearing my request he escorts and introduces me to the elected representative of the municipality..  She politely invites me to sit down and asks, “Would you like a cup of freshly brewed Nepali organic coffee while we look up the information you are interested in?”

In 2030, Kathmandu is world-renowned  for adopting the 21st century servant governmentmodel for accountability and transparent local governance. Regular local elections, efficient and inclusive local management of resources, disaster preparedness along with transparency and zero tolerance for corruption has led to a win-win partnership between citizens, businesses and the government. The local government officials offer quick hassle-free services with their ready use of information technology. Locals regularly seek and get information on their city’s governance through the simple yet powerful “Right to Information” act holding business, organization and local bodies accountable. Any information not delivered within 48 hours is addressed by Nepal’s swiftly implemented law. Citizen journalism has enhanced mainstream journalism. Public shunning and boycotting of corrupt people and their business/organizations have become social norms. Local taxes are transparently collection, managed and locally distributed by ingenious prioritizing such as online polling. Every tax rupee is directly tied to projects so that each local knows where and when her tax was spent.

This all began when a virtuous cycle was set in motion after that terrible earthquake in 2015 as an empowered citizenry started working together integrating technology, civic sense and youth volunteerism. This started a trend of efficient service of high quality from a reimagined public service system which was overwhelmingly populated  by young professionals trained on 21st century governance ideals and the appointment of locally elected leaders in key positions. The powerful autonomous government body, “Nepal Resurgence Board,” constituted in 2015 with its army of urban planners in Kathmandu, helped speed up reconstruction of policies and infrastructures in and around the valley.

Citizen’s Mantra: ‘My Government, My Servant!’

 
  1. Kathmandu: A city of contradictions.

As I step out of my galli (alley), I find myself walking on a colorful pavement in a neighborhood whose walls come alive with vibrant graffiti's. I could spend hours wandering here, as I see a range  of artistic expressions all the way from meticulous thanka-style spiritual paintings, beautiful sculptures to something that looks like an attempt by a five-year old… Each galli seems to personify the face of that neighborhood. In Kathmandu, I am often given directions to neighborhoods not by street addresses but by these unique landmarks and motifs which changes with each corner you turn! This city truly is a walking contradiction, a beautiful collage of diversity.”

Local municipalities (tole) of 2030 have built a tradition of citizens adopting each galli (alley) of the city. They all seem to be in an endless race to outdo each other to keep up a record of the best managed and designed roads, parks, public toilets, bus parks, cycle lanes and more; using the “adopt-a-tole” model. Communities take ownership of the immediate road (& public space) in front of them. They name, beautify, and support it themselves. The municipality’s autonomous infrastructure maintenance body works with the Mayor directly to help local community members build not just roads but  community infrastructures like parks and public toilets. The citizens have also taken responsibility for the greenery in their neighborhoods. By actively collaborating with their local municipality under the ‘servant government’ system, the public infrastructures are now 100% accessible to 100% of the citizens for 100% of the time. Kathmandu seems to have internalized the essence of chaos theory and its brilliant urban planners came up with a way to build a city, emulating the rules of organized chaos, making this an exciting city where no two places are alike. In fact Kathmandu prides itself on its contradictions.

Citizen’s Mantra: ‘My Neighborhood, My Responsibility!’

  1. Kathmandu: The greenest city in the world?

"As I step out of the airport, I am welcomed by gentle breeze and the fragrance of fresh-cut grass. I travel towards the city in  a taxi that runs on clean electricity. I roll down the windows to enjoy the roads abuzz with bicycles and pedestrians. I pass by many community parks where children are running around with their dogs. Clear, stylish, wearable technology responsive signboards are everywhere guiding you to the history and urban legends of the city. Those concrete or brick walls have long been replaced with trees and hedges. As I pass by, I can’t help notice that plants and trees seem to be integrated into building designs themselves. I come across the jewel of the city, the Central Park of Kathmandu (a stretch of greenery that connects the  former Royal palace grounds  all the way to the Dasharath Stadium).
I step out and walk around. In this vastness, young people are immersed in making music, girls are jogging, a rap battle going on steps away and further along people playing cricket, football and more. Family of three generations are on a cozy picnic under massive trees. A flock of birds make their way through the blue skies. It makes any outsider wonder, “Why can’t my city be like this?”

