Knight Times

The Student News Site of Arizona College Prep

Knight Times

Knight Times

Biman Chapagai: Nepalis Rights’ Advocate


Advocating for justice and freedom may seem pointless when you believe the impact you are causing is minor. However, everyone’s voices affect the world, and speaking up against issues that cause harm to people is meaningful. Helping others voice their concerns when they are not heard causes an immeasurable effect on people’s lives and their opportunities for a better future. It is important to remember that bringing about change is not always easy and requires time and dedication. We all have the power to positively impact the world, no matter how small it may seem. Nepal representative and senior at ACP, Biman Chapagai, attended the UNI Global Union as the youngest participant at age 17. UNI Global Union is a global union federation representing workers in 150 countries. Its goal is to expand collective bargaining and protest to advance social and economic justice. It combats large corporations and unjust conditions from government agencies. Some of its sectors include finance, retail workers, women’s justice, and child labor, among others. Biman gave an influential speech to 2,000 people about his story and combating the Nepali government’s attempt to shut down the extra postal service, thus resulting in 11,000 workers being unemployed. He was also able to vote as a delegate on serious issues regarding equal pay, the effect of big corporations on employees, and the AI crisis. Biman is strongly passionate about defending the rights of disadvantaged workers in Nepal, and as he stated, “I wish more people knew that workers in Nepal are not nearly half as fortunate or have the capabilities to meet fair working requirements as we do in the US… In the US, there are institutions to help you find jobs or access to websites to find a job. In Nepal, finding internet access, let alone jobs, is extremely hard, resulting in many people not leaving their place of work because they are forced to conform to the demands of big companies, or not being able to find a new job when losing one.”

I had the chance to ask Biman what inspired him to advocate for Nepali workers’ rights, to which he responded, “It allows me to support my community and push forward an agenda to grow as a nation, allowing for the success of not only the nation itself but the people in it, which includes the working class. Without rights for the workers, there is an imbalance of power, leaving a divided nation.” At the conference, Biman gave a speech highlighting the injustice of the Nepali government shutting down the extra postal service and limiting the ability to give mail to remote and inaccessible regions of the nation. He also shed light on the workers’ experience with facing inequalities from a nation that is supposed to protect and support them. Biman finished his speech by beseeching all the international labor union leaders to pressure the Nepali government and support their fight for justice.

Since many other countries participated in the conference, it provided different perspectives on multiple social issues. As Biman stated, “Attending the event was an amazing experience that opened my eyes to the truth that there is so much more struggle in the world than what we hear on the news. Getting a chance to listen to different unionists from various countries allowed me to hear about different issues and struggles that ranged from the takeover of big corporations to fight against artificial intelligence.”

Although speaking up and making yourself heard can be intimidating, people like Biman have a significant impact on the world for the better. At only 17, he was able to attend a global union affiliated with 150 countries and represent the entirety of Nepal. When I asked him how he planned to further advocate for Nepali workers’ rights, he stated, “I hope to be more involved and play a more active role in the community by progressing through the next few years as an active member and proposing new ideas to help not only my country but workers globally. At the start of October, I will attend the Uni Global Union Asian Conference hosted in Thailand.” His dedication to helping disadvantaged workers will greatly improve the lives of laborers worldwide. Thank you, Biman, for inspiring people at ACP and all around the world to use their voices. The entire ACP family cannot wait to witness your future accomplishments. Go Knights!


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