29th August 2014
This year’s monsoon has certainly taught us many lessons, but the one that came in a bucket outwitted all the others. Over the last few weeks, social media activists have taken the initiative to help people affected by the floods and landslides in Nepal by volunteering and nominating their friends and families to ‘Fill-the-Bucket’ with basic goods and medication supplies, which they thought would be needed by fellow citizens affected by the 'monsoon-disasters'.
While the buckets reach the relief areas, following an overwhelming response, we'll talk about how the bucket-challenge is more than just a help-initiative; it is, in fact, the example of an active democracy!
In the last seven decades, Nepal has undergone five political revolutions--almost a revolution per decade-- leaving the citizens rather bewildered about their responsibilities under an ever changing national political framework.
In its midst, Nepalis were usually drawn to believe that a citizen's accountability is limited to paying taxes and casting votes.
The Nepali people may have forgotten that, ‘the people of Nepal,’ are actually the government of Nepal under a democratic framework, which has been the leading political philosophy behind the three out of the five national revolutions since the 1950’s.
In this regard, the bucket initiative exemplifies the foundations of democracy by restoring a sense of responsibility on to Nepali citizens by empowering them to play an active and positive role, and contribute in times of need, equally and directly.
If it was not for an initiative like Fill-the-Bucket challenge, which was introduced to help fellow citizens affected by disaster, we all would be content with the taxes we pay and the governments we elect-- merely half of what responsible Nepali citizens are actually capable of doing during times of need.
More than 35 landslides and several flash floods occurred in the country with the onset of monsoon in Nepal this year. Over 200 people were killed in the incidents and thousands were displaced.
Home ministry spokesman Laxmi Prasad Dhakal said that outbreak of various diseases were also feared for in the affected areas.
The monsoon rains also damaged roads across the country, especially the western plains.
Though the annual monsoon rain is crucial for agriculture and irrigation, Nepal witnesses several new and reactivated landslides and flash floods every year, causing loss of lives and property.
During such times of need, the Nepali people need to come together and force a united effort to help one another. This is the true essence of an active democratic Nepal where the People ‘OF’ Nepal, ‘BY’ their direct efforts, are there, ‘FOR’ the people of Nepal.
Fortunately, through the likes of Fill-the-Bucket initiative, we have witnessed that Nepali citizens have realised their responsibilities and have started playing a more constructive role from ground up.
However, there is always room for improvement and much more can be achieved through the growth of liberty, unity, equality and responsibility amongst Nepali people.
Much more could be done not only in the aftermath of events, but also in the pre-disaster front--in the monsoons to come.