Report By: Samip Bikram Thapa
When I woke up in the morning, I had no idea I was going to be a volunteer in the Seventh International Conference on Information Technology for Development (IT4D). This year's conference was purely virtual due to the post-COVID-19 that we live in. The conference started exactly at 1 PM on 26th November 2021. We were busy making preparation so that the entire program doesn't go without any setbacks. The program was started by our host and my friend Avipsa Prasai (Class of 2023) along with the conference being monitored by Aahishma Khanal (Class of 2021). I was a volunteer along with Dhiraj Phuyal (Class of 2023). We were all working under the supervision of Sagar Shrestha. The conference started right on time where our host told the 'rules' of the conference. Each speaker had 20 minutes to finish their presentation. If any time was remaining the speaker utilized the time to answer any questions from the participants. There were three main sessions with a 10-minute break between them. The break gave us time to stretch and relax. Our Campus Chief and other teachers checked on us from time to time to know how the event was going. There were slight hiccups due to things like network issues and peripheral issues but those were to be expected given the situation. The program concluded with closing words given by Mr. Rudra Pandey, Chairman of Deerwalk Institute of Technology at around 8:30 PM (Nepali time). The organizing committee went out to have dinner when the program ended treating ourselves to a much-deserved celebration. It was a great opportunity for me as a student to volunteer in such an annual program where I got to hear inspiring things and ideas from various scholars living in different parts of the world on using information and technology for development.
Report By: Mandip Prasai
I was always curious to present paper at international conferences. This was my first and a wonderful experience presenting a research paper at the Sixth International Conference on Information Technology for Development (IT4D).
I was representing this conference as a student from DWIT college, Tribhuwan University and as a researcher from Summus Engineering and Consultancy. It has been a great experience to meet many intelligent personnel, sharp colleagues, experienced entrepreneurs, researchers, professors, and international delegates. I fully enjoyed the two-day conference with many interesting presentations and discussions on various technologies and researches.
This time I was a bit in a rush during the conference. I had my college final examination scheduled till 1 pm and my conference presentation was scheduled at 2: 45 pm the same day. Anyhow, I was able to manage both of these. Now, this was the time to present my research paper. Shy by nature and junior by age, I was dreading at the beginning. I started presenting the paper. My paper was titled “Approaches to Solving Issues in Healthcare Industry using Emerging IoT Technology”. As I started the presentation, I found most of the audience getting interested in my topic. This helped me to overcome my fear and I was in the flow with my presentation. In the end, I got a round of applause from the audience. Now, this was the time to defend questions from panelists. I answered the question asked by one of the panelists Mr. Ritu Raj Lamsal. After this, I was very happy to listen to good comments from the other panelists Mr. Garry de la Pomerai. After getting queries from the audiences and answering to them my presentation ended. After the first day of the conference, we had some snacks at the 109-degree restaurant.
The second day of the conference was scheduled at the Kathmandu Marriott Hotel. The keynote speeches, researches, and presentations were awesome. The hospitality throughout the conference was wonderful. The second day of the conference ended at around 5 pm with photo sessions.
I would like to express heartfelt thanks to the organizing committee and the people who have made this conference possible. I would also like to thank all the presenters for proving fruitful information. Thanks to my supervisor Mr. Bhas Raj Pathak and co-authors who made the research work possible. I have benefited very much from this fantastic event.
Report By: Prof. Dr. Bhawani Shankar Chowdhry
I have been planning to visit Nepal since last 25 years. My this dream came true just this week by visiting Deerwalk Institute of Technology to participate in International event IT4D. Now I feel that my visit was not only concerned to participate and contribute for the IT4D event but it remained exciting, adventurous, and rewarding. The words become short to express my feelings. Fantastic experience of Nepali smile and Namaste was noted everywhere.
Of course, first and foremost objective of the visit was: to attend IT4D event, to deliver my keynote, to share my success stories in terms of academic collaboration and achievements to motivate participants and young faculty, to chair technical session, to get insight about research and development in the area of ICT in Nepal, to develop networking and so on. Though, I visited more than 100 universities/Institutes of several countries like UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, USA, Canada, Japan, Romania, Netherlands, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Pakistan, UAE in my 35 years of academic career, when Mr Ritu Raj Lamsal took me around DWIT, and after having discussions with faculty and students, without any exaggeration I would like to say that DWIT is a small beacon of excellence for imparting quality undergraduate education in the field of Computer Science and Information System in Nepal. In my opinion, it is high time for DWIT to embark upon Masters program.
