The power of conversations

Published On: May 24, 2019 08:59 AM NPT By: Rakshya Khadka

The dilemma one faces at a young age is about what one should do in their lives. Too many interests or sometimes too few, the quandary is draining and tiring. To address this very state of confusion, Breakthrough Nepal has launched a talk show series “Illuminating”, whereby notable personalities from different fields recount their personal struggles and counsel youngsters on what they can do. Scheduled to run every month with a different theme and a different personality, “Illuminating” is exclusively for the younger crowd.

Breakthrough Nepal itself is a youth based organization that works with the youth, to examine opportunities and construct effective projects to achieve their set goals. It is as the president Shankar Kuinkel states, “a social development organization that engages and involves youth to come up with innovative ideas to address the issues that concern and affects them most.” 

The organization is newly formed and currently operates with a team of ten people. An entirely youth led team, the team members belong to different backgrounds – some are architect students, some law or media students, and some national level players. Together they formed Breakthrough Nepal to help people like them, themselves included. Since its establishment, “Illuminating” is Breakthrough Nepal’s first event. 

The first talk show was held on May 20, 2019 at Gate College, Mandikhatar and it entirely focused on media. Former Miss Nepal Malvika Subba was the speaker. Subba was crowned Miss Nepal in the year 2002 and has, since then, established herself as a prominent figure in the media industry. A VJ, host, presenter and social activist Subba has had a two-decade long career on TV.

“From the very beginning Subba’s career has been out in the open. She has always been frank about her struggles when starting out – being the only woman in a men led industry, going against the wishes of her family when choosing television as a career, and her battles with mental health. We felt she was the right person to begin our series with,” shares Jenny Sherpa, secretary of Breakthrough Nepal. Sherpa adds that the talk show was all about “testing the waters” to better understand the audience and the content they ought to provide in the future editions of the event. 

Beginning with her own early days, Subba recounted her love for television and media as a young girl. But born in a family with strict views regarding what a person should opt for career wise, she was forced to take up subjects that misaligned with her own passions. This is a narrative thousands of youths in Nepal can identify with. Subba then stressed on the need to seek out opportunities. 

“It’s only when you show your family that something good can come out of what you’re doing that they will try to understand you,” she said. She added that it was only recently, after more than two decades in the industry, that her family finally came to accept and acknowledge her career in the showbiz. “Struggle and fights never stop, especially not as you grow older,” she said.

Focusing on the need to approach and seek opportunities, she recommended doing anything that one feels passionate about, no matter the working conditions or even the pay. “Even today, I reach out to people for certain projects. There is no shame in asking,” she states. Identifying and seizing opportunities takes effort, she emphasized. Throughout the show, Subba also addressed the importance of being a multitasker and versatile in one’s line of work. 

Towards the end, the floor opened for audience questions and the discussion skirted around the idea of opportunities especially in media. Breakthrough Nepal presented the person with the best question with a special award. “When you are young you often tend to doubt yourself, even just when asking a question. We understand that so we put in a little something to encourage more participation and make it more comfortable for our young audience to open up,” says Sherpa.

Sherpa also explains that Breakthrough Nepal has thought long and hard about all possible ways in which they can aid their young audience. From asking for their opinions during high tea to approaching them personally during the program, Kuinkel shared that they wanted the younger generation to know that their opinions were valuable and important.

After the successful completion of the first event in their series “Illuminating”, for their next installment, Breakthrough Nepal plans on contacting business magnates, health professionals, and other prominent personalities. They also have various other projects lined up to further their work on youth empowerment. “The plan is simple. We ask these amazing people to speak on their personal experiences and then discuss with them the ways in which one can get started (and better) in their fields of interest. The idea is to help by providing the needed information,” concluded Kuinkel.

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