Starting from 2015, Kathmandu started turning all its open spaces into self-sustainable, accessible green spaces and ponds while converting all the hills around the valley into national parks and wildlife reserves. By 2030, it held the distinguished reputation of being the greenest city of the world. This has enabled students, children, and the elderly to relax, play and enjoy nature to the fullest. Open spaces around spiritual places like Pashupati,  Swayambhu, Changu Narayan, Boudha, Basantapur, Patan and Bhaktapur now have clean, elegant, vibrant  gardens and ponds. “Plant a tree before you die” ethos has helped reduce pollution turning Kathmandu into a beautiful, livable tranquil abode. The former royal palace ground is linked to Rani Pokhari, Tudikhel and Dasarath Stadium becoming a humongous lush green park for the city of Kathmandu to relish, rivaling that of New York’s Central Park.

Kathmandu in 2030 holds the distinction of being among the most bicycle-friendly city of the world and brands itself as a bicycle-preferred city. There are dedicated disability, walking and cycle friendly lanes on all major roadways and galli’. There is even a special tax rebate for those who decide not to own fossil fuel vehicles.  By 2030, Kathmandu has set a global example by allowing alternative energy public vehicles to become the primary means of transportation on and below the streets of Kathmandu. Real-estate builders are given tax breaks to build ‘green plus energy homes’ and penalized for making energy negative buildings and infrastructure. Quality of air/water (environment) has become a fundamental human right of utmost  political importance. Since leadership is penalized during elections depending on the air pollution index, authorities are particularly sensitive to any deterioration on its globally adapted environmental KTM-2100 Protocol. Many Kathmandu folks work from their homes or nearby cafes and parks. Pedaling, walking or public transport make for the bulk of transportation in this city which has just been voted as the world’s most breathable city. The banks along the twin rivers of Bagmati and Bishnumati are a popular space for hanging out, pedaling, leisurely drives and a bird lover’s heaven! All this has enabled Kathmandu arguably as the greenest city in the world.

Citizen’s Mantra: ‘Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the greenest city of them all?’

 
  1. Kathmandu: The living heritage city.

“Making my way through the narrow alleys, I chance upon small temples and monuments in every corner, some filled with erotic, wooden sculptures, others with intricate metal carvings on doors that simply blows my mind. One can never be certain what wonders the very next turn might hold for you. The evolution of centuries of work, molding with the state of the art technologies of the day, makes this a sight for me to comprehend. Add the warm smile lighting up on the faces of every Nepali I meet, tells me that this smiley city is singularly content."

What city boasts a thousand Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Jain, Christian, Sikh temples within breathing distance from each other? Furthermore Kathmandu folks have rediscovered their own brand of spirituality by rediscovering their calling to “treat guests as god!” Kathmandu is an enlightened city of tolerance where major religious and spiritual practices are intricately interwoven not just in people’s minds and lives but also in every aspect of the city’s planning. Since that terrible quake in 2015, Kathmandu folks have re-discovered their commitment to build a monument for each family member that departs. This has made Kathmandu a city of a thousand temples whose stories are told to the children in far corners of the world!

One strong reason for Kathmandu valley to regain such glory has been the fact that its citizens decided to not just rebuild the heritage destroyed by the 2015 quake, but went one step further by rediscovering their burning talent as architects, creators and builders. Kathmandu’s heritage has been its collection of 1,000+ year of amazing architecture, history, fusion of 100+ ethnic cultures, life-lessons based on simplicity, trade, creativity, communal living, and local ingenuity. Add to this, the new found obsession of the post-earthquake generation to outmatch the creativity of the past. Buildings in Kathmandu are only permitted to be built/retained if they pass the strict and holistic KTM-9 building codes (designed to withstand 9 richter scale).

Kathmandu is a mega-city that is constantly shaped and reshaped by competing townships (municipalities) within it, that continuously try to outdo each other on style and innovation, while never straying from that common value, “you reap what you sow.”

