Pratiksha’s Vision to Inspire Others

My name is Pratiksha Basnet, and I am a proud Rising Star from Nepal. At present, I am studying Master of Social Work in Australia and working as a Crisis Support Facilitator for The Salvation Army in Australia. My journey with Wedu has shaped me to become more progressive, persuasive and challenge the conditions that act as a catalyst for social exclusion, stigmatisation and work towards an inclusive society.

As I grew up, I began critically thinking about my own culture, social practices, and norms. In order that I could evidently observe the unfair treatment of women in my society, stigmas for the third gender and mental disorders. Since then I started challenging the status quo and developed a strong urge and desire to promote equality and social justice. Wedu’s Leadership Development Program and Mentorship facilitated my understanding that to challenge the status quo and bring social change we should be able to take action.

For this we need to develop and implement strategies to change the existing social construction which perpetuates inequalities and injustices. This understanding developed a power within me and as a first step, I started a not for profit organisation called “Working As Angles”, in November 2016 with my colleagues and conducted motivational seminars to break the stereotypes for women and the third gender in Nepal. The aim was to raise consciousness by promoting acceptance and social fairness. Additionally, through my NGO I started conducting workshops and seminars on Mental Health Promotion and suicide prevention to eliminate stigma and discrimination against the people with mental illness and promoting assertive attitudes to mental health and well-being. Fundamentally, after engaging in Wedu’s Leadership Development Programme, I have experienced my role as a leader as one who articulates and puts into action a vision for a future that inspires others to join in.

Currently, I am involved in Oxfam Australia “What She Makes” campaign for which I am a Change Initiative Leader for the year 2018. The campaign is about achieving a living wage for women working for the big clothing brands in countries like Bangladesh and Vietnam. I have been conducting pledges sign up, leading community groups and creating awareness about the “What She Makes” campaign to demand the big clothing brands pay a living wage to the women and safeguard their human rights.

All in all, I have learned that to become an efficient leader, it’s very important to be grounded, use empathy and be aware of one’s own bias, assumption and prejudices. I look forward to get the most out of my educational experience in Australia and strive towards my aspiration in becoming an ethically self-aware and competent Public Health Social Worker and work for the empowerment of the community.

I thank Wedu for the opportunity and mentorship.

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