Surendra Nath Adhikari
Deerwalk Institute of Technology, Nepal in collaboration with University of Windsor, Canada have successfully completed IT4D International Conference 2012 .The conference was of three days 27th – 29th July, 2012. The event was inaugurated by Deependra B. Kshetry, Vice-Chairman of National Planning Commission, Nepal at Hotel Annapurna. Day one of the conference was an informal interaction between the paper presenter and author from different field. The formal inauguration and the paper presentation took place on day two. The conference was divided into 3 sessions; each session included four to six papers each and presenter was allotted 15min for their presentation. At the end of each session forum was open for question and answer for all the participants. Each session was very informative and interactive. Finally, the day was closed with end note by Dr. Rudra Pandey followed by certificate distribution and refreshment. The main aim of the conference was to serve as a forum for researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and development workers who like to share their experience and knowledge of how the power and capabilities of information technologies (IT) can be harnessed for social equity, democracy, and economic advancement in developing countries like Nepal. On day three, the some about thirty participants gathered at DWIT premises in the morning for college tour. Informal interaction was taken place among the participants. They were headed to Telkot, Bhaktapur for hiking after breakfast at DWIT. It took around three hours to hike to Nagarkot from Telkot. It was a very nice hiking experience among the participants. Hiking through the hilly trails and bushes with full of natural beauty was different experience for the participants. Participants got opportunities for sharing information among each other and it was very fruitful. The team reached Country Villa, a famous resort, for lunch. The team enjoyed a lot with a surprise birth day cake for Bhuwan, one of the Board of Directors. After the lunch the flock visited Nagarkot tower where some of the members tried to scale the tower where the starting stretch of ladder was broken. Some of us did monkeying to reach and get down the summit. At last we thank all those who made it possible - supporting, attending and contributing to the three-day event. Special thanks to our sponsors, invited speakers, overseas and local delegates and the staff who worked to organize the conference and its functions.
Gokul Bhandari I was still under the influence of jet lag lethargy when Rubeena sent an email on August 06, 2012 asking us to share our IT4D hiking conference. For me, there have been so many vivid experiences in the past month of July that I did not know how and where to start expressing them. First, I have been to Nepal after eight years and during these years, I noticed, almost everything changed. Everyone seemed in haste - rushing and running but without any apparent purpose and destination. While walking towards the Pashupatinath Temple in an early July morning, I overheard a taped song by Narayan Gopal, “Ma matrai purano, sabai naulo payen”. Could this song have been written for me? I ruminated for a while before I was almost hit by a motorcycle. July 2012 had been a very hectic and adventurous month for me. I visited a few places in south India and presented a paper (with Rudra as a coauthor) in the International Conference on Technology Management, Bangalore about innovation and off-shoring issues pertaining to Deerwalk. Once this conference was over, then the time for our own IT4D (Information Technology for Development) conference which was taking placing at Annapurna Hotel in July 27-29, 2012 approached. While Abanish and Surendra of DWIT have managed to get everything completed, there were a few things which needed our joint consultation. We met a couple of times to ensure everything had been taken care of. On July 27, we had a reception for the conference participants at the DWIT premises. The next day was the conference day and everyone seemed excited and nervous at the same time. Excited because it was an unprecedented moment in which international scholars, practitioners, faculty members and students were coming together to discuss how information technologies could be effectively used to bring about positive changes in Nepal. We were also nervous because it was a very challenging task to pull together a conference of such scope. At the end, with support from our great colleagues from DWIT and fellow participants, this conference became a huge success as indicated by their enthusiasm, exuberance and appreciation. In his closing remarks, Rudra explicated the wisdom behind his management motto "Result-Reflect-Repeat", and underscored that now that we had got the desired result and success from this conference, we needed to reflect upon the key success factors that gave us this result and then we should execute them again with the objective of repeating the outcomes. Emphasizing the need for publishing peer-reviewed journals in order to record our research findings, Rudra expressed his commitment to make this a yearly conference. Following the actual conference day (July 28) was the trekking to Nagarkot from Telkot which Surendra had meticulously planned for us. Quite excited, I woke up around 6 am in the morning that day because I had never been to a formal trekking expedition. Of course, in my childhood I had walked many times from Dharan to my mamaghar in Dhankuta. While the memories of those childhood journeys are still nostalgic, I must admit they were more of a compulsion (due to the lack of transportation) than a free spirited venture. The extent of voluntariness defines our perception of pleasure and pain. After a breakfast of 3C's (Chana, Chiura and Chiya) in the Deerwalk canteen, we got ready for the much coveted trekking experience and left the premises around 9am. Watching the street crowds in Kathmandu that were slowing coming to life, engaging in a light conversation with the fellow trekkers in our vehicle, and relishing the lightness that always follows after a stressful but successful event, we arrived at Telkot - the starting point of our trekking from which we would voluntarily give up the luxury of riding on a bus. Instead, we would walk the steep hill, perspire and inspire. And thus the trekking began. I find it difficult to express my trekking experience through words because there is this subjective quality that transcends verbal descriptions. As Wittgenstein succinctly says, “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must remain silent”. I choose to show through photographs rather than say through words what I experienced on that day.
