Bam Bahadur at the National Youth Consultation to end child and early marriage event held in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Bam Bahadur’s Story

Bam Bahadur BK is a young leader from Achham, Nepal whose story exemplifies resilience, determination, and the power of youth empowerment. Bam inspires and leads other young people with disabilities, proving that limitations can be overcome.

I was born and raised in Turmakhand, a remote village in Achham, where tradition is strong and opportunities can be scarce. Here, corruption and prejudice are woven into the fabric of society.

Bam Bahadur

Despite losing sight at a young age, Bam Bahadur refused to be confined by his circumstances or his village’s limitations. He was determined to continue his education and thus enrolled in a special needs class in Mangalsen, living away from home in a dorm. Throughout his school years, Bam displayed a natural leadership quality, which blossomed through various activities he participated in. He actively sought out opportunities to develop these skills. This dedication paid off when Bam won Classic Speaking Idol 2019 and placed First Runner Up in Mr. and Ms. Blind Rocker 2021. These experiences instilled confidence and a voice to advocate for change in his community.

Bam Bahadur’s nature of actively trying to improve himself led him to his selection to the second cohort of the European Union Youth Sounding Board (YSB) as a representative of Sudurpaschim Province.

Being selected for the YSB as a representative of Sudurpaschim Province felt like a validation of my efforts. This program offered a unique opportunity – uniting young people from marginalized communities and promoting inclusivity.

Bam Bahadur

Bam Bahadur participated in a YSB orientation program involving 26 YSB members representing diverse communities, including people with disabilities and the Dalit community. The program also included then-European Ambassador Nona Deprez and representatives from various organizations: Restless Development Nepal, E.U. Partners, E.U. in Nepal, Oxfam, Youth Innovation Lab, and Helvetas Nepal.

The first day of this program was great! We played different games we created, all about leading others, connecting with people, and working together. The games were designed to be accessible for everyone, so I never felt left out.

Bam Bahadur
Bam Bahadur Bk getting involved in a YSB team building activity
Bam Bahadur Bk participating in a YSB team building activity.

As a YSB member, Bam Bahadur actively participated in workshops on climate change, governance, and gender equality. These workshops sharpened his leadership skills and provided a platform for him to champion the cause of disability rights.

I used my participation in YSB to speak up about the challenges faced by people with disabilities. I’m proud to say that, as a result, YSB itself took steps to improve accessibility in all aspects of the program, including travel, accommodation, and activities. This will ensure future YSB cohorts are more inclusive and welcoming to people with disabilities. This is a significant win for the disability community, and I’m grateful to have played a part in it.

Bam Bahadur

Bam Bahadur is currently studying Bachelor of Arts and Laws (BALLB) at Sudurpaschim University, but his education extends far beyond the classroom. Overcoming challenges from a young age, Bam Bahadur has reached a place where he can contribute to positive change. His journey of learning and growth continues, fueled by his determination to become a powerful advocate for disability rights and an inspiring leader for his community.

Bam Bahadur participating actively at the National Youth Consultation to end child and early marriage event held in Kathmandu, Nepal
Bam Bahadur at the National Youth Consultation to end child and early marriage event held in Kathmandu, Nepal.

The Youth Sounding Board (YSB) is a consultative platform for Nepalese youth to influence EU actions, making them more participatory, relevant, and effective for young people in Nepal. The second YSB cohort was implemented by Youth Innovation Lab, Oxfam, and Helvetas Nepal, with Restless Development Nepal serving as the coordination partner.