Feature: Youths to lead in reconstruction of quake-ravaged Nepal

Youth of NepalKATHMANDU, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) — Young Nepalese citizens are now taking an active role in the reconstruction of the Himalayan nation after it was devastated by a massive earthquake on April 25 that has killed some 9,000 people, injured thousands, and damaged infrastructure projects and buildings, including cultural and heritage sites.

The youths, because of their energy and enthusiasm, have been extending assistance to earthquake survivors in remote areas in the country that have not been reached by teams from the government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

The participation of the Nepali youths in the reconstruction and rebuilding of quake-damaged areas in the country has been stressed during the celebration of the International Youth Day here on Wednesday.

During the celebration, Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bam Dev Gautam paid tribute to the country’s youths. “We went through a huge loss from the quake but if we could lead the Nepalese youths in the right direction, they can be harnessed in the massive reconstruction efforts and take Nepal into greater heights,” Gautam said.

In his address during the celebration, Minister for Youth and Sports Purushottam Poudel also called on the Nepalese youths to help in creating a “healthy and productive manpower” so that Nepal can rise from the devastation and move forward.

The theme of Nepal’s International Youth Day celebration was ” Participation of Youth in Reconstruction.”

Part of the celebration was the presentation by the Ministry of Youth and Sports of the “National Youth Talent Awards” to seven dynamic youths and two youth organizations. The awardees were recognized for their invaluable contribution to the development of the nation, either at home or abroad, including those who have helped in the post-quake reconstruction efforts.

One of the awardees, Susmita Maskey, the first Nepalese woman to conquer seven summits, said that the recognition will ” encourage and motivate Nepalese citizens to bring more honor and prestige to the nation.”

More than 40 percent of Nepal’s population belongs to youth category, mostly in 19 to 40 age bracket.

Statistics show that around 3 million Nepalese youths are now working abroad, mostly in Middle East and Gulf countries.

Another awardee, Dr Rajiv Jha, a young scientist, said: “Today’ s Nepalese youths have both will power and capability to face difficult challenges. But what they primarily need is good education, an education that would help them carry out their duty of rebuilding the nation, particularly in the aftermath of the killer earthquake.”

Brabim Kumar, president of the Association of Youth Organizations Nepal (AYON), one of the awardees, told Xinhua that youths can play a major role in Nepal’s reconstruction since they have the capability to transform the society. “However, the government should be able to inspire and guide them,” Kumar said.

Under its “Youth Vision 2025,” Nepal is giving priority to five categories where the youths can play a major role: education, employment, health and social security, leadership and sports and entertainment.

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