Kathmandu, December 25, 2016: Accountability Lab, an organization catalyzing a new generation of active citizens and responsible leaders around the world, has announced the culmination of the third national campaign to identify and celebrate Nepalâ€™s most honest government officials. As lack of integrity remains at the heart of Nepalâ€™s challenges and citizens often feel like they are helpless to do anything about it, through Integrity Idol, the organizer seeks to engage them in a positive discussion about these issues and bring about a change.
After the successful campaigns in last year two years, in which Pradip Kanel and Gyan Mani Nepal were crowned the countryâ€™s Integrity Idols, hundreds of youth of Nepal again asked citizens all over the country to nominate public servants that they feel embody the values of integrity, transparency, and accountability. This year, the competition received over 850 nominations from every corner of the country and a panel of judges selected five finalists: Tara Subedi, Bindu Kunwar, Bhisma Kumar Bhusal, Dor Bikram Shrees and Krishna P Dhanchha.
â€œThis year, Nepal has needed government officials with integrity more than ever. This campaign brings Nepalis across the country into a conversation about what this means. It will generate support for those civil servants within the system who are serving the public good. Highlighting their excellent work in public- in an independent way that builds a positive narrative- it allows us to build trust with those in power and make sure they are acting on our behalf, and feel part of a positive movement- that they can help to build,â€ says Narayan Adhikari, Accountability Lab Country Representative. â€œWith Integrity Idol, in 10 years we want to see a young generation, the future civil servants who will say, we want to win the award, and to do this we have to do good work and maintain our integrity and accountability,â€ he adds.
The organizer has filmed and recorded all five contestants; and TV and radio programmes showcasing the finalists are being aired on Nepali national televisions between December 22nd and 29th. The features can also be seen online at the Integrity Idol website: www.integrityidol.org.
One can choose their preferred contestant online or via SMS byÂ sending IIN <Space>short code to 34001. The voting process ends on December 31.
The winner of the competition will be announced on January 5, 2017, amidst a national ceremony in Kathmandu.
Intro of the Integrity Idol Finalists:
Tara Subedi is a Health Assistant at Mainabudhuk Health Post in Dhankuta and sees public service through the lens of social responsibility. Her first and foremost priority has always been the wellbeing of her community; even waking up in the middle of the night to deliver medicine to a patientâ€™s house. Going the extra mile as a health assistant, she has even used her own saree to wrap a newborn after delivery.Â She has gained immense trust in her community, so much that children only take their medicine in her presence and women prefer only to consult Subedi on family planning.
Similarly, BinduÂ Kunwar is a Women Development Inspector in Jumla. While many can take up responsibilities, only a few are able to stand up to the challenges that arise when fighting for justice for victims of violence. Kunwar is among the few. â€˜Seek Kunwar if you need justiceâ€™ is the saying among the women of Banke. She has single-handedly dealt with more than twelve hundred cases of orphans, women who are victims of violence, and senior citizens seeking justice. Residents of Banke already miss Kunwar after her recent transfer to Jumla.
Meanwhile, Bhishma KumarÂ Bhusal, an Under-Secretary at National Reconstruction Authority is well known for his ability to empathize with the public. But more importantly, he is known for being a public servant with integrity and his firm stance against corruption. He has even written several poems and songs to raise awareness around corruption. A man with belief that transparency is one of the strongest tools of a public servant, he is currently creating an online platform to make the details of the earthquake reconstruction process public so that anyone can monitor the progress from anywhere in the world.
Whereas Dor BikramÂ Shrees, Principal of Siddhababa Higher Secondary School in Gulmi is a dedicated public servant and an outstanding administrator, who is a favorite among teachers, students, and guardians alike, and a trusted member of the community. To implement practical and timely learning in the school, he has initiated compulsory computer classes, equipped each classroom with multimedia equipment, and requires each student to read at least one book outside of school curriculum every month. He also involves guardians of the students in all decision-making through regular meetings and provides financial updates through regular bulletins.
Similarly, Krishna PrasadÂ Dhanchha, Principal at Bageshwari Higher Secondary School in Bhaktapur is such a person who has taken up the responsibility towards his school as well as his community. Many schools closed following the catastrophic earthquakes last year, but Dhanchha â€“ despite being affected by the earthquake himself â€“ worked selflessly and tirelessly to make sure students in his community had a space to continue their studies. He makes sure to involve the guardians of more than four thousand students in the school in every process of the school reconstruction, creating a culture of â€œWe, not Meâ€.