The Gardener

A beautiful Saturday morning. A day, to leave all the busy routine work and worries behind to freely enjoy the world passing by. I too was enjoying my moment of relaxation and with the view of my beautiful front garden. A truly blissful sight to see beautiful flowers blooming, with shiny rain drops in their petal, left behind by the rain of previous night. I had seen our gardener plant the sapling a month before, and now I was enjoying the fruit of his hard work and effort.

With a wonderful feeling in my heart and head I gazed upon the sight before my eyes. With a feeling of proud ownership to my garden, I continued sipping my coffee while different thoughts passed my head. Just then a sense of comparison arose in my mind. My garden representing my country. The children of our nation as the gardeners and the bloomed flowers as the product of the gardener’s hard work.

It is true, as I say we Nepalese love our motherland and fellow countrymen with our lives. And the current post earthquake disaster’s situation clearly defines it. The unity and credibility that Nepalese have shown has been praised by global community worldwide. Now for the bitter truth, its true to say that marginal half the population would leave the country if opportunity strike for foreign settlement. Reason why? Well its simple, for the fact of living a better life.

Our country falls under the list of underdeveloped nations, and we know it. Here we lack in all the sectors of development. Even for basic need fulfillment, it’s a farfetch condition. People in this country still suffer and lose their life because of simple preventable diseases, lack of education and knowledge and ill practices. Yes, it may be justifiable to some extent for people to go abroad in search of better lives because when the country has nothing to offer why should the citizens suffer. But have we ever thought the justifiability from a nations point of view. At minimum 20 years an individual spends his/her life from birth to become a self supporting productive age group. A nation invests its valuable resources in an individual at the most vital period of time (non – productive age) in aim of reaping the result at the harvesting period (productive age), but this culture of immigration has lead bankruptcy of productive age from the nation. Thus, quality manpower decline and the nation suffers the loss.

An example can be taken from the condition of district Sindhupalchwock. After the devastating earthquake of 12th Baisakh, 2072 it was shockingly realized that 90% of the populations working group (economically-productive age group) have immigrated to foreign labor. Leaving only children and elderly in the district. From this I realized why our country is still falling far behind, despite having the quality and ability to grow into a prosperous nation. We always have a tendency to ask, have we realized it’s time to give? Why do we ask what our country has given us? When we should be answering, why are our efforts and physical resources being spent in foreign land?

I believe it’s only possible for us to organize ourselves for the development of our nation when every individual can be dedicated and loyal to his/her country, then progress is evitable. How did Japanese and Germans build their nation after world war II? Through dedication and commitment. We are the gardeners of our garden. Its our duty and responsibility to keep our garden to is best condition. Bloom the garden with flowers of development. It may not sound as easy as it looks, but if we wish to see beautiful flowers bloom in our garden, then we should also be ready to dig the ground, get messy dirt all over our clothes, plant the sapling and nurture it with love and affection. It takes dedication and constant hard work but is worth the while when we see the end result, isn’t it?

Ever individual should act within their capability and identify their responsibility. They should work in their field of expertise for continuous development, then only our nation can prosper. We all know the proverb, “Rome wasn’t build in a day”, don’t we. A feeling of patriotism cannot be taught or given knowledge about. Its about building a moral character which we Nepalese have always stand for. We should start it within ourselves, say I care and I will do.

As I rested down my empty coffee mug, I proudly said to myself, “I am a gardener of my garden”.

1 Like

Dear Gardener @Saksham_Suvedi, thank you for presenting your opinion. Definitely in the period of reconstruction lack of young force is even more visible - but these are also great times to bring them back and offer them work. and figure out how to make sure there will be enough of it after the country is rebuilt. Provide them with trainings and compelling ideas on how to organise themselves in their small places in order to profit from resources available there and some extra work. Provide them with sufficient ways of transporting things to remote areas, so it doesn’t take 7 days to bring apples from farms to the nearest market - a great example of how prices become too high to compete just because of the poor infrastructure.

There is also some positive movement happening - I ended up meeting dozens of young, well educated Nepali who came from prestigious studies abroad and decided to live here. A lot of them. If only their efforts go more towards creating better opportunities for excluded and poor people (instead of simply augmenting the wealth of their families - as most of them went abroad to study because of their families’ status, using their privileged social position - and it’s their duty first of all to use these assets to make sure that other people who do the hard, hands on work have decent conditions and incentives to stay), soon this country can be at its best, having great workforce and educated people who bring and execute bright ideas.  Or?

I think Nepal is on the right path to achieve it, let’s just hope people will stay focused on the right things.

The collective action problem

@Saksham_Suvedi, I think you clearly identified one of the biggest development challenges in Nepal. I’ve seen it “live” for a bit in a village in Dhading we visited shortly after the earthquake to bring some relief goods. The village had women, old men and children, but very few to none working-age men. Ten days after the quake, they had not even started clearing the debris or to rebuild anything. And how could they?

However, I think it’s also very much understandable what drives people abroad. Because on an individual level, it makes total sense: everyone else is leaving, and the work of building a better Nepal is way too much for those still in the country (or the young becoming adults now). So they try to leave as well, as all the better options are abroad then. However if everyone else would suddenly decide to stay and work for building a better Nepal, those tempted to leave would also stay. Because suddenly, it becomes realistic that the work can be done.

This is an example of what I’d call the collective action problem: it’s where an individual’s reasonable decision depends on what the group is doing. Since the group is harder to influence than the individual, individuals will follow the group and not vice versa.

What you get is typical herd behaviour, which is very hard to change. Emphasizing values and appealing to peoples’ morals (as in the article above) can support a change once it happens, but not cause it (imho). In the case of Nepal, because it’s so much more reasonable to go than to stay … for each individual.

However what could help is collective decision making at the smallest scale that pays off for participants. It’s a bit similar to crowdfunding and its funding thresholds. People would make conditional promises like “I will stay (or come back) for at least 3 years if 300 other people from my village also stay for as long.” Then, once the campaign collected enough support for the condition to come true, everyone has to keep the promise. And it makes sense for everyone to keep it, because with some hundred people working together, a village can for sure fix its infrastructure, develop its “business plan” etc…

The best (and only … duh) real-world example for this that I know is Free State Project. I don’t share their ideology, but the way they organize is inspiring. They are now close to their target of 20,000 people promising to move across the U.S. to the “most free state”.