The best competitors of ‘The 2010 South Asia Open Budgets Essay Competition’ were awarded and felicitated amid a programme organized here today. freedom1 Forum organized the essay writing competition on the topic ‘Government Budget and My Future’ in collaboration with the US-based International Budget Partnership (IBP).  In the essay writing competition held among 136 students of grade 9-12 of five English-medium schools of the capital city, Bidushi Pokhrel of Graded English Medium School (GEMS), Dhapakhel stood first and received winner award of cash Rs. 37,500 along with certificate and token of love.

On the occasion, first runner-up Prarthana Bhattarai of Budhanilkantha and second runner-up Seema Chand of DON BOSCO, Kathmandu were also provided with awards and certificates.  While giving away awards and certificates to the winners, freedom1 Forum Chairperson Tara Nath Dahal said the initiative was taken to increase understanding about budgetary transparency among school students and increase their concerns in budget issues thereby engaging citizens in ensuring transparency.

On the occasion, Chairperson of NAREC Nepal Dr. Chandramani Adhikari, Executive General Secretary of Association of the District Development Committees of Nepal (ADDCN), Hemraj Lamichhane, Governance Expert of ActionAid Nepal-MS, Ramesh Adhikari, Kedar Khadka of Pro-public, including others shed light on various aspects of government budget and transparency. The competition was participated in by the students of GEMS, Budhanilkantha, DON BOSCO, Nobel Academy and Little Angels of Lalitpur.

The competition was also held in five countries in South Asia, namely Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, on the same theme.
The IBP is a non-profit organization based in Washington DC, which collaborates with civil society organizations in developing countries to analyze, monitor, and influence government budget processes, institutions, and outcomes. The IBP and freedom1 Forum are jointly undertaking research on budget transparency in Nepal for budgetary reforms.

The IBP is all set to publish an attractive booklet of the essays and post the winning essays on its website.