Kathmandu folks have finally learnt from their past to not just keep but also to evolve and enhance their heritage. The current generation, aptly named “the bridge-builders” took up the challenge 15 years ago to be the ones to march Kathmandu to become an actively mutating heritage city the world has come to hold in awe. The decade old “Nepal Living Heritage University” has pioneered a disruptive education system that brings Nepalis and students from around the world to experiment on holistic living, planning and engineering. Based on the lessons learned from that terrible 2015 earthquake, they have gone on to build a unique disaster resistant urban planning model (a hybrid of the rich heritage of the valley and modern style).  They are exporting this interdisciplinary knowledge around the world like their ancient hero “Araniko” did in the 13th Century.

Citizen’s Mantra: ‘(Leave behind) a monument of love before you die.’

 
  1. Kathmandu: The ‘recycle it all’ city

"As I step out of a heritage boutique homestay I rented in Bungmati, a green notification on my device informed me that I had received money back for the waste I had recycled for the month. It gave me my three preferred options: add it to my bank account, donate it evenly to the 3 causes I love or invest it all in a government owned “Nepal resurgence fund” that is building a mega infrastructure project designed to create a million jobs over the course of next 5 years.”

By  working with entrepreneurs, Kathmandu has figured out how to recycle, reuse and turn (any) waste and even generate profits. Locals generate money out of their own waste. Household items are encouraged to be sold, bartered or rented out. Online-offline auction melas (sites) remain popular sites for many Kathmandu citizens to hang-out. Each year, Kathmandu hosts an annual “Recycle it all’ challenge for the world’s best innovators.

Garden and roof-top farming has thrived thanks to the household practice of using their own organic waste and waste water from the kitchen and rainwater/dew water harvesting is the primary supply for drinking water. Folks use their (reusable) safety tanks instead of pumping their waste to the sewage systems which have long gone dry.

Citizen’s Mantra: ‘You reap what you throw!

 
  1. Kathmandu: The city that never sleeps…

“At 10 in the evening, I get a message from a friend to meet her in the old city to discuss an exciting idea she wants to pursue in a possible venture. I step out on a brightly lit street in Lazimpat, and decide to walk comfortably through  alleys. Citizen-run ‘Neighborhood watches’  ensures that you feel secure in their area. I chance upon few kids drawing graffiti on the streets and a bicycle police casually stops by to give the kids tips on how to improve their work-in-progress. I pass through the night markets at Ason and revel at the sight of locals and tourists bargaining, recreating a scene that probably goes back centuries. I check out a new alley that promises a shortcut to where I want to go. A young woman comes jogging out of a narrow alley and smiles as she passes by. I google her face. I am ‘pretty’ sure she is doing the same on me!”

If you think Kathmandu of 2030 is beautiful at day, dare I say it’s even more beautiful at night. Every corner of this city is reachable within a thirty minute drive. Kathmandu is blessed with beautiful weather throughout the year. By 2016, Kathmandu folks learned it was just plain stupid to close down their energetic city by 8 in the evening so they started to invest in rapid public transport systems (elegantly adapted and improved from what they saw in Bogota, Colombia). This now runs 24/7 and 365 days a year, getting rid of traffic congestions while ensuring safe, convenient and reliable transportation options for all. This was a win-win situation for the local, the tourist, the small entrepreneur, the street vendor, the street-side cafes, the taxis and the youths. A city that is awake all the time, reverberates with more ideas and innovation, infusing creativity into our culture once more. A 24-hour open city has created a separate brand of Kathmandu as a youthful, friendly, safe, business-friendly city full of positive vibes.  Families regularly enjoy their moments at the well-lit ‘spiritual’ parks while a happening night-life exists just a block away. Ask any citizen anything and they jump to “guide” you to a solution, a token example of the legendary warmth and generosity Nepalis are known for. Is this the reason Kathmandu repeatedly comes on as one of the top 10 places to disappear for a few days.

Citizen’s Mantra: ‘My City:  Active, Alive, Always!’

 

  1. Kathmandu: An energy+ city.

“As I walk back home from my office in Bhaktapur, I am notified of an increase in my bank balance. I am in for a nice surprise. I had just earned enough from my sale of surplus solar energy to afford for a quiet dinner with my family at that elegant restaurant along the brightly lit banks of Bagmati as planned.”

