Charity Model: Doubt for Sustainable Development or Social Transformation
Many people asked me with doubt and irate manner, so aren’t you working as nurse? Or why do you leave your nurse job? Or so many others when they knew me as nurse in my introduction. Originally, I did staff nurse, I practiced Anaesthetic Assistant Nurse for 24/7 hours for 4 years and by specialization, I am public health nurse. The additional degrees added value to understand the dynamics of society and its growing pattern through the lens of health education, sociology and development from home town to aboard. Even today, I am working in public health in many ways. I always feel pride and proud of my nursing profession, gives an added value while working in any forms of crisis such as Maoist insurgency 2001-2006, 2006/2007 people war, Madhesh movement in 2007 and 2015, Koshi flood 2008 or Earthquake 2015.
Last winter was the first winter after the devastating earthquake April 25, 2015 in Nepal. The media continuously reported that the morbidity and mortality is increasing in those affected areas. Sadly, the government failed to demonstrate its seriousness and people have experienced of severely shortages of essential materials due to more than 5 months’ protest in Terai by Madhes leaders. Everywhere the culture of work and quality shrank at the name of protest.
Likely as Jure landslide, Darchula flood or any upheaval situation since history, Nepal has few hearts and intellectuals who take care of these casualties which is practice in Nepali society since civilization as part of satisfaction, fortune or duty or religion etc. This is a kind of humanitarian work; it is important but not effective as intended at large.
Mostly, from the developed countries, donors or supporters have already learned from their doings. Today, they are seeking impact or sustainability of their deeds in developing countries. Unfortunately, Nepalese folks are unable to learned from them and they are repeating the same kinds of malpractices no matter whether they are in Nepal or outside, individual or institution including Non Residence Nepalese. It is more rampant due to introduced of social and other media.
Perfection is not possible everywhere but the vision should be for perfection. Government, NGO (INGOs/UNs) have best leaders no matter whether policies flourish or not but largely occupied by non-real heroes due to poor enforcement of policies and systems, systemic corruption and mostly occupied by incompetent bureaucrats. The government should hold accountability but not happened and NGOs are rarely representing the independent civil society.
Since childhood, I am following either blaming or naming mostly associated with feudal mind set. Many of us very keen to recognize as social worker, or praising by others or awards without gauzing the magnitude of commitment, hardship, contribution towards sustainability. Mostly, Nepali society start to praise at the name of person, position, politics, personal benefit or power. Many people are blaming to government, but not ready to develop or contribute to monitor the poor governance system of government. I saw many intellectuals paid money under the table at the name of rapid response, or comfort or culture. Likewise, many intellectual blamed to NGOs and doing the same or less at the name of social work. Each organization should fulfil the basic criteria of government, and one day , it demands money and people to expand the work and organization. This is very normal phenomena but the governance is most important and urgency everywhere. In Nepal, at the name challenge or quality of good practice or political strategy, many organizations are in existence but they are charity in model largely. The new comers who like to work in development or social work not ready to listen the reality or fully occupied by prejudices. In other hand, the NGOs are not ready to create space for new comers. There is huge scarcity of mutual trust instead of commitment and resources. Usually, people don’t like to talk or associated with organization which hasn’t has resources and usually thinking about the personal benefit from the resources instead of people.
For instance, if someone encountered or heard the news about poor kid, everyone showed their kindness by giving money to. They do forget simple steps to follow; i) explore the underlying causes of poor, ii) explore the economic condition family and support them for their livelihood, iii) support to school to take care of that kid, iv) initiate foster family, v) lobby, advocacy for policy reform and enforcement. Sadly, the so called social workers compete to support that kid, bring to Kathmandu and put in hostel or orphan home. The media started praise the person who donate or support. No one even imagine the long term of impact of that kid, family and impact to the society both in Kathmandu or respective village and country at large.
When the news came of dying due to cold in earthquake areas. Many recognized people asked for money or clothes for that. They also forget to follow same simple steps; i) put pressure to government to take care of government, ii) to identify the organizations who have experience and working for that and joined the hand with them, iii) mobilize the local leaders. Till date, most of the Nepali people do donate very dirty, or bad clothes while someone asking the clothes for survivors of landslide or flood or fire or anything since long. The dignity of poor or victims or survivors is not accounting in charity work for them which is so sad and irony too. Without considering the culture on clothes, purchasing capacity of the villagers and future impact, clothes are distributing where the expectation of villagers are high or changing mind-set or dependent.
While Nepal encountered with earthquake, each restaurant and programs were talked about it and urgency of help in Europe or USA. Most of the people donated. Many organizations are registered and started to work who don’t know the exact need of the people, culture of respective place or so on. They have accessed with language and media, they mobilized the people. They also come with their family and children and brought them field and distributed the materials. No doubt, they have done something for people as temporary but they have done more on their tourism, educate their children on humanitarian work, recognize as social worker, spent more money while travelling and other associated expenses. More sadly, they mislead the mind of poor people by making them pampered and dependent by giving modern materials, money etc. instead of empowering them. Even in the emergencies there are many ways of empowering. Even the money or materials raised from charity approach can use as right of the affected people and society.
Nepali folks should be only one healers for people who are crisis from the natural disaster, human made crisis or social injustice. But these healing hands should go with love, trust, acceptance and looking forward the social transformation and sustainability no matter whether we have a single rupee or piece of clothes.