Jamuna Gautam: Rising woman leader open to dialogue and progress

Jamuna Gautam, 19, Nepal

I am Jamuna Gautam, a 19-year-old passionate public speaker, and a realist. I am from Nepal, a country where people savor culture with heartfelt emotion and melodic panache, where the shimmering curves and majestic ranges of mountains that might see a bit bossy and proud at times, rule hearts.

I spent half of my childhood in the mystical beauty of Plain Terai and the other half, in an overwhelming land surrounded by hills, the capital ‘Kathmandu.’ Currently, I am in the United States to pursue my bachelor’s degree with a double major in Psychology and Journalism at Lee University.

Being a public speaker and a debater intensified my aim of practicing Broadcast Journalism. Through the understanding I developed as a debater, it always challenged me to believe that there are things beyond what comes to the audience, in facts, figures, and also in human behaviors, which persuaded me to pursue Psychology as well. The main essence these two streams hold for me would be put in a phrase ‘A deeper insight.’

I would love to be called an opportunist, with slight changes in the definition Google gives you. I chased the experience of being a math teacher in my early high school days, content writer for institutions on subjects distinct to my knowledge. On the contrary, as a teenager, I was able to give the audience an immature sophistication of marriage as a writer in a wedding management company.

I was awarded the Rising Star title by WEDU in 2016, WEDU invests in Women Leading the Change. It works in enabling women to become leaders of their own development and that of their community. WEDU has been effortlessly contributing in regulating my focus on my project of empowering women in Far Western Region of Nepal where there is a deprivation of facilities for women, hindering their growth. I have targeted to mark my skills and area of understanding to break the faulty gender discourse that has paralyzed a good societal growth. I have moved way ahead from the start point and it remains my prime focus even while I continue giving my time to course study.

Today, the culture of voicing opinions is rapidly growing back in Nepal, let me rephrase it: Culture of voicing logical opinions. And, I as a teenager wouldn’t have been any prouder to be a part of this significant movement, to serve as an active leader.

Jamuna Gautam speaking on one of the Smart Club sessions

Jamuna Gautam speaking on one of the Smart Club sessions

Though I was an active member in speech, I became more guided as I got introduced to some hardworking platforms of the capital. I started as any late riser, unwilling to give up my bed, but as I joined ‘Smart Club,’ I was left with no choice than to be attracted to many possibilities of growth within myself. Smart Club is a public speaking platform that has continued serving people on the field of public speaking for 12 years. Young brilliant minds, with an amazing passion, to speak, to voice something that has intensified their need for expression. Later, I had the privilege to lead this platform as a Convener, to create better opportunities for nourishing the minds and creating a wider sense of discourse. During my tenure, I got as much chance to connect to people, to educate people about how expression helps to strengthen one’s capacity.

Later, I joined Debate Network Nepal. DNN is Nepal’s national debate body, while also working as a national representative for World Universities/Schools Debating Councils/Championships. I worked as a program manager in DNN for two years, constructing ideas with beautiful minds and levying my knowledge for better prospects for the institution.

Over the two years, DNN was a very loving parent to me, it still is. I was, as a child, given all those opportunities to broaden my horizon, my skills and to produce an impact out of it. DebatEast is my significant achievement. We, a group of 6 debaters fearlessly contributed in spreading the debate fragrance over the Eastern Region of Nepal.

DebatEast was a month-long training under the scorching heat of Terai, struggle of the bodies scrubbing on the crowded buses and what not. We trained students from 22 schools in the World School Debating Championship, each day working explicitly on one of the institutions to supply a concrete package of WSDC Debate.

With a purpose of creating a long-lasting impact, we formed debate clubs and elected heads to ensure that the debate practice is continued, that the minds continue to grow logically. We ended up with a Regional Champion on the final day of our stay and continued with other significant projects of DNN. Within this period, I was also invited by a national television channel as a youth leader of the country, which was an absolute pleasure.

Debate Network Nepal has served as a perfect example of a leader, giving an amazing platform to people like me, to exercise knowledge and create wonders out of it.

I am very hopeful that the Youth Assembly at the United Nations also will turn out to be a wonderful platform for a collaboration of brilliant minds, core ideas and a strive for excellence in action. I am an outgoing person, very outspoken and jolly, I am expecting beautiful friendships and strategic sharing in those 5 days, creating a bigger impact on my life.