Who would have thought just 15 years ago, a city with no electricity for up to 16 hours a day would transform into an energy plus city glowing with surplus “clean energy.” A critical mass of Kathmandu folks in early 2015 decided that they had an alternate source they could tap into: abundant solar energy.  With strong sunshine almost all year round, Kathmandu is a fertile ground for solar energy. Harnessing this power that shines for almost 12 hours a day has turned each house into electricity producers and a surplus seller. Energy conservation remains a top priority as citizens still remember those ‘loadshedding’ yester-years and their responsibility to mitigate the global warming menace that is battering coastal and mountain cities around the world. They have decreed that all electrical products have to pass the strict ‘KTM-2100-Green” standards or else the businesses are ‘socially’ boycotted. Clean energy and energy conscious citizens duly transformed Kathmandu into an energy hip, energy rich, positively energized city!

Citizen’s Mantra: ‘Bright tole, enlightened soul.

 

  1. Kathmandu: City of wanderlust.

“As I wander around aimless in my newly bought ‘hatti chaap’ branded shoes, I feel a sudden rush of wanderlust. I wander around the city allowing my eyes to feast upon the surprises at each turn. Time loses its meaning as my brain is mesmerized by the strong emotions evoked by Kathmandu’s alley ways and the crisp blue skies above. The myriads of intriguing  cultures keeps me raw and alive! Imagine a shaman’s shop right next door to a doctor’s office. Finest arabica coffee shops tucked inside 100 year old mansions. During my  week long vacation, I have made it a point to lose myself by wandering back in time in the interiors of  the three historic cities of Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Bhaktapur. Then, off I travel to the exteriors of the valley’s lush green hills, hopping from one village to another while taking in the sights of the majestic Himalayas to the north.”

With its year-round fantastic weather, Kathmandu is a haven for any wanderlust. With its stimulating, serpentine alleys, back streets full of blast from the past, and welcoming cafes around each corner, Kathmandu has become THE perfect place to lose yourself. In-fact ‘wanderlust’ (losing yourself in aimless wandering) has become ‘THE thing to do’ for travelers from all around the world. From wandering off to the towering 2,000 meter lush green mountains (locals call them ‘hills’) around the valley to watching the tallest mountains of the world and strolling by the centuries-old architecture and culture, Kathmandu has become all about pausing and rewinding yourself in this “distracted-fast forwarding” world, a city of wanderlust.”

Citizen’s Mantra: ‘Wander in Kathmandu to find yourself.

 

  1. Kathmandu: A city of common sense.

“A city filled with common sense? Really? Just 15 years ago when I walked in this very city, bandhs (forced strikes) had been a regular abomination. A city that would be shut down on the whim of a politician, a thug or a few rowdy locals, with tens of thousands of demoralized police helplessly watching as mobs ran rampant. Who would have thought common sense would again prevail in Kathmandu? I look around today.This city is now open, humble, safe and inviting! It seems, Common-sense prevails on and off the streets.”

After the earthquake in 2015, citizens adopted a zero-tolerance policy against Bandhs and started actively supporting local police and youth groups to make sure all of Kathmandu Valley to be a bandh-free zones. Political forces which encouraged bandhas were taught a painful lessons in the elections. Common-sense charters popped up in neighborhoods making a new social norm that focused on social ostracizing for all who dare to stray. Humility, empathy, civic sense and integrity remains the corner-stone of a set of ‘common-sense’ values practiced by every citizen here and taught to every child. “Common-sense education” seems to be the cornerstone of education in all primary schools improved upon by “civic-sense education” system in secondary schools in Kathmandu. People of all genders and age feel safe and dignified to go about their daily business, anywhere and anytime because they know that common sense prevails all around.

Citizen’s mantra: ‘Common sense IS common (in Kathmandu)  

 

  1. Kathmandu, the start-up capital of Asia!

As I step inside a cafe recommended by a friend, I see photo frames of handshakes and hugs between renowned artists-innovators-investors on the walls. I have been told this cafe has turned many crazy ideas into a prosperity generating engines. Positivity is in the air. The locals and the foreigners here seem to be talking about ideas, plans, dreams and teams. Language doesn’t seem to be a barrier as I must have heard at least 10 different languages in the last 10 minutes! I can’t help feel that I have come to the right place to infuse myself with ‘positivity’ and ‘passion’.

