[Women Achievers Series] There is a need of localization of the SDGs: Tara Devi Bhatta
Tara Devi Bhatta is the Chairperson of Sustainable Development and Good Governance Committee of the National Assembly. Her journey from a remote village in far-western district Dadeldhura to the post of such an important parliamentary platform is a huge achievement in itself. She feels like a dream to recall her childhood at a period, when there was no culture to send off the daughters to schools. But Bhatta was fortunate enough that her mother took all the responsibilities of the domestic chores and was determined to send her to school. "There was a tradition of marrying off the daughters at a young age, but instead, my mother managed to provide me education as sons," she feels proud of her mother's willpower and decision that changed her life forever.
Right after completing the school level education, she started to work in the area of women education. She went door to door in the villages and requested the parents to send their daughters to school. Today, she feels glad to see parents being concerned and vocal toward daughters' education without any discrimination. Her dedication towards work and commitment has not just impressed others, but also her own family. "She is the matter of pride not just for our family, but for all, especially for Sudurpaschim Province," her son Manoj Bhatta expresses happiness. Even at the age above 50, Tara Devi Bhatta works nonstop for at least 12 hours a day. "We get tired but she doesn’t. She completes the works of her priority anyhow, her energy is high and inspirational, "Rajendra Uprety, her personal secretary remarks.
As the Chair of the committee which has members from different political parties, Bhatta makes sure that they all work together without letting be influenced by any political thought or interest. Since the committee is at the federal level, they often organize orientation programs at the local level and for the parliamentarians to enhance their understanding about the committee and sustainable development. "Unless the local bodies do not have an understanding about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we can't succeed. There is a need of localization of the SDGs," she shares about the importance of mainstreaming SDGs into parliamentary mechanism.
Bhatta regards it as duty of the government to execute the programs effectively, while their committee is only to provide them suggestions, monitor them and direct them if necessary. She feels the need to move ahead with higher speed and more focus to the sustainable development so that the country could meet the SDGs by 2030. "Foreign investment is a key to Nepal's success in this goal. Donor countries and development partners like UNDP have expressed their commitment to support the under-developed countries like ours, which is highly beneficial," Bhatta explains.
As the Chairperson of the Committee of Sustainable Development, Bhatta is committed to achieve the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals on time. "Only government efforts are not sufficient, donor agencies, civil society and the stakeholders have to extend their support in implementing the policies and programs," she seeks support of all quarters to fulfill the goals.