Bikram Bista is our fifth cohort fellow originally from Rolpa district. He has just completed his final examination for the Bachelor of Social Work from Thames International College. The digital content team reached out to Bikram to learn more about his three years of college experience.

I am the first person in my community to go to college

What inspired you to join BSW?

I come from a rural community in Rolpa where people are still superstitious, practice child marriage, child labor, discrimination based on age, gender, caste, religion, etc. I wanted to work in a development sector since I was studying in grade 11. I really want to study societies to learn and understand them so that it will help me to work in rural communities. After my +2, I was searching for a course that would help me understand societies and I found out about Bachelors in Social Work. At that time my motto of studying BSW was to work with institutes helping different communities and making impact as they are working in rural areas.

What are the 3 major things you learned from this course?

Most importantly, I learned about myself. Before joining BSW I was confused in terms of my perspective, ability, thoughts, strength, and attitude. Later I started reflecting on all of these things. It enabled me to work on myself which helped me to learn more about myself. As a social work student, I also learned about my responsibilities towards the community.

During the period of 3 years, I learned the value of a positive impact on society. In my community, I have seen people struggling with various problems related to education and health. For example in my society, most of the people are uneducated and they believe only in traditional ways of treatment like Dhami Jhakri etc. rather than believing in doctors. So in this situation as a social worker, I can spread awareness about such things. I believe impact can happen through small changes. 

Lastly, I learned about Nepalese societies in general and our issues, social work, and its condition in Nepal.

The BSW course has relatively more field visits and internships, Please tell us something about your field work experiences?

Social work always focuses on practical knowledge rather than theoretical knowledge. That’s why most Social work students are placed in different sectors like social organizations, communities, hospitals, etc. as a trainee for fieldwork. I believe internships provide a good platform for students to know and learn personal and professional skills. They also get an opportunity to implement the theoretical knowledge from class into practice. 

I did internships in two NGOs; Child Development Society(CDS) and Shiksha Nepal. CDS works on child rights. I worked with children during my internship time. I taught students from grades 5 to 8 for 6 months. I got an opportunity to share some of my own experiences and my ideas about education among students. I focused on their personal growth like presentation skills, public speaking, and critical thinking because I think these small things matter. I had never been involved in teaching before so it was quite challenging for me to work with children.Later at Shiksha Nepal, we initiated a campaign called “10 Rupees for Education” for Dolpa. For this campaign, we contacted colleges and different individuals to help us provide space for fundraising. I actually got the opportunity to lead this initiative. From this campaign, I learned about leadership skills and got fundraising ideas which helped me to maintain good rapport with different people. Hopefully, it will help me to build my career in the future as well. Therefore, I believe practical experience is very important for students where they can grow professionally.

As you have completed your formal 3 years of college, how are you feeling?

Finally, I completed my formal course but I am still waiting for the result. It feels great and it is also a proud moment for me and my family. I am the first person to complete SLC, +2, and Bachelor from my family and also my entire community. I  never imagined during my childhood that one day I would complete my bachelor’s degree because there were no higher education facilities in my community. It was beyond my imagination, but now I have completed my undergrad and I am really grateful to Samaanta who helped me to achieve this goal by providing me with a comprehensive fellowship. If it wasn’t for the fellowship, I probably would have dropped out after SLC. As a Samaanta fellow, I have achieved things and I will definitely carry forward the values it believes in.

Any further plans?

For now, I am happy to have completed my college. However, there are a few things that I’m starting immediately like being more active to look into different opportunities that are available and finding ways to improve my communication and leadership skills. Further, I am also planning to learn and gain in-depth knowledge about research and resource management.

-Samaanta Digital Content Team