In 2030, entrepreneurship seems to be in everyone’s DNA in Kathmandu. The catastrophic earthquake of 2015 transformed a whole generation of Nepalis to be crisis managers, impulsive risk-takers and passionate doers. Empowering youths to innovate has been critical to injecting ‘vibrancy’ into Kathmandu. Localized, decentralized and effective and a million mentors strong network of ‘Entrepreneurs for Nepal built over the last 20 years has ensured a credible entrepreneurial ecosystems providing Nepali & Nepal centric entrepreneurs with the knowledge, skills, and networks necessary to start and expand businesses. Local mentoring clubs in Kathmandu regularly match local youths with elders to shape their future. Venture funds, angel investors, impact funds and global community with ideas and guts have all poured into the city to tap into local talents. Innovation, competition and disruption is the name of the game! The explosion of this start-up culture has made Kathmandu into the “start-up” capital of Asia.

Citizen’s mantra: ‘Start-up, scale up, invest on or die trying

As I finish reading Time magazine article in the year 2030, I am still struck by this city’s remarkable transformation.  A news alert beeps on my device, “...In other news, Paris has just announced its plans to get technical support from  Kathmandu to revamp its city life.”

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I would like to hear “your ideas” for building Kathmandu the most beautiful city in the world. Please post your thoughts below. Thank you BibekSheel Nepali Vision team and Srijana Chhetri, Sagar Onta, Raj Maharjan, Krishna Chhetri, Jagannath Kafle and more for helping.

12 ways you can help Nepal (post Earthquake)

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Here are 12 ways  you can help Nepal stand up on its foot quickly and with dignity! (& Build Nepal 2.0)

1) Everyone: Make a solemn pledge to yourself, “I am #withNepal”.
2) Travelers: Organize your family/friends trip inside Nepal this Fall (Autumn).
3) Entrepreneurs: Work with super-talented IT business / freelancers of Nepal.
4) Sports organizers: Organize an International Football / Cricket competition in Nepal.
5) Musicians: Organize one “I am #withNepal” concert of international music bands in Pokhara, Nepal this autumn.
6) Investors: Build long term business incubators.
7) Educators: Support to start a “21st century leadership building academy.” By god, we need this in Nepal!
8) Mayors: Adopt a Village (Make a devastated village/town – your sister village/town).
9) Donors: demand local elections in #Nepal immediately. Local Governance is the “key”.
10) World Financiers: Please open “payment gateways” like paypal in Nepal. Make it affordable for now. (you will instantly create thousands of self-employed Nepalis)
11) Activists: Build tools to support activists to bring transparency in each aid related government or private work in Nepal.
12) Everyone: Don’t just donate. Start to invest.

If you are interested, I will personally help connect you to plenty of  right people and places here. A crisis should also be taken as an immense opportunity (to build a better Nepal 2.0 ).
Please add your recommendations below !

नयाँ शक्ति बनाउने कि जगाउने ?

सेतोपाटी पत्रिकामा पढ्नको लागि

नेपालमा नयाँँ शक्ति बनाउने तर्क धेरै सुनियो। खुशी पनि लाग्यो किन कि म अाफै नयाँ शक्ति बनाउन मैदानमा उत्रिएको छु। त्यसैले तपाईँ समक्ष म अाफ्नै एउटा अनुभव यहाँ बाड्दैछु।

 मुल कुरो नयाँ शक्ति बनाउनु अघि अाफै भित्र भएको शक्ति यानी कि विवेकलाई जगाएर त्यसको निरन्तर प्रयोग गर्नु जरुरी छ। यदि समाजमा विद्दमान कु-संस्कार वा अहिलेका नेतृत्वको पूर्ण असफलताले तपाईको निन्द्रा हराम गरेको छ भने वा सर्वसाधारण नेपालीको यस विषयमा चकमन्न मौनता र जताततै नैतिकता लत्याई अपनाएको छाडापन जस्ता हरकतले तपाईलाई उकुसमुकुस बनाएको छ भने तपाईभित्र विवेक जाग्न खोजेको यो प्रष्ट संकेत हो।

