The Ugliest side of Engagement with Ishani Shrestha, Miss Nepal 2013

The Ugliest side of Engagement with Ishani Shrestha, Miss Nepal 2013

by Radha Paudel
Chalise Salina: Dd congrats hai project smile awarded bhayachha tesma action works lai ni dherai dherai badhaii:9/27, 8:37am
Radha Paudel:what ? I do not get you ?can you tell me more !:9/27, 9:06am
Radha Paudel: now i get it, thank you dear, my dream fulfilled
I just entered in to the room of my hotel in Istanbul, Turkey and turned on my laptop, I received above message from Salina Chalise. Obviously, this news made me pleased. I got more information about it and congratulated to all my supporters in Jumla, Kathmandu and everywhere. Indeed, we spent so much time, efforts and money to get a single, simple smile J. People considered it as pride of nation; it was the first time in the history of Miss Nepal and so on. Unfortunately, I didn’t find the name of Action Works Nepal (AWON) except at the last banner of the video. I was surprised; where is the ethics? When I watched the official video twice, I was more than shocked, my heart shaked due to the sentence spelled by Ishani Shrestha, Miss Nepal  2013. She said `I was surprised me many of them do not even tooth paste and tooth brush’’. Then, I numbed how she dared to say so? It was in Kudari which is the almost urban and educated area. After a while, I again watched video to verify her saying I knew more facts from the video. She said, the AMA SAMUHA (mother’s group) formed spontaneously. Action Works Nepal  has been working since long to form groups and its mobilization.

 It is unhidden fact that was Action Works Nepal was since beginning; fund raising in Kathmandu, and Jumla. In Video, there was photo of me, Radha Paudel, as everywhere. Next day, I received many message from Jumla and others why did Ishani Shrestha more than insult Jumla people? What would like Action Works Nepal’s position against it because Ishani Shrestha was Jumla due to Action Works Nepal.
I had connected to Hidden Treasurer in March 2013 through one of my relatives for Jumla’s Peace project but it was diverted to Miss Nepal. We had gone through series of meetings with Ishani Shrestha, Hidden Treasurer and other related people. Finally, we agreed to go Jumla for dental camp where the documentary would proceed accordingly. Further, the field preparation, media mobilization and coordination was the responsibility of AWON and the financial parts (transportation, medicine, doctors) was the responsibility of Hidden Treasure or Miss Nepal 2013.  From the AWON, that agreement allowed transportation for two person. However, that entire project/activities should be followed the principles and working framework of AWON. AWON considered Ishani Shrestha, Miss Nepal, 2013 as MEET (volunteer).
One of my friend said me, wasn’t it cliché, when I shared the plan for Jumla visit along with Miss Nepal 2013. I debated with many friends, took challenges to involve Miss Nepal 2013 in to the journey of Action Works Nepal. Indeed, it was very good idea and breaking the stereotyped culture as well. As guided by the philosophy and strategy of the Action Works Nepal, anyone can join in its mission with positive mindset, passion and commitment e.g. Barak Obama and any street vendor.
Though our agreement was not signed formally but agreed and shared over emails. Based on that, the fund raising and media mobilization was moved in Kathamndu. 

Fund Raising in Basantpur Darbar Square

Fund Raising in Basantapur Darbar Square
Fund Raising in Patan Darbar Square

Fund Raising in Patan Darbar Square
The first and second fund raising event were gone in Basantapur Darbar Square and Patan Darbar Square respectively. I was badly disappointed by the friends who were with Ishani. Because he asked the torn clothes which was acceptable for the Jumla people. I stepped on stage and debated on his statement. How dare you were, you took back your statement, it was not dignified at all. I am Jumli and NOT acceptable at all. I also shared it with Hidden Treasurer that was non-negotiable for AWON. That was the reason that AWON team sorted out all materials on office again.

AWON team sorted out clothes 
AWON’s volunteers busy in packaging 

AWON’s volunteers busy in packaging Add caption

The dirty and torn clothes also donated 

The days moved on. Samjhana went to the Jumla a week before to manage everything includes information about dental camp, coordination with district stakeholders, community people, media mobilization and all. Ashes was along with Samjhana for assisting her (Unfortunately, Ashes never showed up after Jumla visit; reports, sharing, photos and all).
Samjhana was in Kudari with students

Samjhana and Ashesh in meeting at Kudari

Unfortunately, flight cancelled and flue next day in May 12 2014. People were keenly waiting to welcome us.  Samjhana was really supporting my mission by heart, everything was on hand. I was so pleased and proud of her.
Street Drama Perfomed by the youths 

Welcome by community

Deuda Song by youth and women

About 300 clients benefitted from the camp directly specially extracted of tooth. Many people came for filling of teeth which was not possible due to timing and funding. We also went to the Saphuli, for meeting women’s group, went to Triveni School and Kudari High school, everywhere appreciated. The support from local NGOs, clubs, schools, security, red cross, police were very much appreciated. 
Local Police Chief warmly welcomed us 
A senior Dr working 

 We shared funny stories specially I enjoyed about the Kathamdnu about 40 years back. We also lived in the birthing center of Kudari. However, there were dark sides of the camp; i) Ishani hesitated to join public for fooding as planned, ii) I was busy in taking care of pharmacy because I was worried about follow up and I noticed there were some errors. There was hanging the Ishani’s hospital banner in the gate, I saw it when I went out for food. I was mad, how they put on their banner without my permission. The Jumla’s activities; bad and good, were belonged with AWON. I asked Kehab Dhital (AWON’s staff) to take out. No one asked about it. I didn’t have any debate except photographer of Ishani though I didn’t feel that they were our partners, only donors.
Good bye from the Kudari 

Traditional dance encountered at HQ

Ishani and myself spoke over radio Nari Aawaj about camp and experience

When I arrived back to Nepal from Turkey, my collegues asked about the space and contribution of AWON in the Jumla’s trip.  Without support of local organization, there was merely not possible. Then I wrote and called to hidden treasurer but not connected. I also wrote email with note of disagreement.  The entire photo of Jumla was belonged with AWON’s working areas so we were expecting a call for review of video. We didn’t get anything though the Ishani’s work and video secure fifth position in World Miss 2013, that was first time for Nepal.

 We always proud what we contributed to make this happened . People often blamed to leaders and others but failed to do from their side. We forget ethics which we taught to others and expect from others. 

Through this article, I sincerely apologized from my team/friends and Jumla people who were hurt from the engagement with Ishani Shrestha, Miss Nepal 2013.’ 

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