SMART Club: A platform for public speaking and debating!

The Beginning of the Journey…

Smart Club; an open platform for public speaking and debating for young people, a commonly heard statement in my as well as many friends of my circle. One fine morning, I got to join Smart Club with my brother (as he used to be a regular member that time). Playing a game of excitement, confusion and fear all at once into my mind, we entered the magnificent hall at PIC. Since my brother was also an executive member, he left and I was sitting in the last row of the hall.

Smart Club

The first day experience…

Even though there were many participants like me attending the session like me, I was already feeling alone with myself. I didn’t know that I had to introduce myself there. I vividly remember the difficulty I had while uttering; ” (trembling voice) Good morning everyone…ah…My name is Manoj Bohara……thank you…(sighs)  and I couldn’t speak more. Despite the difficulty, embarrassment and fear how relieved I was to complete my introduction.

That was the moment when all of the superiority complexes I had shattered into pieces and new personality in me evolved. A point in my life which gave a birth to an awareness of my existence. Welcome to the journey, I said to myself! The long lost inner spark of my life was rekindled and it didn’t extinguish.

So then, it happened, the most momentous occasion of my life so far. It was like a tinkle in my heart bringing a wave, which settled all the confusions in the shore, and left behind an ocean of freedom; like the first crackling of ice after 16 years of fear induced freezing. There was only me, my breath, the beating of my heart and the sound of applause. I expressed myself through normal gestures from the outside, but from inside, I was spreading my arms to a new world of possibilities. That was the moment when I believed in my existence.
– Extract from ‘From where it all began…‘ by Saurav Bhatta where he shared his moments from his first speech at smart club.

The Story of Self-Growth and Progress…

Every Saturday morning turned out to be a mirror through which I’d reflect myself and put on necessary makeup in my life.

 “When I entered smart club I was fascinated by young people, hall and overall ambience. I was antisocial and it transformed me to sociable human being, my fear into VOICE. It gave me energy and amazing human beings who later became my friends, mentors and motivators. Normally, we have the fear of being judged but Constructive judgement in Smart Club became the way to overcome our barriers. I believe I would not be able to express myself this way had I not joined Smart club. When I feel less confident, I remember my first role as a time keeper in Smart club and it rejuvenates my confidence again.”
Shikha Neupane

Speech
Credits: Md Saif

SMART Superlative Hunt

 In order to overcome my weaknesses, I remember practicing hand movements and rehearsing my written scripts even while walking in the streets. After more than a year of regular presence in the club, one of my close friends encouraged me to participate in a speech competition. That was “SMART Superlative Hunt-2012”, a public speaking competition organized by Smart Club. With doubtful mind, I eventually participated there and only wished to get through the initial round. Practicing day and night, continuous support and encouragement from the friend, I surprisingly entered into the finals. I didn’t win the competition but I had already won the biggest competition in my life until then. Still, the competition stays very close to my heart.

“Smart Club, was a vessel in which I poured down all my amateur energy and yielded results. A place, at times hard to be at with inferiority complexes hanging in and around your head. And the amateur criticisms but still a family you could build in your own funny way. It was a kick start to achieving confidence in myself, which I had been seeking for a long period of time. Smart Club acted like a home to a homeless.
Manish Khatiwada

Young and Vibrant CCT members

A person who used to be so shy and fearful even while giving introduction at Smart Club gradually progressed and emerged as one of the club coordination team (CCT) members of Smart club. I was eventually sharing the leadership to lead the club with amazing friends. And that was not the end. Along with the coordination of CCT and other members, we organized first ever Residential Camp at Kakani in the occasion of 400th Session of Smart Club. That was surely a huge success.

Young people in Kakani Camp
Smart Club’s 400th session…

Smart Club Hall

At the meantime, the lavish PIC hall at World Bank, Yak & yeti was closed and we had challenge of running Smart Club. Sometimes, we would conduct sessions at Youth Initiative Premise and sometimes in the colleges. After a long wait, Class Nepal hall was managed. Despite the hardship, everything was worth it at the end 🙂

“I became a part of Smart Club in 2014 and since then, it’s safe to say Smart Club has become a part of me. A part of me that I adore and am most proud of. I spent merely six months directly participating in the club but the entire experience is to be cherished for a lifetime. Not to sound cliched, but the exposure I got there, extraordinary people I got to observe (some, I’m fortune enough to call ‘friends’). Also the skills I learned and unlearned; and the beautiful ambience of the PIC hall is truly the best thing I’ve ever been a part of.”
Sahara Bhetwal

A year later, there came another amazing program “The Pioneer Quest: A Public Speaking SAGA”, a public speaking contest organized by Smart Club. I was there hosting the finals of the contest. And, interestingly, the judges were same who were there in “SMART Superlative Hunt-2012” as well. And, seeing the progressive shift in me, they were glad and appreciated too. For a moment, I was flying high 😉

“Smart club is like my second home. Smart club is not only for public speaking and debating. It has helped me build public relations with young and vibrant people. It’s been a place where I found diversified people and we are like family members. I used to be shy and feel insecure during the initial days and Smart Club has helped me groom.” – Binod Bhandari

Epilogue

Smart Club opened it’s heart and was so kind to this weary young guy. I was so engulfed into its love and affection. The weeks melted into months and months into years and still unnoticed. 6 years of connectedness with the enchanting and vibrant environment.
I see an immense progress in my life since the day I joined Smart Club. All that happened is because of amazing young family at Smart Club. I thank Smart Club for bringing all the amazing things in my life. Cheers 🙂
About the author

I come from the land of Gurkhas; the brave soldiers who fought tirelessly and didn’t let any countries rule Nepal. Because of those Gorkhalis, the Nepalese are proud to call “Nepal has always been an independent nation so far.” Nepalese Flag is the world’s only non-quadrilateral national flag; red color symbolizing the bravery and blue symbolizes peace and harmony. What a proud thing. Also, Nepal was the Hindu Kingdom in the past and now a secular state welcoming people from all the religions. Nepal is a country of living heritages and Kathmandu a city of temples. All in all, Nepal is a country with Unity in Diversity. Thank you for reading the boring random shits. These things don’t relate to me in any way. And those are not the things that describe me. If I introduce myself with the common voices of any nationality, group or community, it’s nothing but sheer stupidity. A part of it can be a shared introduction but not fully. So who am I? I don’t know who I am. It’s been years of SEARCH but nothing has been excavated yet. And also, I am not the right person to describe who I am. It's you who know me and whatever I say about me makes no sense. You tell me who I am ;)

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