राजनीतिलाई फोहरी खेल भन्दै पन्छिने हामी धेरै नयाँँ शक्ति कुरी बस्छम् तर अाफू भित्र भएको शक्ति ‘विवेक’ लाई जगाई प्रयोग गर्न भने अाँट्दैनौ। अनि कस्तुरी जस्तै अाफ्नै वासनाको खोजीमा टाढाटाढा भौँतारिदै हिँड्छौ। जब अाफू भित्र जाग्दै गरेको विवेकलाई प्रयोगमा ल्याउँछौँ यसैले नै  नयाँ शक्तिको मुळ फुटाउनेछ। विवेक जागेकाहरु जब अाफै शक्तिमा परिणत हुन्छौँ अनि हामीहरु संगठित हुदाँ नै समाजमा “नयाँँ शक्ति”को रुपमा कहलिन्छौँ। त्यसैले नेपालमा नयाँ शक्ति बनाउन आफै भित्र सुतेको शक्तिलाई पहिले जगाउनु पर्छ। यसमा हामी सबै प्रष्ट भए हुन्छ।

मानौ या नमानौँ, हाम्रो देश अहिले हाम्रो लागि तेस्रो प्राथमिकतामा पर्छ। पहिलो प्राथमिकता हाम्रो घर-परिवार छ भने दोस्रो प्राथमिकता हाम्रो पेशा-व्यापार बनेको छ। अनि तेस्रोमा मात्र समाज र देश। यदि तपाईं एक असल नागरिक बन्न चाहनुहुन्छ भने यो पनि ठीकै छ। पहिले घर परिवार राम्ररी सम्हाल्नुस् । दोस्रो, आफ्नो काम राम्ररी गर्नुहोस् अनि अाफूले बचाएको समय समाज वा देशको सेवामा लाग्नुहोस्। तर यदि तपाईं नागरिक मात्र नभई अाफैमा शक्ति जगाउन चाहनुहुन्छ तपाईको प्राथमिकता जत्ति घर-परिवार र पेशा-व्यापार हो त्यत्ति नै समाज वा देश पनि हुनै पर्छ।

विवेकको जागरण तपाईंमै निर्भर छ। जबसम्म तपाईंमा म राजनीतिलाई व्यवहारमा ढाल्छु भन्ने इख आउँदैन तबसम्म यो नयाँ शक्ति तपाईं भित्र बस्दैन। जब सम्म अरुले अाई बनाइदेला भन्ने अल्छीपन तपाईं त्याग्न सक्नु हुन्न, तपाईं कुनै पनि सकारात्मक शक्तिको हिस्सा बन्न सक्नु हुन्न। यदि तपाईं बलेको अागो ताप्दै बस्ने खालको हुनुहुन्छ वा मेरो गोरुको बाह्रै टक्का भन्ने सोच बनाई बस्नु भएको छ भने यी कुसंस्कार नत्यागी तपाईंमा नयाँँ शक्ति जाग्दैन । कोठाभित्र रमाउँदै ठिक्क हुने अनि भोलि उठ्दा चट्ट देश बनेको हेर्न पाऊँ भनी कामना गर्नेमा पनि यो जाग्दैन। यो नेपाल कहिले ढल्छ र अर्को नेपालमा तु जान पाउँ भनी सोच्नेहरुमा होस् वा “यस्तै हो केही हुनेवाला छैन” भनिभनी गनगन गर्दै हिडेर पनि विवेक कदापि जाग्दैन।

नयाँँ शक्ति (विवेक) कसरी जाग्छ त? नेतृत्व आफैँ बन्दैन, यो त बनाइन्छ भन्ने कुरा जब मनन गर्न थाल्नु हुन्छ तब नयाँँ शक्ति जाग्न थाल्छ तपाईँमा। जब बिदेशीको बनिबनाउ स्वर्गमा पलायन हुनुको सट्टा यही भत्केकै स्वर्ग बनाउन कस्सिनुहुन्छ, तब नयाँँ शक्ति जाग्छ तपाईँमा। जब ‘हुने खानेलाई होइन, हुँदा खानेलाई खुवाउने’ जोश अाँउछ तब विवेक जाग्न थालेको प्रत्यक्ष महसुस गर्नु हुन्छ। जब बोल्ने-लेख्ने-पढ्ने लाई मात्र होइन गर्नेलाई पनि पालो दिन थाल्नुहुन्छ, तब जाग्छ विवेक। जब सकारात्मक बिचार सँगै सत्‌कर्मले दिन कटाउन अाँट्नुहुन्छ, तब जाग्छ यो “नयाँँ शक्ति”। जब अाफ्ना हरेक कार्यमा एक पल्टको दान नभई लगानी नै गर्न तम्सिनु हुन्छ, तब जाग्छ विवेक। अनि न हाम्रो देश तात्नेछ नयाँँ शक्तिको उर्जाले।

