Bikalpa: An Alternative is a think tank in Biratnagar whose mission is to protect the individual rights of Nepalese citizens and advocate for policies that increase economic freedom through research, education and public engagement. NFS has supported their Liberty Discussion program in 2018 and also training in India for some of their youth.
The purpose of these two hour twice monthly Liberty Discussion programs is to engage and educate core members of Bikalpa and new comers on the issue of public policy, political economy and liberal values. Discussions are about contemporary issues and based on a selected article which is shared beforehand through social media so that members can prepare before coming to the discussion.
This session was on Street Vendors – The Way Forwards
Recent topics have been Understanding Poverty and Prosperity; Why Freedom Matters and Creating Jobs vs Creating Wealth; Why China is Growing so Fast; Minimum Wages and Street Vendors
In addition 4 Bikalpa team members were to attend the 3 day I- Policy Training at the Centre for Civil Society in Delhi which is well established and has 8000 graduates. It is a three day certificated course in Public Policy which teaches analytical reasoning and critical thinking through debates, case studies and working groups as well as other aspects of public policy.
This is the story of one of them Riwaz Dahal. My journey to the ‘ipolicy training for young leaders’ by CCS scheduled on 6-8 April 2018 started 3 days prior to the course. One way Journey of 11 hours journey in a night in bus from Biratnagar to Patna, and 28 hours more in train from Patna to Mumbai, I reached Mumbai on the evening of 5 April 2018.
In a nutshell, the training strengthened my philosophical play and left a great deal of awareness about policy making and the journey left me more confident and determined as I am finally on back in my city, looking to contribute to the society through all I learnt in the trip.
The session ‘Trade is not a zero sum game’ focused on how everyone benefitted with free trade
In total 20 events will have been held in Britnagar, Nepal with around 35 young participants who learnt about public policy, political economy and liberal values and 4 young people attended Ipolicy schools, one in Delhi and three in Nepal.