बिहीबार, कार्तिक ६ २०७७
काठमाडौं १३:२०
वासिङटन डिसी 03:35

Nepalese Joined Millions of Marchers and Chanted in Unison against Gun Violence

इनेप्लिज २०७४ चैत १३ गते २१:४४ मा प्रकाशित

Thousands of Nepalese in the United States and other parts of the world took to the street on Saturday, March 24th to march alongside millions of people to voice their concern against the gun violence. Guns claim over 13,000 lives each year in the United States.

There are more guns per capita in the United States than any other nation of the world! What’s more, US citizens can buy and own any kind of gun: rifles, semi-automatics and assault weapons. The weapons that only the military possess in other countries can easily be obtained by the U.S. public..

Mass shooting at schools, malls, churches are not new news anymore. They unfortunately happen time and again. But the last mass shooting spawned a series of events that no other had before.

It was in Parkland, Florida where 14 students and 3 teachers were killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school. The survivors of the massacre have demanded in the strongest reforms on gun possession..

They have boldly come to the forefronts giving interviews, speaking at town halls and on March 24th organizing the “March for our Lives” event in over 800 cities in the United States and other parts of the world. They were supported by many celebrities. Oprah Winfrey and George Clooney donated for the cause.

The Nepalese participation in the March was coordinated by the Health and Hygiene sub-Committee of Non-Resident Nepalese Association (NRNA).

“Gun violence is the issue of Nepali people too,” said Dr. Sanjeeb Sapkota, the convener of the Global sub-Committee of NRNA. “Many Nepalese employees have lost their lives while working at the gasoline (petrol stations),” Dr. Sapkota added.

“We do not want our children get shot at schools at the hands of some mentally unstable individual. Nor do we want our brothers and sisters working in gas stations and convenient store to get shot at the hands of robbers and thugs,” said Mr. Gobinda Shrestha, the senior vice convener of the sub-committee.

Thanks to Mr. Kunga Sherpa, an active member of Health sub-Committee, and Mr. Ram Hari Adhikary, the president of NRN-New York chapter, many Nepalese in New York city participated. The banners and signage they prepared were made in short notice. Yet there was one for everyone to hold and display.

Ms. Indira Tripathy, the women’s coordinator of NRA-USA made lots of preparations prior to the march. She spoke to the local TV expressing the solidarity of Nepali Community for the cause.

Mr. Narayan Pokhrel, Mr. Sarwagya Wagle and Mr. Bandhu Pokhrel summoned their fellow compatriots in the Civic Center Plaza in San Francisco from where the March began. Their banners and boards reflected Nepali voices.

Dr. Barsha Moktan, the youth coordinator of Americas region made a lot of effort to spread the words in Philadelphia. Many people showed up. She thanked them for their willingness to espouse the cause.

Those in Chicago were under the wings of Mr. Satya Chaudhary who constantly reminded the marchers about transportation, parking and the route of the march.

“Student’s voices must be heard,” said Ms. Srijana Khatiwada Sharma of Atlanta. She marched along with her middle school going daughter Darshana Sharma, who is an active girl scout herself. They are the future of the country and their safety must be guaranteed,” Ms Sharma said.

Poonam Joshi Kharel of Atlanta held a sign, “Moms Demand Action”. She said she was shaken by the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. This march gave her an opportunity to come and show her support.

One of the youngest Nepali in the March was Aastha Subba. She held a sign reading ‘Nepalese against Gun Violence”. Her parents Bishwa Subba and Shanti Subba were approached by many who appreciated the support from Nepali community

Ms. Susan Dhakal, a junior at a high school in Greensboro who marched together with other students held signs with assertive message to bring the attention of those who make policies. Her father, Mr. Madhav Dhakal who leads the Nepalese Organization of Southeast (NASeA) as the president marched along with her. So did Mr. Bishal Bharati, another official of NASeA.

Rewoti Raj Adhikari from Raleigh wore a Nepali cap and held signs. That immediately distinguished him from others. He was one of the first Marchers to gather at the meeting point in Raleigh.

In Baton Rouge, the capital of Lousiana state, Ms Sneha Sapkota joined the marchers.

Mr. Guneshwor Pd Shah was among the 800 thousands in the Washington DC, the largest size of the marchers of all.

Dallas’s Nepali community gathered in downtown were summoned by Bhanu Kharel, the president of NRNA-Texas chapter. Krishna KC, an active member of the Health sub-committee helped in the logistical matter.

The officials of the USA affiliate of the NRNA including President Dr. Keshab Paudel, senior vice President Mr. Suneel Shah, vice president Ms. Radha Paudel and General Secretary BR Lama helped disseminate the words and encouraged people to join the march.

Mr. Gaury Joshi, the NRNA regional coordinator of the Americas region and Ms. Sangeeta Lamsal Siwakoti, deputy coordinator voiced their support for the March.

Many International Coordination Council members (ICC) of NRNA joined the March in several cities. Ms. Bandanda Koirala in New York, Ms. Goma Sen in New York, Mr. Dilli Raj Bhattarai in San Francisco were among them.

The March was truly global. Those in Africa, Europe, Asia and Oceana showed their solidarity to those in the US by marching against the gun violence.

In Sydney the marchers gathered in Hyde Park where Mr. Laxman Shrestha and other Nepalese. He is the NRN’s Health sub-Committee’s member from Australia.

“The places of learning, working and worshipping must be free from gun violence and the Nepalese community and the Health committee of NRNA will continue to voice its concern until that is satisfactority achieved,” said Dr. Sapkota.

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