Five exemplary government officials were awarded as Integrity Icons for 2019 by Accountability Lab Nepal at a public event held on 27 September,2019. The officials who have been recognized for their integrity includes Mr. Gyanendra Kumar Mishra, Section Head under the Ministry of Forest and Environment’s Project Facilitation Section with the title Integrity with Courage; Mr. Ishwar Subedi, Food Investigation Officer at the Department of Food, Technology and Quality Control with the title Integrity with Innovation; Mr. Kajiman Rai, Chief Administrative Officer of the Chulachuli Rural Municipality in Illam with the title Integrity with Action; Mr. Prem Bahadur Darai, a teacher at Shree Bhanu Secondary School in Dhumsichaur, Tanahun with the title Integrity with Inspiration ; and Ms. Punya Prabha Devkota, a senior Auxiliary Nurse Midwife at the District Hospital in Mugu with the title Integrity with Compassion . They received their awards from Mr. Anupraj Sharma, chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission. Accountability Lab organizes this global campaign every year to celebrate honest government officials.
The selection process was carried out by an independent panel of judges who went through a rigorous selection process. The judges included Mr. Suryanath Upadhyaya, a former Commissioner of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority; Ms Jiwan Prabha Lama, former Secretary of the Government of Nepal; Mr. Kashiraj Dahal, Chairman of the High Level Administrative Reforms Monitoring Committee; and Mr. Punya Prasad Neupane, Executive Director of the Nepal Administrative Staff College.
Among the five, Mr. Kajiman Rai, Chief Administrative Officer of Chulachuli Rural Municipality received the highest number of votes from the public and achieved the “Popular Choice Award.”
Congratulating the five Icons, Mr. Anupraj Sharma, chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission commented: “These days when people are giving priority to materialistic happiness Integrity Icon has come up with an innovative and positive practice to promote Integrity. When we look at the history, people with integrity have always been the real change makers. I look forward to seeing these icons continue their journey of being change agents in our public service.”
The Integrity Icon campaign began in Nepal in 2014 and is now a global campaign that is run in 8 different countries including Liberia, Pakistan, Mali, South Africa, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Mexico.
Mr. Narayan Adhikari, CEO and Co-Founder of Accountability Lab Nepal said the time had come to empower young local leaders in government and civil society “who can form the vanguard of a new generation of responsible leaders”. “Young people are taking charge and demanding change on a number of social, economic and political issues. That is not to suggest the older generation do not have a role to play — quite the opposite. They have to act as role models and understand how to change systems as they pass through them. It is up to us to support them in achieving integrity for their future, and future generations to come,” Mr. Adhikari said.