मान्नुहोस् नयाँँ शक्ति अहिले पनि तपाईं बाहिर होइन, तपाईं भित्रै बन्दै छ। त्यसलाई अात्मसात् गर्नुहोस् र अाफै विकल्प बन्नुहोस्। म विश्वस्त छु, तपाईँ-हामीलाई यसरी विवेक बोकी नेपाली राजनीतिको पोखरीमा हाम्फाल्दै सफा गर्दै गरेको देख्नेहरु सबैमा नयाँँ शक्ति पलाउन थाल्नेछ। भारतको दिल्लीमा भरखरै अाम अादमी दलले जित्नुको पछाडी दिल्लीवासीहरुमा पर्याप्त मात्रामा विवेक जाग्न थालेको प्रमाण हो। नेपालमा पनि यो संख्या उत्साहजनक रुपमा बढ्दैछ। त्यसैले अब नकुर्नुहोस् विवेक जगाउन तिर लाग्नुहोस्।

नेपालमा हामी धेरैले नयाँँ बन्ने शक्तिमा दमदार मार्गदर्शन, नेता, स्रोत, सदस्य सबै एकै चोटि खोज्दैछौँ। नयाँँ शक्ति शुरुमै पाको हुँदैन, पाकोपन तपाईँ-हामीले थप्नुपर्छ। भरखर बामे सर्दै गरेको बालक जस्तै बेलाबेलामा लड्छ पनि, उठाउने र तहलाउने जिम्मा तपाईं हामीले लिनै पर्छ। कुनै बन्दै गरेको नयाँ शक्ति परिपक्व लागेन भने परिपक्व बनाउन आउनुहोस्। किनारमा चाहिँ नबस्नुहोस्।

अन्तत: नेपालमा नयाँँ शक्ति बनाउने ठेक्का कोही एक व्यक्ति, एक परिवार वा एक समूहले पाएको होईन। जति ठेक्का अरुले पाएका छन् त्यत्ति नै ठेक्का नेपाल अामाले तपाईंलाई पनि सुम्पेकी छिन्। तसर्थ: तपाई भित्रैको त्यो उर्जाशील ईच्छाशक्तिलाई अगाडि नबढाए सम्म कुनै पनि नयाँँ ‘शक्ति’ बन्न सक्दैन।

जब तपाई विवेकशील हुँदै जानुहुन्छ, समाज विवेकशील बन्दै जान्छ। अन्तत: देश विवेकशील बन्छ। मैले बुझेको ‘नयाँँ शक्ति’ को परिभाषा यही हो नेपालमा। म विश्वस्त छु अबको ‘नयाँ’ अर्थात विवेकशील शक्तिको उदय तपाईं-हामी भित्र र तपाईं-हामी मिलेरै हुनेछ।

Why did we write our own constitution of Nepal?

There comes a day in our lifetime when we Nepali must choose a path that will decide the future of our country.

Today, we are at the cross-roads and must make a choice: Do we unite Nepali of all ages, ethnic groups and beliefs to transform Nepal into a shining beacon of humanity? Or, do we accept Nepal as a failed nation?

Our common sense tells us, “It is our right to live free in a Nepal ruled by law.”  Therefore, it is our responsibility to rise against anyone who restricts us from our non-negotiable rights. Should Nepal’s rulers withhold us from our rights, it becomes our duty to organize ourselves to protect our rights. Standing up for these rights ensures that our government always remains a servant of us citizens, never our master.

Our constitution is our right! Timely delivery of constitution is non-negotiable. Each day we delay this, countless Nepali die inside and outside the country because of Nepal’s failed system. Millions of Nepali are forced to take extreme measures to survive. Many leave the country. Those who stay behind face the harsh realities of absence of law, pervasive criminal corruption, lawlessness and denial of justice. While we Nepali suffer in millions, our rulers fail to rise above their myopic party politics. They claim Nepal will be better after declaration of the new constitution, which they never show. As our society slowly degenerates,  ‘bibek’ is getting replaced by ‘bal’ as a new generation grows up seeing ‘hopelessness, corruption and apathy’ all around.

