Business for Peace Honouree Kesha Pariyar felicitated
Ms. Kesha Pariyar (Kesha Kumari Damini), the recipient of globally prestigious Business for Peace Awards was honoured amidst a special programme organized by Ministry of Industry and UNDP in Kathmandu today. Minister for Industry Karna Bahadur Thapa felicitated Ms. Pariyar.
Ms. Pariyar was conferred with Business for Peace Awards on May 15 on Oslo City hall, Norway by Oslo based Business for Peace Foundation in partnership with UN Global Compact, UNDP and International Chamber of Commerce. She was selected as one of the six Honourees to receive the acclaimed award by an independent jury comprising of Nobel Laureates in Peace and Economics.
In lauding Ms. Pariyar's role, Minister Thapa said, "She is an epitome of those Nepali women struggling to overcome age-old discriminatory caste system and patriarchy."
Minister Thapa added, "The society does not change in itself; people have to be changed first. Kesha is in that campaign - to change self to change the society."
He also added that taking inspiration from many unsung heroes like Ms. Pariyar, we need to move ahead to make country prosperous and bring happiness for all Nepalis.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Secretary Lilamani Paudel said that Kesha was a role model for Dalits, women. Paudel said, "This is an example that MEDEP beneficiaries are benefitted not only economically, but also socially and politically. Kesha is such an example"
Mr. Paudel, also the former National Programme Director of MEDEP that supports Kesha, added that MEDEP should now focus towards upscaling the microenterprises while making them competitive.
Secretary at the Ministry of Industry Krishna Gyawali said that MEDEP programme has been internalized by the government, and would seek to turn micro-entrepreneurs into small and medium enterprises in coming years.
Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Industry and MEDEP National Programem Director Ms. Yamkumari Khatiwada said that the major achievement of the project is the empowerment women and socially excluded like Ms. Pariyar and that large number of MEDEP beneficiaries are women (68%) and excluded groups (Dalits 23%, Indigenous Nationalities 36%).
Australian Ambassador Glenn White, Norwegian Ambassador Kjell Tormod Pettersen, Deputy Country Director of UNDP Sophie Kemkhadze also congratulated Ms. Pariyar for the outstanding achievement.
Ms. Pariyar was born in a poor Dalit family in Baglung in 1963. With support from Micro Enterprise Development Programme, a joint poverty reduction initiative of Government of Nepal – Ministry of Industry and UNDP, she started her own enterprise in 2003 in Parbat district, where she was married to. Later she started organizing micro entrepreneurs like her who come from poor and excluded background. Despite facing triple marginalization: for being poor, Dalit and a woman, she continued to provide leadership and inspiration to the fellow entrepreneurs. She became the chairperson of District Micro Entrepreneurs Groups Association Parbat in 2005 and unanimously confided by members to lead National Micro Entrepreneurs Federation (NMEFEN) in 2006. Since then, she has been successfully leading NMEFEN representing over 66,000 Micro Entrepreneurs supported by MEDEP.
Micro Enterprise Development Programme (MEDEP), a joint initiative of the Government of Nepal - Ministry of Industry and UNDP has created over 66,000 Micro Entrepreneurs since 1998 and contributed towards poverty reduction in Nepal. MEDEP is also creating structures and environment for the sustainable micro enterprise development in Nepal. It has helped establish and strengthen business development service providers at the working districts and micro entrepreneurs' associations and their networks from grassroots to national levels. National Micro Entrepreneurs Federation Nepal (NMEFEN) is the nationally federated body of all the Micro Entrepreneurs supported by Micro Enterprise Development Programme. With major funding support from Australian Aid, MEDEP is currently supporting GoN to internalize MEDEP model into government's MEDPA programme which aims to create 73,000 entrepreneurs over five years (2013-2018).
Yam Kumari Khatiwada, Joint Secretary and Spokesperson, Ministry of Industry
John Narayan Parajuli, Head of Communications, UNDP
Indra Dhoj Kshetri, Communication and Documentation Specialist, MEDEP