Richa Adhikari

Richa Adhikari (BASE, Nepal): Born and raised in Nepal during a period of political instability, Richa was studying for a BA at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, when she took on the AP fellowship with BASE in Nepal. After her fellowship, Richa wrote: “I have learnt to deal with a wide range of people and personalities. I learnt to live with minimal luxuries. I learnt that it is difficult to work in a developing country, not only because of the unresponsiveness but because of the organizational. It takes a lot of effort to get things done, and persistence is the key to survive and thrive at BASE.” radhikari@advocacynet.org



My advocacy journey begins!

06 Jun

I woke up to the chant of a group of children rallying to improve the environmental condition of Nepal on the occasion of World Environment Day. I got up and walked to the balcony to get a closer look. This was a group of around fifty children, around eleven to fifteen years of age, united in an attempt to demand a cleaner and safer future for themselves: an option that more than half of the children in Nepal cannot pursue, due to poverty, illiteracy and a horrendous form of modern slavery: bonded child labor. 

A report by the International Labor Organization states that over three million children are employed in Nepal, mostly in the rural, poor regions. While the Nepalese government has recognized bonded child labor as illegal and punishable by law, the lack of prosecution has curtailed the attempts of organizations that seek to combat the crime. As a Peace Fellow for the Advocacy Project, I will be working with Backward Society Education (BASE) , situated in the western Terai region of Nepal. BASE works to eradicate poverty, illiteracy and discrimination against marginalized communities. Uprooting child bonded labor is one of BASE’s main goals and it strives to achieve it persistently. Founded by Dilli Chaudhary, a Peace activist who has done remarkable work in freeing other marginalized communities including kamaiyas and kamlaris from bonded labor, BASE is now recognized as one of the most prominent organizations in Nepal. 

In the ten-week period of the Fellowship, I will be doing my part in helping BASE end the practice of child labor exploitation in Nepal. I will be collaborating with two other Fellows who are assigned to work at Society Welfare Action Nepal (SWAN)  and CONCERN, other NGOs in Nepal that work for the same issue. We will be working together to create a proposal that demands strict prosecution of the offenders of illegal child labor, while strengthening rehabilitation options for the rescued bonded children. 

I feel very determined about undertaking the journey of putting an end to one of the worst cases of human rights violation. While I am aware that the journey is going to be a tough one, considering the high level of corruption in the country and lack of sustainable alternatives for the bonded children, I believe that unearthing the root cause of bonded child labor will substantially ease the process of legalizing prosecution. 

I am very thankful to the Advocacy Project for making me a part of an endeavor that can potentially change the lives of millions. I am very excited to work with the two other fellows Katerina Canyon  and Sugam Singh , and hope to succeed in our journey to give voice to the voiceless!  

Follow my journey to combat illegal child labor for the next ten weeks. Please leave your reactions and comments below and I will be happy to respond whenever I can!  

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I woke up to the chant of a group of children rallying to improve the environmental condition of Nepal on the occasion of World Environment Day. I got up and walked to the balcony to get a closer look. This was a group of around fifty children, around eleven to fifteen years of age, united in an attempt to demand a cleaner and safer future for themselves: an option that more than half of the children in Nepal cannot pursue, due to poverty, illiteracy and a horrendous form of modern slavery: bonded child labor. <\/span><\/span><\/p>\n\n

A report by the International Labor Organization states that over three million children are employed in Nepal, mostly in the rural, poor regions. While the Nepalese government has recognized bonded child labor as illegal and punishable by law, the lack of prosecution has curtailed the attempts of organizations that seek to combat the crime. As a Peace Fellow for the Advocacy Project, I will be working with Backward Society Education (BASE)<\/a> , situated in the western Terai region of Nepal. BASE works to eradicate poverty, illiteracy and discrimination against marginalized communities. Uprooting child bonded labor is one of BASE\u2019s main goals and it strives to achieve it persistently. Founded by Dilli Chaudhary, a Peace activist who has done remarkable work in freeing other marginalized communities including kamaiyas<\/i> and kamlaris<\/i> from bonded labor, BASE is now recognized as one of the most prominent organizations in Nepal. <\/span><\/span><\/p>\n\n

In the ten-week period of the Fellowship, I will be doing my part in helping BASE end the practice of child labor exploitation in Nepal. I will be collaborating with two other Fellows who are assigned to work at Society Welfare Action Nepal (SWAN)<\/a>  and CONCERN, other NGOs in Nepal that work for the same issue. We will be working together to create a proposal that demands strict prosecution of the offenders of illegal child labor, while strengthening rehabilitation options for the rescued bonded children. <\/span><\/span><\/p>\n\n

I feel very determined about undertaking the journey of putting an end to one of the worst cases of human rights violation. While I am aware that the journey is going to be a tough one, considering the high level of corruption in the country and lack of sustainable alternatives for the bonded children, I believe that unearthing the root cause of bonded child labor will substantially ease the process of legalizing prosecution. <\/span><\/span><\/p>\n\n

I am very thankful to the Advocacy Project for making me a part of an endeavor that can potentially change the lives of millions. I am very excited to work with the two other fellows Katerina Canyon<\/a>  and Sugam Singh<\/a> , and hope to succeed in our journey to give voice to the voiceless!  <\/span><\/span><\/p>\n\n

Follow my journey to combat illegal child labor for the next ten weeks. Please leave your reactions and comments below and I will be happy to respond whenever I can!  <\/span><\/span><\/p>“,”class”:””},{“id”:”3″,”block”:”video”,”url”:”https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?v=4TptCrm2vaE”,”class”:””,”ratio”:”16:9″,”scale”:”default”,”size”:{“width”:500,”height”:281}}]}[/content-builder]

Posted By Richa Adhikari

Posted Jun 6th, 2014

11 Comments

  • Dipika Timilsina

    June 6, 2014

     

    Richa! I am really proud of you for undertaking a project to combat child labor and poverty in Nepal. Keep up the good work.

    • Richa Adhikari

      June 12, 2014

       

      Thanks a lot, Dipee! Thank you for always being there for me and supporting my work!

  • Jay Dahal

    June 6, 2014

     

    Good Work Richa 🙂

    • Richa Adhikari

      June 12, 2014

       

      Thank you so much!

  • Dr. DeSmet

    June 6, 2014

     

    We missed you on SLI, Richa, but what you are doing involves true leadership. Best wishes as you work for children.

    • Richa Adhikari

      June 12, 2014

       

      Thank you so much, Dr. Desmet! I am very excited to share my experience with Wesleyan!

  • anuradha goswami

    June 7, 2014

     

    Good work! keep it up! it really takes all emotion to see a bonded child labour. Ireally appreciate your efforts in this regard .

  • Deidra Donmoyer

    June 10, 2014

     

    We are very proud of the work that you are doing, Richa. Wesleyan knows that you are an amazing woman who will be making great changes in this world. And we look forward to following your journey this summer.
    Dr. Deidra Donmoyer, Women’s Studies, Wesleyan College

    • Richa Adhikari

      June 12, 2014

       

      Thank you for your encouraging words, Dr. D! Your support really means a lot to me!

  • Ramesh

    June 16, 2014

     

    Very proud of your work! I wish you all the best for your work at BASE!

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