Lessons For The Government
The announcement of building an international cricket stadium in Bharatpur Metropolitan City in Chitwan by the Dhurmus Suntali Foundation has generated positive vibes across the society one more time. Interestingly, the signing of land acquisition agreement between the Foundation and the Metropolitan City to construct Gautam Buddha International Cricket Stadium took place amid an important gathering attended by the PM and his own party’s co-chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal. Addressing the event, the two political leaders immensely praised Dhurmus Suntali for their passion for building nation.
An epitome of dedication and deep love for the nation, the comedian Duo- Dhurmus and Suntali has garnered much public appreciation not only for their comedy heroics but more importantly for philanthropic activities. In fact, Dhurmus and Suntali aren’t mere two individuals but passionate countrymen who have sacrificed individual privileges for the common good. Unlike the current mindset of the common Nepalis, this couple has abandoned self-interest and played a vital role in the rehabilitation of earthquake victims. Whether we refer to the work of handing over unified model village to the earthquake affected communities or their recent cleaning campaign of a public hospital, a strong intent for societal transformation can be clearly seen.
Dhurmus-Suntali exemplifies the possibility of making significant contribution from any walk of life to change the face of the nation. Their success stories suggest that a good intention and wholeheartedness pays rich dividends. What is worth noticing here is that the couple started such activities without any stable resource but with optimism and perseverance. Furthermore, the audacity to give up the lucrative career for the social cause is incredible. While it is a matter of great pride for all the Nepalis that the duo are consistently working for nation building, it is equally painful as a citizens to note that the powerful government in Nepal which commands unprecedented two-third majority mentions its inability to deliver public promises owing to the obstacles from several forces. How can the general public believe that the unprecedented K.P. Oli’s government is crippled to induce systemic reform? Is governing the nation more of an issue of intention than resources? How can a national government not have the authority to get what it wants from its administrative machineries? How can the issue of resources to accomplish task be a challenge?
Various lessons are on offer from Dhrumus-Suntali. First, rising above petty interests will keep us motivated in the path of social change. Second, resources are never a challenge if we have an unflinching commitment to pursue any work. Third, small initiatives can turn into big projects if we continue the work with great enthusiasm and zeal.
Historically, we are accustomed to making excuses. Our political leaders throughout the history have expressed their impossibility to induce change even in times where they really could. Pointing out at others has been the preferred choice. And such characteristics is not only evident in the political circle, but also in larger sphere of our life. It is really ironical that individuals like Dhurmus-Suntali despite the paucity of funds have been able to make positive change in the society. This case further proves that the support system comes to rescue along the way for a noble cause. How many of us would not support the government if it runs a project to clean our city? Can we remain aloof in the government’s campaign to set up public library in our area?
In light of the above, the accomplishments of few good initiatives at the community level through personal initiations signal at the weak governance of the nation. Some of the issues emanating from this situation are: What is the role of the government with plenty of resources in making positive change? If it is not the government, which is the institution to look up to by the ordinary citizens? Shouldn’t a project of grandeur like the proposed international cricket stadium be led by the government?
Strengthening of the government is crucial even to promote such individual endeavors. In other words, all our efforts should be directed towards the establishment of a well-functioning public system. It is important that our public schools and hospitals be better equipped instead of a handful of private health and education institutions. Pro-active government machinery is the key as it can create ripple effects in the society and the entire economy. Hence, it is urgent that the government starts correcting its working style and get involved in the public welfare.
Being a responsible citizen, it is desirable that we engage in making the elected public officials accountable. Apart from this, lending moral support in any good cause will help the government to continue its work. Instead of talking negative about the political leaders and blaming them every time, we also should take do whatever we can from our side to make the country a better place to live in. And we don’t have to be rich and full for heralding change.
(Kushal Pokharel teaches Management and Liberal Arts at Whitehouse Graduate School of Management, New Baneswor, Kathmandu)