Mega Debate – Legalization of Abortion in Nepal

– Rachana Banjade, Student Ambassador

On July 21st, Deer Express Club, Literature Club and DWIT News Club from Deerwalk Institute of Technology in collaboration with Medication for Nepal organised Mega Debate Event- a debate competition focusing on a health issue in Nepal. With enormous participation and great enthusiasm from the organizing team as well as students, the event was successful. Being a student ambassador for Medication for Nepal, it was a matter of great pleasure for me to serve as an organizer representing both Medication for Nepal and Deerwalk Institute of Technology.

A participant debating for legalization of abortion in Nepal
A participant debating for legalization of abortion in Nepal

The debate was held in Nepali and was based on British Parliamentary Debate Style. I would like to cite the topics of the debate – ‘नेपालमा गर्भपतन कानुनी हुनुपर्छ कि गैरकानुनी?’ which translates to – ‘Should abortion in Nepal be legal or illegal?’. The debate topic was chosen to align with the objectives of MFN to aware people about various health rights and provisions provided by the government of Nepal. It was intended to bring about ideas in youth that were very closely related to the health sector of Nepal.

Abortion has been one of the topic of discussion these days. Lack of proper education has helped to increase the rate of illegal abortion, so this debate raised few important things to ponder. For example, has legal bound in abortion really helped to decrease this number or served as a restriction to discuss this issue freely in society? Will legalizing it accelerate the number of abortions? These kinds of serious issues were debated upon by the participants.

A presentation on Free Health Rights
A presentation on Free Health Rights by Medication for Nepal

The debate started with a health rights awareness session by staffs from Medication for Nepal. The debating participants came with various new ideas and arguments. The contestants were judged on basis of their strong reasoning and presentation skills. The winning team, 1st runner up, best speaker and best female speaker were awarded with various prizes. The Closing Government team Takdir Bartaula and Mandip Prasai with their hard facts and sharp arguments won the first place. While the Closing Opposition team Sabina Shrestha and Mallika Adhikari with their counter arguments and strong point of views secured the first runner up prize. Takdir Bartaula, who had delivered his words with great confidence, precision, and hard facts was given the Best Speaker award and Maunta Rani Gautam with her strong arguments and confidence was awarded as the Best Female Speaker.

Maunta Gautam, the best female speaker said “I love participating in public speaking platforms but Nepali debate was something I had never tried before. The experience as a participant was overwhelming and exciting as well for me because I got the chance to explore myself. I also felt very honed and that I received the award in spite of my nervousness. I feel these kind of platforms should be provided even more to enhance and build the public speaking skills for an individual”.

The debate was not only intended to bring out ideas from discussion. It was also a platform to learn public speaking and effective oratory skills. As an organizer and student ambassador for Medication for Nepal, this was a  golden opportunity for me to learn and disseminate what I have gained through my affiliation to Medication for Nepal. I have been with Medication for Nepal for almost a year now and I believe this kind of learning, serving and doing will hone my leadership ability in days to come.

Winners of Mega Debate pose with judges, organizing team, and MFN team
Winners of Mega Debate pose with judges, organizing team, and MFN team