Rubeena Gurung On the third day of IT4D International Conference, thirty hikers met at Deerwalk premises and initiated DWIT college tour with stirring informal chat. Then after, lil tidbits over the coffee and heavy breakfast to survive the day, participants were all energetic and geared up for the day. Little did they know what waited ahead? What led ahead was more than just a hike; you could call it fun, pain, adventure, climbing, falling? Physics and biology even. Telkot was mesmerized by our presence in no time …DWIT van did its thing. We had to do ours. “How “was the question led among us (the amateur hikers) .Familiarity was less; enthusiasm high and excitement-maximum. From here, begins the ultimate 3 hours hike from Telkot to Nagarkot. From Telkot, knocking down the long led stairs up to the temple, our hikers reached Jalpa Devi Mandir. With all their energy and excitement drenched over the stairs, our hikers drained out of energy. Still our determination didn't tremble. Then, we moved up the hill through the bushy fields, hilly trails, and slippery grounds. Smell of mud, green fields, fruits and the village itself enchanted the participants. In the scorching sun, Tired and excited hikers forwarded with all determination they could sum up, all the breathe they could phew! All the jokes to crack, all the laughter to laugh to..... On their way, adventure barged in and didn’t spare many. Some climbed forward, some in between and some slipped backward. All in all, a fun filled hike was worth the pain. Participants could get closest possible to the nature, and hence, the bliss. What more you could ask for, A CELEBERATION?
Voila!!! A Grand feast at Country Villa.
Happy tummy and the tired body needed a break here. Participants chitchatted and rested for a while in the villa. Now the Nagarkot Tower, here all stood still for a while among the glorious hills and upright mountains. Awed by what they had to behold everyone had their say “In the name of mother nature and the mystery “. Then, some couldn’t let the scenic beauty wait, some for some more “ on-air” pictures and some wanted to measure the Tower itself,. Physics could have rested for a day, eh? Here again, defy me again; the last thing to happen, the starting stretch of the ladder was broken, participants challenged their skills to reach the top and few succeeded. Rest enjoyed the view from the hill itself, beautiful and overwhelming. Now, it was time to leave and there ended the hike (THE extraordinaire rendezvous) with so much of fun, gravity and pleasure. Stretching beyond, to, froth and along with us; the nature had enthralled us all. Leaving these trails, there was so much left to collect; friends, memories, laughter, happiness, some more laughter and the mystical nature’s beauty, all here, captive in this memoir today .
Mahika Pandey It was around 9:00 when we pulled into the Deerwalk parking lot on Sunday morning. I stepped out of the car, noting the difference between the cool air-conditioned car and the blazing heat of the sun. We were setting off on a hike from Telkot to Nagarkot-the last event of Deerwalk’s annual IT4D conference. A small hike; also my first. Later in the morning everybody was taken on a tour of the building. After the tour we proceeded to split the group of 30 in two and pile inside our two vans.The drive up to Telkot was short and uneventful. It was filled with jokes and laughs. As the roads got smaller it was scarier to look out the windows, for fear of the drop. But the scenery was absolutely amazing. It wasn’t long before we pulled in front of the stairs leading to the Jalpa Devi Mandir. I rushed to get out of the van, eager to stretch my coped up and aching feet. The water was hauled out and given to everyone. Soon enough we were our way up the stairs. For me climbing up those stairs required more effort and will than the rest of the hike combined. I started of brimming with confidence and when we finally reached the Mandir I wanted to go home. Nevertheless after a long drink of water and a short rest I had gained a little bit of my energy back. Our time at the Jalpa Devi Mandir was spent mostly taking pictures. About ten minutes later when we set off it was with a new sense of pride and accomplishment. We passed through a couple of houses belonging to the villagers. I remember a destroyed house we saw. The remains scattered on the ground, a couple of goats grazing. A jagged outline of the house remained with a battered blue window. It was mesmerizing. About a half an hour later, we approached a wide pathway made of rocks. At that point the sun was at the highest point and the heat was unbearable. There was no better feeling than the one I felt when my mom poured deliciously cold water over my head. It was simply wonderful. It was late afternoon and we were climbing up a steep hill when we caught a glimpse of a pear tree. We called up to the villagers to toss down a couple. The tangy pear was delicious; best I’ve ever tasted. Two hours later, we had at lunch and were making our way to the Tower. The view from the top of the Tower was amazing, but I stayed up there for about twenty seconds before I got too scared and cautiously made my way down. There was one heart stopping moment when Hitesh Dai fell from the very bottom of the ladder. Later we all gathered to take the classic picture when everybody jumped at once. By the end of it everybody was laughing. We drove back, stopping for a short tea break. Around 6:00 we were back, later than expected. When I look back on my first hike I will always recall the pure, satisfying feeling of getting to the top. Knowing that I did it.
Sukirti Manandhar Computer Engineer, IT Department, Nepal Electricity Authority Though I have visited Nagarkot several times, this visit has been a memorable one. This is because it is my first experience in hiking and I enjoyed a lot with the fun loving family of Deerwalk. And I would like to appreciate as well as thank to the management team of the hiking without whom we would not have such a wonderful day.
Kalpana Maharjan Civil Engineer, PRECAR (P). Ltd. It was great experience for me to be part of IT4D hiking from Telkot to Nagarkot, a memorable trip. I enjoyed the trip. I traveled with filled up cockles of my memory and couldn’t help but smile to myself. I am thankful to Deerwalk team for showing me good time because the trip was as good as the people I traveled with.