Sitting in the last row of sumo with a pulpy light of dusk outside, I was busy imagining the grand success of Project DebatEast until the roller coaster road of Sindhuli squeezed us with amusements which later turned out to be irritating, though. So, it was June 1 when I, Monalisa, Pratap, and Jamuna as the members of Debate Network Nepal(DNN) headed towards the eastern Nepal where two of our other members, Rijan and Sushil had already reached and were busy managing things to conduct debate training in schools over there. The project DebatEast included 4-5 hours long training on the parliamentary debating format in the schools of Jhapa, Sunsari, and Morang; leading to the local tournaments of the schools in these districts, and finally the regional tournament of the teams qualified from the local tournaments with a motto of promoting parliamentary debating culture.
We, the group of six DNN members split into two teams and conducted training in the schools in parallels. While Monalisa and Pratap got into some important works to be done in the capital, they returned after 15 days; we got the other two amazing partners, Nishma and Pawan in their place. Due to the time limitations, we could only train 21 schools and organize three local tournaments i.e. in Dharan, Damak, and Inaruwa. The two teams from each Nepali and English category qualified from the local tournaments were invited to the Finals of DebatEast i.e. regional tournament that was organized at the SOS School in Itahari. Mr. Pradeep Raj Ghimire, Chairperson of DNN and Mr. Raj Kharel, the Project Director along with Executive members Mr. Shailesh Lamichhane and Mr. Bipul Pandey also joined the DebatEast team in the finals. Eureka school of Dharan and SOS school of Itahari became the champions in English and Nepali category respectively. For the further continuation of parliamentary debate in the eastern part, we managed to form a debate club in every school we trained, that will finally resemble to be the member of the Eastern Chapter of Debate Network Nepal.
As to celebrate the grand success of Project DebatEast, we, the team moved towards Ilam, which served us with a real stream of tranquil nature. The journey then continued towards Darjeeling. While half of the people from the team returned to Kathmandu from Darjeeling, the remaining half headed towards Sikkim. And, luckily, I was also the one among the team to be roaming around Sikkim.
Finally, after 33 days of fun and learnings, I am back with a mind full of memories. Believe me, the enthusiasm and support of the students and the school administrations while training and tournaments were just enough to motivate us to fight against the utmost heat and remain persistent with our motto which has further encouraged us to promote parliamentary debating culture throughout whole Nepal. Project DebatEast has not only helped me to grow myself as a trainer and as an organizer, but also assisted me to learn to cope up with a team work in a better manner, and undoubtedly an amazing travel for which I am heartily grateful towards Debate Network Nepal family. Kudos DNN!
By Barsha Bhandari
The writer is a Plus Two graduate from Bridgewater International College and is currently doing her internship at Glocal Khabar.