Livelihood Fellowship Student: Ganesh Dhungana

Livelihood Fellowship Student: Ganesh Dhungana

        WDAC and TISS together lunched a program a while back, called “Post Graduate Diploma in Disaster and Livelihood Recovery program” in consideration with the massive earthquake that hit us last year and the after-effects that it left. Among many students who applied for the course, Ganesh Dhungana was one of the selected students.

Dhungana studied Rural Development as a postgraduate student at Tribhuvan University in Nepal, having graduated in Literature and Political Science from the University of Bangalore.

With more than a decade long training and experience in social work and leadership, he Has worked for many organizations till date. He has served as international secretary for World Organization of Students and Youths. He also worked as a council member of the US Embassy’s Youth Council. Presently, he is the Director of Action Nepal, a non-governmental organization that has been taking care of various developmental and awareness programs in Dhading. During a short Q&A session, he answered these questions and gave his personal thoughts.

How you got into your chosen field?
I prefer to say my passion and the destiny.     

Why do you want to pursue this course?
    This course for me is a platform for me to lead the pace of development projects that are linked with Disaster and livelihood recovery. Having experienced such a tremor, I felt the need of critical understanding of risk reduction and preparedness before such tragedy hits us again. So, I wanted to engage myself in activities here at TISS, so that I can foster my knowledge and be not just someone who wants to serve but someone who is capable to serve.

What are the different occupations practiced by different groups in your community?
The major groups of people residing in my community are Brahmin, Chhetris, dalit, janajatis, marginalized ethnic groups.
   There is no clear distinction in their work occupations. However, in generally, Brahmin and chhetris can be found engaged in government and private level jobs, tourism, agriculture and other business activities. Dalits are usually found working in iron-smith and other agricultural occupations.

How has the earthquake affected the livelihood of different individual groups’ in your community?
718 people has been reported killed in Dhading, and 702 people injured. Government estimates suggest that aprox 20,000 buildings have been completely destroyed and aprox 15,000 buildings damaged in the district.
   Recovery and rebuilding campaigns seem definitely peeking up the pace. However, lack of organization and management of the programs, I believe, has not addressed the disturbed behavior and economic practices of Dhading. Their income sources and standard of living plummeted rapidly depriving them of basic needs. More, specifically, from the fuel crisis not long ago, marginalized community, in particular has faced shortage of essential food items, scarcity of drinking water.

According to you, which livelihood sector (agriculture, livestock, service, tourism etc) needs urgent attention for disaster recovery and why?
     Agriculture and livestock is certainly the key areas which needs urgent attention. Especially in rural areas, where agriculture and farming has created a foundation and supports their survival. Many farm lands and agricultural land has certainly been reported destroyed. In such case, it is just like hitting them in the gut when they are still hungry.

+Bnay Shrestha - Business Student, Music Enthusiast

This Blog post is as part of collaboration as View Your Choice,an outreach partner of WDAC



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