 Our representatives have taken hundred of billions from us to build this constitution. Yet, they continue to fail miserably after 6 agonizing long years. They repeatedly make baseless promises.  However, they never deliver that one unifying law, our constitution. What crime is worse than this?

 Enough is Enough! We must build an alternative. This is why BibekSheel Nepali united concerned citizens from all walks of life to build and publish a new constitution on Magh 8, 2071. We have not spent a single paisa of Nepali taxpayer money and have delivered a working constitution for the Nepali people.

You may ask – why have we created the Nepali Constitution when those elected to do so have failed?

We wanted to prove that Nepali constitution can be built on hope, not fear. It can be built with honest intentions. It can be built by diverse people from different walks of life without wasting billions and years fighting. Nepalese must unite if those sent to work for us, fail.

Overall, we wanted to offer Nepali people an option. You might further ask, what are the major attributes of our version of the Nepali Constitution, and why should Nepali people care?

We started building this constitution 3 years ago. During this time, we asked – What will create the environment for fair prosperity of all Nepali people? What will deliver timely and adequate justice? What will lay the foundation for the right leadership to lead successive governments that deliver to the people? What will free our elected officials from being held hostage by party or tribe or caste or sex? What will hold timely elections? What will give strong mandate (space and time) to leaders to deliver their promises? What will allow equality among citizens without discrimination? What will protect the tradition and culture of Nepal’s diverse groups while allowing cultural harmony?

We believe our published Nepal constitution 2071 has balanced solutions to the above questions. It is pragmatic and an evolving law of our land.

You may add – how did all this start?
Our constitution building process started the day after the first Constituent Assembly was dissolved on May 28th 2012, nearly 3 years ago.

We looked around us. We took lessons from hundreds of citizens’ gatherings to understand our society. We consulted with experts holding differing stands to educate ourselves on the complexities of the problems. Then painfully, one by one, we assembled volunteers from all walks of life who believed in our vision of creating a prosperous Nepal within our lifetime. We used technologies like the internet to bridge distances and collaboration gaps.

We looked outside. We researched 18th century constitutions like that of the USA. We studied 20th century constitutions like those of South Africa and Switzerland. We analyzed those that didn’t have one, like the UK. We evaluated those of emerging economies in South America and Africa as well as our immediate neighbors in the north and south. We found how they were succeeding but also had painfully learnt their lessons and how they found solutions. We also learnt Nepal with its diversity and geo-political location needs to find its own path and cannot blindly follow the paths of other nations.

In 2013, we literally walked for months, collecting dreams of thousands of Nepali people from all fourteen zones of Nepal. We continued studying the differences inside the Constituent Assembly over the last 6 years. We finally came together to draft a constitution that was simple for an ordinary Nepali to understand, and mature to become the law of our land.

What is amazing is – not a single paisa has been paid to the hundreds of reviewers and contributors involved!

Our constitution building process continues. We have published our first draft. We will incorporate more citizen concerns and aspirations so all Nepali will unite to own this constitution. After all, this is a constitution built from the dreams of all Nepali we have interacted with over the last few years.

We hope that our published constitution will be owned by Nepali citizens and by the constituent Assembly of Nepal. We hope more Nepali will improve it and tell their constituent assembly members what they want.

We have in our constitution tried hard to find a middle ground to address the great divide inside the constituent assembly and outside specially on the issues of federalism, identity, style of governance and election systems. We hope this will inspire even the Constituent Assembly members to find answers to their differences and learn from our proposed models. We have taken a middle path to building this pragmatic constitution that works for now and for our important future. We hope this will bridge the gaps between us Nepali people and unite all Nepali who believe in common sense.

Nepal’s Constitution should be of the people, for the people and by the people.

It is time Nepali people have an option to choose.

To read the Nepal Constitution BibekSheel Nepali has proposed, please go here: www.leadnepal.com/nepalconstitution

 

Warm Regards,
Ujwal Thapa
Chairperson,
BibekSheel Nepali.

 

 

Federal Republic of Nepal
Federal Republic of Nepal
English version of Nepal government structure in bibeksheel constitution
Nepal government structure

 

How is  the legislature elected in Nepal ?
How is the legislature elected in Nepal ?

 

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