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Life is too short not to live it happily

Nabina Basnet Uprety is a non-resident Nepali living in the United States. She was crowned as the second runner-up at the Miss Nepal US pageant in 2011, and has since been a model, trainer and choreographer. The Richmond College graduate has also been actively involved in events dedicated to the welfare of the Nepali community in the United States and back home.

Nabina has been named honorary goodwill ambassador of the Nepal Tourism Board for 2016 – 2018, and she was very recently appointed as ambassador of the Gorkhaly Foundation which is an all volunteer run organisation based in Washington D.C.

Gorkhaly Foundation has worked on a number of social causes since its inception, most notably for financially supporting some NGOs in Nepal. They did this by initiating Walk for Nepal in 2013 – a platform for organising walkathons in different parts of the world. In response to the devastating earthquake of April 2015, the foundation is committed to immediate and long term recovery efforts. WOW spoke with Nabina Basnet Uprety to learn more about her life and her work commitments. Excerpts:

nabina_basnet_upretyHow have you evolved as a person since winning the second runner up title of Miss Nepal US 2011?
I have grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. I cannot pinpoint exactly on how or under what circumstances I have evolved as a person. Deep down I think I still have a lot to learn, a lot to improve and a lot to change. As a human, I don’t think we ever stop evolving; it is just the matter of how we bring positivity in our evolution and do our best for our society and country.

How do you define success?
Success is not that having abundant amount of material things; it is about achieving goals and realising dreams, ethically and diligently.

You wear several hats, how do you manage these varying roles?
The main thing to do is not to panic. You have to take one step at a time and manage your daily schedule properly. Always be patient and if needed create a weekly schedule of all the things that need to be done. Remember always to practice and practice until you achieve success.

What is your inspiration behind the World Fashion Parade?
As a goodwill ambassador of Nepal Tourism Board and a responsible human being, my goal through World Fashion Parade is to promote world peace, Nepal’s art, culture and tourism. Every day in the news we see death, sadness, sorrow and misery. If we – as responsible citizens of this world – don’t act on it, then no one will. People these days are so occupied in their small world that they forget there is an entire planet full of people out there and everyday they are dying in the name of religion, race, culture and appearance. My inspiration comes from looking at the current state of this world and thinking to myself, what can I do to make a difference?

What are some of the challenges you face as the Gorkhaly Foundation Ambassador?
It is very hard to convince people what we are trying to do comes straight from our hearts; we have no other motivation but to positively change the lives of people in Barpak, Gorkha. We are about 20-25 volunteers, all young working professionals based in DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) area. We all have been working tirelessly to achieve this goal of wanting to provide a better life to the people in Barpak.

What else is Gorkhaly Foundation doing?
Currently, we are raising funds to build a school for 800 children so that they can have a bright and colourful future – providing them with quality education and the right direction. The Shri Bhagwati Lower Secondary School is still being operated out of a tent after a year. From there we want to build a community centre which is going to house a library, a clinic, a computer centre and a children learning centre.

What made you take up the school project in Barpark above other causes?
The real future lies in the hands of the next generation. Therefore, it is essential that we educate young ones and turn them into leaders of tomorrow. Further, I put myself in their shoes and I wondered where would I be today if it hadn’t been for the education I received. Education is vital to our nation’s success and our priority must be to provide children with proper education and the means of getting that education.

One tip for those who are struggling to find their path in life…
Getting lost is a beautiful journey itself and until you struggle you will not appreciate your achievements. We have to understand not everyone comes from the same background, not everyone knows what they want in their life, and not everyone goes through the same situation. It may take a few years for someone to get find their path, it may take longer for others. Embrace your life with positivity. Life is too short not to live it happily.