Overseas Nepalis in North America can become a stronger force for social and economic development in their home country only by actively participating in the NRN movement, a meeting of North American Nepalis has concluded.
The Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) invited leaders of 18 organisations representing Nepalis in North America for a day-long conference in San Bernardino, California on 6 January to discuss diaspora issues.
That such a conference was held, and well attended, points to the fact that the population of overseas Nepalis has reached a critical mass and is enthusiastic to contribute towards Nepal's development.
The internet allows Nepalis in different parts of the world to network, and today they are better informed about events and trends in their homeland. This, coupled with the education they have received abroad and their experiences, gives the Nepali diaspora a unique perspective and understanding of the Nepali situation.
The main purpose of Nepali networking is now to facilitate the exchange of knowledge, resources, and skill among overseas Nepalis and with those in Nepal.
The overseas Nepali movement reaches out to the diaspora through its National Coordinating Council (NCC) which has been established in more than 20 countries around the world to keep tabs on issues that Nepalis face in their respective countries.
But it hasn't always been smooth sailing in some countries because of pre-existing dynamics between Nepali organisations. Nepalis in North America are no different. Challenges arise because of the difficulties of meeting due to work pressures, as well as apprehension that one organisation will take the lead.
Under the leadership of the International Coordination Committee President Upendra Mahato and International Coordinator Bhim Udas, the meeting supported Nepalese Americas Council (NAC) in coordinating the activities of Nepali organisations in North America through the National Coordination Council for North America.
Some 50 participants attended the San Bernadino conference and suggested ways to connect to the rest of the diaspora. The meeting also recommended identifying representatives of organisations who could assist in reaching out to the grassroots of the Nepali diaspora.