KATHMANDU, July 31: Gaurav Kandel is a mass of energy, judging from the fact that he seems to be always on the move. Though the 23 years old is a student of Bachelor’s in Sociology and Anthropology and Rural Development at Orbit International College, he’s more of a “change maker” who believes that one should not hesitate to give advice and share ideas.
Gaurav’s been “creating change” ever since he was 13 and he brought together a school play that pleasantly surprised his school principal.
A decade has gone by since you started your personal campaign of advising and sharing ideas. What have you been doing?
I don’t think it is right to hesitate to meet people and explain any idea that may be helpful. I’ve been involved with a number of projects. In the decade that has followed, I’ve been a freelance journalist, hosted radio programs, made short films, worked as a part of a marketing team, been introduced to Art of Living, conducted leadership training classes and shared the ideas in my head with many people. I initiated the blog, View Your Choice, in 2007 and today I run it with the help of my team. I’m also a coordinator for the United Nations Youth and Students Association of Nepal and a member of the U.S. Embassy Youth Advisory Council Nepal.
What do you think the youth in Nepal possess or lacks?
It used to puzzle me that while those in their twenties are definitely doing things, the teenagers were holding back. I believe that the youth in Nepal are very intelligent and smart. They don’t lack great ideas as I found out through the Share Your Dream contest that View Your Choice is doing along with Apabad and Underground Talkies. What they need is encouragement to start turning their dreams into reality. If I could share one advice, I would tell the youth that they need to intern and start their apprenticeship right after they join high school. Education is important but if you have experience it’ll prove to be more valuable. Grab every opportunity that comes your way. Stop dreaming and start working.
You have so much energy. What is it that drives you?
Since I’m involved in so many things, I’ve had people ask me why my interests are so scattered and varied. But if one pays attention, they will notice that I haven’t strayed from the field of development. The development sector is where my interest and my passion lie, and so everything I do is somehow connected to it. I think every aspect, be it music or anything, leads to development. Since I don’t hold a 9 to 5 job, I consider myself free and hence I think I have lots of time to follow where my passion leads me. I never tire of doing the work that I do because I find it interesting.
What plans do you have for yourself for the future?
I simply hope to continue in the field of development and I do want a 9 to 5 job. I’ll continue dispensing advice, whether wanted or not, and sharing ideas because I truly believe that I can help people in this way. Most people are simply looking for a little push, and if I can be the person for that, then why not? It’s the same with ideas and plans. My belief is that we should consider Nepal our entire world and strive to make it better. If one of my ideas happens to appeal to someone with more reach and financial means, then I have no qualms about sharing it because if it works, it’ll ultimately benefit us, directly or indirectly. I learn, and I share because that cycle is important.