Civil Scholarship worth NRs. 14,500/- (Fourteen thousand five hundred Nepali rupees) plus bag and other stationary items have been distributed to 40 students from earthquake-affected Gorkha (19 April 2018) and Gorkha (23 April 2018) districts. The scholarship was distributed by NRNA-Thailand (Non-Resident Nepalese Association – Thailand) and Mega Bank Nepal Ltd.’s financial contribution and Civil Initiative’s management, plus the volunteer support by Kantipur City College (KCC).

A total of 10 under-privileged students each from Himalaya Secondary School (Saurpani), Siddhartha Secondary School (Jaubari) of Barpak-Sulikot Rural Municipality and Nikabhoome Secondary School (Babre) and Kalinag Secondary School (Sunkhani) of Kalinchok Rural Municipality have been benefitted with the scholarship.

The then president of NRNA-Thailand and current NRNA International Coordination Council Member, Prof. Khagendra Dhakal, who led the establishment of the scholarship initiative, has congratulated all civil scholars and schools. Last year in June 2017, the then Hon’ble Education Minister Gopal Man Singh inaugurated the scholarship fund worth NRs. 35,89,999/- (Thirty five lakhs eighty nine thousands nine hundred and ninety nine Nepali rupees). In capacity of president of NRNA-Thailand, Professor Dhakal of Educational Linguistics at King Mongkut’s University of Technology, Bangkok handed the sum to Civil Initiative, a non-profit service-oriented organization. Mega Bank Ltd. has declared to add three lakhs to the sum annually.

The scholarship amount of NRs. 14,500/- annually continues till the scholars reach class 12. The amount has been decided by an informal survey of the expenditures on clothes, shoes, snacks, stationary items and bag. The scholarship criteria includes that the beneficiaries must be a regular student from class 9 till class 12 at community schools, must belong to disadvantaged group, earthquake or conflict-affected, disabled, under poverty line, orphan or with single parent or disabled parent and so on.

A total of 20 disadvantaged students each from Gorkha and Dolakha were distributed the scholarship sum. In the scholarship distribution program at Gorkha on 19 April (Thursday) and at Dolakha on 23 April (Monday), Vice-President of NRNA-Thailand (Mahendra Shrestha), Treasurer (Kanchha Gurung Gabo), representative of Mega Bank (Dinesh Paneru), executive member of Civil Scholarship Committee and Managing Director of Kantipur City College (Pralhad Karki), event coordinator (Rajiv Timalsina) and other volunteers (Bishwas Khanal, Ramesh Pokharel) were present.

Prof. Dhakal said the major problem of Nepal’s school-level education is the alarming dropout rates by the time students reach class 12. The Civil Scholarship was established to tackle this problem too. He stressed that the government of Nepal’s focus should also be on continuity of schooling rather than only on admission.

The scholarship was distributed from the interest of the fixed fund and this will sustain forever, said Hemant Raj Dahal, Director of Civil Initiative and Coordinator of Civil Scholarship Committee. He adds that since the scholarship consists of individual contributions from their own pockets and organizational contributions, the benefits are certain to fully reach the beneficiaries. According to Assajit Awale, the current president of NRNA-Thailand, the funds were raised from different sources including a 5-day Nepal festival 2015 in Bangkok, royalty from a book entitled Everest Base-Camp and other different programs. He adds that now his duty remains to conduct more fund-raising activities to add to the funds.

The Civil Scholarship Committee takes the responsibility of scholarship distribution and consists of NRNA-Thailand president as ex-officio member. A local committee will decide the scholarship distribution and is composed of Chair of School Management Committee in the lead and school’s principal, ward chairperson and representatives from local community as members.

General Secretary of NRNA-Thailand, Ravi Maharjan, thanked the Embassy of Nepal, Government of Thailand, all Thai foundations and individuals who supported the cause of NRNA-Thailand to support the earthquake-affected victims in Nepal since 2015.