A lot of social organizations are mushrooming these days with their specific and noble goals. However, very few have understood where the service is required most, addressing the accessibility of the receiver. Prem Bahadur Bohara is one such social activist, who dreams and works to see a developed Karnali (Samunnat Karnali).
Born in the lap of Himalayas in Majhpal village of Majhpal VDC in Dolpa district on 24th of Falgun, 2044 B.S, amidst the panoramic landscapes and unique topography, this 26 year old campaigner of change is proudly featured as Youth Legend Month’s Hero for the month of Falgun. The CEO of Siksha Nepal and Samunnat Karnali was a meritious student since childhood growing up to an enthusiastic young man working to bring change in Karnali with tireless devotion.
Born and raised in a joint family of 15 members, Prem spent a usual childhood like every other kids of Karnali sometimes through sun and sometimes through shades. He completed his lower-secondary education in s school, re-established by his grandfather, 20 minutes away from home and completed his higher secondary education, 6 hours away from home in the headquarter.
I wonder how I studied back then and still so many kids today do in a school with no books, no qualified teachers, no rules and regulations and no proper system there in my place, says Bohara. The season of Yarsha-gumba collection was and still is a fun part though, giggles he.
For higher education, he descended to Pokhara and joined P.N campus in education Maths but then later, deciding to join Arts, he came to Ideal school in Chabahil in Kathmandu.
Life was rolling on when he started visiting libraries and organizations and getting inspired and motivated to do something. Then that struck him to do something for his own place.
He opened an organization SIKSHA NEPAL with the purpose of distributing books to children of Karnali and officially registered it in 2012 A.D. With the aim of distributing 1,00,000 books and building libraries in 100 schools, Prem started off his journey under the project- A book to every kid with volunteers and supporters to eliminate illiteracy from Karnali by 2020 A.D. Successfully, he distributed 80,000 books in Dolpa.
“Starvation is when you don’t have anything to eat and survive on, not when you can’t get the food you crave to have.”
Bohara who strongly put this sentence forward, believes people in Karnali have all the potential to grow what they need to survive and develop their place and not get marked in the list of starvation. All they need is self-realization of this matter.
“Duh There’s a lot of political game in distribution of crops there”, mocks he. “A three crore building, set up by donors, called hospital, has one doctor but what is it that people need? The highly infrastructured set up of cement or a qualified doctor to treat their illness? “
Prem believes the locals have been misled by the concerned authority by tempting them of foodstuffs in return of their hasty work in the false name of development. Hence, he sees a lot many changes are needed that are possible only through literacy in regard of which, he’s working tirelessly.
LIFE: A chance, one should not miss to live.
LOVE: ( Looooove-A long stretch) Love is me -Prem ( Laughs). Ummm, love is the foundation where the world stands.
HAPPINESS:I got this one-lifetime-opportunity to live, which is happiness to me.
MONEY: A tool of living.
SOCIAL WORK: A responsibility
YOUTH: Youth is something that’s better defined by energy rather than age.
LEADER: The one who pushes others ahead so they will follow him/her.
POLITICSBy meaning, it’s serving the nation.
BEFORE I DIE: I want to live my life making sure that I won’t be a prey to the traps of my own thoughts or of others.
1. Who is Prem Bohara for you?
Prem Bohara is not only a dreamer but its follower as well.
2. How do you define your childhood?
Having to spend my childhood days in a remote village of Dolpa in a joint family, I faced a lot of struggle as a child, which no wonder, every child there is supposed to face.
Waking up early in the morning to assist my parents in their chores, walking through that fierce climate with heavy loads on back, having to walk hours to reach school were what defined my childhood. However, I’d say my childhood went as good and as happy as any other children in the district.
3.What is Saakshar Karnali?
Saakshar Karnali is the first initiative of Samunnat Karnali via which we plan to make all the 134 VDCs of Karnali literate by the end of 2020. According to government data, there are 1,52,000 illiterates in Karnali and we aim to make them all literate for which out of 10,000 literacy classes required, 60 are to be conducted this year, 12 have kicked off and others in the pipeline.
By means of Saakshar Karnali, we aim to make a VDC literate a year that’ll be a model and then next year, 10 other VDCs, next year 23 more, next year 40 more and the last one and half year, 60 more VDCs by conducting literacy classes, altogether covering all the 134 VDCs of Karnali.
I dream to see a developed Karnali (Samunnat Karnali). A Karnali, where every citizen will realize what they need, what they have, what they can do and what others are doing for them because realization is an utterly important thing. Saakshar Karnali is my way and first initiative to this.
4. What do you think is keeping Karnali from being developed unlike other zones of the country?
I believe realization is the most important characteristic that every individual must have.
People say locals of Karnali are suffering from starvation and that government doesn’t supply ample food-grains (particulary, rice) up there. But, when you have the land and the climate that supports ample production of other crops like millet, buckwheat, why do you need rice to stay away from starvation?
Why can’t you realize what you have and what you can do instead of waiting for others to spoon-feed you?
Similarly, people of Karnali ought to be aware that unless and until they awaken their will and wish, they will not find any way to growth just from the support of outsiders.
It’s not that Karnali has no potential. It’s got the country’s most panoramic landscapes and sceneries that can be a major income source in tourism but people are still not conscious of the asset they have. And for this, literacy is a must.
5. What are you currently busy at?
Currently, I’m involved in a fund-raising program for three months for Saakshar Karnali under the project- EK DIN. Thanks to every single person who’ve been with me all along in this initiative.
6. What is your future plan?
I plan to run Saakshar Karnali effectively and efficiently along with my personal initiatives. I want locals of Karnali to realize their potentials and know that local initiative is way too important for sustainable development over any development projects of outsiders which just come, perform its assigned job but failing in durability and go. So, basically I plan to extend the coverage of literacy to 100% in Karnali by 2020
7. What message do you want to leave to young generation?
If you call yourself youth, then make sure you have that energy that defines it. Do anything but with your will and wish. Dream and then step ahead to grasp it.
8.What is your Life-Mantra?
Everyone has a spark inside them. Some are dim, while some glow. Each person needs to ignite it to its full radiance.
May your all dreams for progress of Karnali and our country get full filled. Best Wishes from Youth Legend.
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