He quit a well-paying job to follow his passion—Tej Raj Upreti

With a degree of Bachelors in Business Management with a major in finance from Bangalore University, Tej Raj Upreti is now a student of Master of Arts in International Studies/International Relation in Symbiosis School of International Studies under Symbiosis International University.

“I have been very passionate about selfless service ‘’volunteering ‘’ ever since I started my university. I was a part of Rotary International in Bangalore and I served as a Public Relation Director for a period of 2 years. At the same time, I was also involved with ‘’WOSY’’ World Organizations of Student and Youth. Being involved in these two different organizations taught me the perks of serving youths.”-Tej

During his last semester, he got a placement from Northern Trust, an Investment bank based in the US, a fortune 500 company in the world and worked as a financial analyst. Like everyone, he was excited about his first job, but as time passed, he felt the glimpse of the monotonous routine and came to a realization that it wasn’t for him. He felt like his energy was being drained. It was a great job and it had paid well, but he didn’t feel right there so he quit. He left his job and moved back to his home country with a hope of serving the nation and community.

“Getting back to the country and adjusting here wasn’t easy.”, he said. As he had been out of the country since his teen days. He struggled here; to follow his passion, heart. His heart was always overwhelmed when he was volunteering, helping people around. He always felt happy while helping people around without getting paid. When he shared such thoughts to the people around him, the reaction was always adverse; they made fun of it.

However, he followed his heart and applied for ‘’ ICS ‘’ International Citizenship Service under a project WASH, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene.

ICS is a project where volunteers from the U.K come to Nepal and stay in Nepal with a host family along with Nepalese volunteers to do an International project in the very rural community. The main purpose of this project is to develop the idea of Active Global Citizenship among youths and empower them to do good for their community. Tej worked in a remote area of Makwanpur ‘’Aadamar’’ and worked while staying with one host family. He worked under the project for 3 months, spreading the message of active citizenship among youths of the community.

“For the first time in life, I put my hands in construction work and I really enjoyed especially getting out of my comfort zone. We constructed 4 toilets and 24 hand washing stations as they had open defecation before and no hand washing stations. We also created a small kids club and empowered them on various fields as such education, social issues, basic human values and so on. We finished and it happened to be an eye-opening experience of my life. It changed my stereotypical thought toward life and also people. I got another reason to live this one life doing good to others and I got very passionate about it.”- Tej 

His passion and interest pushed him to apply for the project again, where he lead the team as a Team Leader. He has always wanted to motivate and empower youths and also make an impact.

They worked for Disaster Risk Reduction ‘’DRR’’project in Sankhu. In the project, there were a number of volunteers from Cambodia, Bangladesh and India; he had a different experience here, there was a change of culture and flow of knowledge from both the ways. After this project, he developed an interest towards the culture and affairs of different South Asian countries.

After such projects, he represented himself as a delegate in Commonwealth Youth Summit in Malaysia last year. The summit brought 200 youths from 20 different countries and it was inaugurated by Prince of Wales, Prince Charles. The theme of this program was International Convergence. A month later, he got selected as a Global Youth Ambassador in Theirworld, A world at School.

He has been doing advocacy in education and also working on SDG Goal 4 Quality Education ever since. He has also represented our country in Asia Pacific Youth Exchange APYE in the Philippines this January. He created a project on SDG 2 Zero Hunger ‘’Dunk The Junk’’ in very remote area DRT Bulacan.

Recently, he has been selected as a first Country Ambassador for Youth Opportunities ‘’YO’’. They have selected Country Ambassador under Global Youth Ambassador program in 100 plus different countries. Under this program, they have selected one and in few, two different Country’s Ambassador. These ambassadors represent their country to YO.

YO is the largest discovery opportunities platform for youths across the globe. The purpose of this platform is to provide opportunities for young people to explore and prepare themselves to face challenges and excel in their career growth. This platform work to bridge between youth and their scope to contribute to creating a better world. YO thrives on promoting youth development and thus, produces and delivers high-quality, value-additive educational and capacity building materials. The purpose is to facilitate young people in translating every opportunity into success. YO works relentlessly to create an efficacious bridge between opportunity seekers with opportunity providers for mutually beneficial development through sharing information.

Youth Opportunities believes that ‘Access to Information’ is not a privilege rather a basic right. Despite the praiseworthy development of Information Communication Technology, there exists acute deficiency in awareness level among youth about different opportunities pertaining to youth development. As a result, thousands of youth are missing out on important chances for self-development in form of education, international exposure, training, and employment. Youth Opportunities, thus, is working to build global awareness by sharing opportunities to ensure free and equal access regardless of geographical location. Opportunities have been divided into various sections as such conferences, exchange programs, internships, scholarships, workshops, and competitions.

“My roles and responsibilities include contributing opportunities of Nepal to YO website, moderating facebook group of YO Nepal, sharing every kind of opportunities to youths of Nepal, creating partnerships with different media houses and also International Organizations and lastly maintain the strong relation between 100 plus different countries. I will also be representing Nepal in various global forums as a delegate from the country. I will be the first person to approach regarding any opportunities.

I am very honoured to have been selected as an ambassador and also feel the privilege to have got this opportunity to serve for youths. I am super excited to work for youths of my country.”-Tej

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Written by Dorjee Khando

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