Kathmandu, 19 December 2017: Shesh Narayan Poudel has been named as Nepal’s Integrity Idol Winner for 2017 amidst the ceremony witnessed by more than 600 national officials and dignitaries- including the honorable chairperson of Nepal Public Service Commission, the Chief Secretary of the Government of Nepal, foreign ambassadors, public servants, and engaged citizens.
Poudel, Assistant Chief District Officer of District Administration Office, Morang was chosen from over 1,000 nominees across the country. The other four finalists in the competition included Sabnam Pathak, an assistant forest officer in Kathmandu; Shivraj Bam, a teacher at Panchadev Secondary School of Kalikot; Srijana Tiwari, an Under Secretary in the Ministry of General Administration, Kathmandu; and Krishna Dhital, a Field Extension Officer of Agricultural Department, Dhulikhel.
Shesh Narayan Poudel first noticed about the problems going on in his workstation Morang, when the residents of a remote hamlet known as Burdibang had to encounter a costly and dangerous journey to obtain citizenship papers or a passport. So, he decided to facilitate these areas by setting up mobile services in order to help them access the services related to citizenship papers and passport. Additionally, he forwarded the mobile services programs in the earthquake-stricken places where the people had minimum access to their basic needs.Recently, he gained wider eminence due to the door to door visit program during the last year’s Terai flood. He dispatched public workers to go door to door visiting victims and set up a system to disseminate critical information to citizens and the media.
In the acceptance speech, Poudel thanked everyone for the annual award and stated: “I commit to serve as a public servant with more honesty and focus in my everyday efforts to assist citizens. This award has instilled more responsibility in me and has motivated me to continue to do better.”
Umesh Mainali, chairperson of Public Service Commission of Nepal, congratulated the winner as well as the four finalists. He even exhorted all the officials to provide their services with a smile as well as advance in making the public service more people-oriented throughout the country.
“I encourage all young people in Nepal to join us in this effort to ‘name and fame’ the leaders who uphold the Nepali values of honesty, integrity, and accountability. We are now focusing on building a network of integrity among these winners- we need to move away from a culture of corruption and highlight people who are serving the Nepali people honestly.” said Narayan Adhikari, Chief Executive Officer of Accountability Lab Nepal.
Honorary guest his Excellency Richard Morris, the British ambassador to Nepal said that he was inspired by this movement that was led by people to name and fame the honest government officials.
Integrity Idol is a citizen-run movement to identify and celebrate upstanding government officials. Originating in Nepal in 2014, Integrity Idol has since evolved into a global campaign in seven countries including Nepal, Liberia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Mali and South Africa and Sri Lanka. In addition to promoting honesty in government, Integrity Idol elevates positive role models and sparks important discussions at the community, national, and international levels about the importance of integrity and personal responsibility.
In Nepal, Integrity Idol has expanded from 300 nominees and 10,000 votes in 2014 to nearly 1100 nominees and over 40,000 votes in 2017, with millions viewing short films about the nominees on television and online.
By: Kabita Sen