Statement of Motivation for MUNDUS URBANO
I was brought up in a small suburb in the eastern mountain region of Nepal with poor service facilities. The school was operated in a small hut at about one hour walk from my home. The school building had three dark rooms without any furniture. We used to sit on the wooden planks over the dusty floor. We had no black boards and chalk .We used learn A, B, C....... on a wooden plank by a piece of Magnesite. My grandfather was my first mentor and a great friend, who had prepared me a wooden plank and colored it black for me to learn ABC...
My level of understanding and lifestyle dramatically changed, from the year 1988, when I was selected as a full scholarship student from my district in a well-facilitated school called Budhanilkantha in Kathmandu. The journey from a small hut to the Nepal’s most facilitated school was a drama in real life. The scholarship program transformed me so much. Geography was a fun to me when I was a high school student. We had a compulsory Geography paper up to grade VIII. I was excellent in Geography, particularly in Urban Geography and earned excellent marks. Similarly, I have been enjoying doing social services works and fund raising activities, since my boyhood. I was an active member of local youth club in my suburb. The club performed the town cleaning program, planted trees, raised funds to buy rubbish bins for streets, conducted health and sanitation awareness class for mothers in the slums and motivated them to built toilets.
When I began graduate study in Sociology, I had an opportunity to be exposed to the full ranges of courses in Urban Sociology, all of which tended to reinforce and solidify my intense interest in Urban Development. Studying Urban life and society was both enjoyable and enlightening, providing me with new and different perspectives on the world which we live. After completing Bachelors Degree, I became more interested in broadening my knowledge and skills in the field of Development. I might have become interested in Development because of the differences between the community where I was born and the community from where I got my high school education. I was more interested in broadening my knowledge and skills in the field of Urban Development However, there was no Urban Development Program in Nepal so I decided to become a fulltime student of the Rural Development in Tribhuvan University.
In the course of Rural Development, we had to study a paper on Rural Urban Linkage in Rural Development. From that course, I realized that Rural and Urban Development are complementary to each other and Development Studies is incomplete without the study of Urban Development .Urban and rural developments are interdependent to each other. For example Urban Areas depend on rural areas for raw materials, cheap labor force, where as Rural area depend urban areas for industrial goods, jobs and employments. The current problem in development is the migration of population from rural to urban areas. This problem is more serious in least developed countries .The population growth caused through migration has increased number of slums, urban pollution, environment degradation and pressures on natural resources like land water and forests. The problem is more serious in Nepal as migration rate from rural to urban area is very high due to internal displacement caused by 12 year long armed conflict. In the year 2005, I completed MA (Rural Development). My special research papers in MA are Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainable Development. More over I have also completed research in Community Forest Resource Management
After completing MA (Rural Development), I was offered to work in an Austrian NGO, Eco Himal, working in the field of ecology, tourism and cultural heritage in Nepal. I successfully completed by Assignment in Eco Himal in 2008 and joined Taragaun Development Board as a Tourism Resource Planner. While working with Taragaun I contributed in preparing Tourism Master Plan of several districts of Nepal. Similarly, I was also involved in Designing, Monitoring and Reporting of Nepal Tourism and Outdoor Environment Development project Phase II, supported by SOUMEN LATU, a Finnish Association for Recreational Activities around the rim of Kathmandu Valley in the year 2009. Currently I am with Rural Reconstruction Nepal with the capacity of Monitoring, Communication and Documentation Officer. I am responsible for designing, monitoring and reporting of a Conflict recovery Project supported by Canadian International Development Agency( CIDA).
I therefore have already developed career in development project designing, monitoring and reporting. I am already trained on various Urban Planning and Development tools such as facility location planning, service center location , preservation of environment and ecology in urban areas, waste management etc. However, I still feel that I need some theoretical, analytical and research skills to be a better Development practitioner. So I have applied for the MUNDUS URBANO programme. I would like to apply for Erasmus Mundus Scholarship for the expenses of the study, because it is beyond my imagination to study in European countries without the studentship, as my financial status is weak. Erasmus Mundus Scholarship is a great opportunity to obtain international standard education for student of third world countries.
As to the future in five years time, I hope to stand as a Policy researcher for cities, counties, regional agencies, and state agencies dealing with land development, environmental issues, housing, and transportation, or I will be working in the non profit sector working on the issues such as international grant agreement, the land development process, housing and environmental policy. There has been a lot of destruction in physical infrastructure of rural as well as urban areas during the 12 year long armed conflict in Nepal. In this context, decentralization and development of new service centers and new satellite towns near a big city in Nepal, can decrease migration of people from rural to urban areas in one hand and on the other it can decrease the widening gap between, larger urban centers and poor isolated rural areas. So my study in International Cooperation and Urban Development will not only be advantageous for my personal growth but also to the reconstruction of Nepal as a whole.
It is my hope that the MUNDUS URBANO course will provide me a lot of analytical skills on the of Urban Development such as Service center planning, International grant agreement, ecological and environmental issues in the urban areas, Sustainable development, urban society etc. I expect that MUNDUS URBANO course will be demanding, challenging, and exciting. So I consider it an important stepping-stone in achieving my goal of working for the conservation of the nature, in this planet. I am prepared and look forward to investing myself, my time, and my energy toward earning that degree. I hope I will be allowed to do so at your University.