Traveling to different visiting places was also a great experience. Be it Pashupati Nath temple, Be it Chandragiri, Be it Mahaboudha, Be it Bakhtapur, Be it Shiva Temple of Sanga, Be it Swayambhunath, Be it Lord Vishnu Budhanilkantha temple, Be it temple of Changu Narayan, Be it adventurous mountainous trip of Nagarkot, you really have heavenly feelings everywhere.
I feel my trip was highly rewarding to meet Notable Alumnus of my university Dr Rudra Raj Pandey and to know that he has achieved many mile stones of his career and has been contributing significantly in empowering Nepalese student with the emerging trends in Computer Science and Information Technology needed for digital transformation for benefit of local and global communities.
Last but not least, I am thankful to Surendra Nath Adhikari, Hitesh Karki, Ritu Raj Lamsal, and all team of IT4D at DWIT for unforgettable hospitality. My wife and I really felt it like at home. It will be unfair, if I do not mention good company of two volunteers Dheeraj, and Sidharat for their nice company during visits to holy places.
I highly recommend academicians from all around the word to plan your visit for next IT4D 2019 in this beautiful country to develop academic collaboration in the best interest of humanity. God Bless us All.
Report By: Samikshya Gautam & Tanis Thapa
After two days of informative and wonderful IT4D conference event, came the day of fun filled and adventurous hiking. I reached Deerwalk premise at around 8.45 am and had breakfast with the hiking team. At 9.43 am, we boarded the bus and took off with full of excitement and thrill. We reached Sankhu at 10.58 am, carried our bags and started the beautiful and adventurous hiking journey to Jaharsingh Pauwa. The team was led by Surendra sir and hiking was going quite well when the adventure actually started after he got confused on the path and the team got separated. It was actually kind of ‘into the wild’ type of situation then as we had to make our way through the dense forest. The situation got even scary when we faced the problem of leech in our skin. Thanks to Samjhana who had bought salt to get rid of leech. After walking for around 5 hours, we reached Jaharsingh Pauwa where the bus was waiting for us. After all the team members arrived, we boarded the bus again and headed towards Lapsiphedi.
We reached the resort, freshened up and took some rest. Everyone was tired and hungry after such a long walk. All the hiking team got seated together and started conversations. We were then served with delicious snacks and drinks. After some snacks and rest, we had lunch. As we took long time during hiking, we didn’t get the chance to stay for long in the resort. So once everyone had their lunch and a little rest, we were set to go back to Kathmandu. We boarded the bus one more time and headed back to Kathmandu. It was really fun while returning back. We sang songs and danced in the bus despite having very little space. Dr. Gokul Bhandari sir also joined us and made the journey more interesting.
We finally reached the Deerwalk complex at around 8 pm. Everyone thanked each other and left but the journey didn’t stop for me. I had the opportunity to sit, have a conversation and drink a cup of tea with professors Dr. Gokul sir, Dr. Rudra sir, Hitesh dai and others. It was really memorable day for me as not only did I had the most amazing hiking of my life, but also got on opportunity to know people of various fields and got to learn a lot of things.
My father (Devinder Thapa) invited me to hike together with his crew from the IT4D conference, this event was put together by the nice and welcoming people from the deerwalk association. Naturally, exploring the nature has always been something that I’ve been fascinated by therefore I accepted the offer, with an eagerly expression on my face. As i’ve hiked several times before in Norway and Sweden, I had a set expectation believing that hiking in nepal would be very similar to those country. However I realized after the hike that the outcome was vastly different than my expectation. So in this essay, I will briefly compare and contrast the hiking experience between Norway and Nepal.
The first and the biggest difference was the terrain that we hiked on. In norway the mountains are rocky and therefore easier to grip on and climb and there is more friction involved therefore lessening the chances of slipping or falling down and such but at the same time more demanding when it comes to using strength and requires overall more endurance. In contrast to that Nepal was more rich in mud(correct this if i’m wrong) than rocks. This led to more slippery paths and ultimately made me more focused and adaptive to the environment. It had rained not long before the hike to, therefore making if more slippery. The trees and the branches were my best friends when i came to climbing situations as I used them as tool to keep my balance well. This was a striking difference which made for a new and refreshing experience hiking.
Leading on to the next point, another major difference was the presence of other creatures, whether they were tiny insects or intimidating snakes. Surprisingly the insects were the loudest and this is according to it being the mating season of the year and the females are focusing on attracting the males and vice versa. In contrast to this Norway is more peaceful and encountering other wildlife is very difficult as they lack variety in species of different animals and they are very shy. In fact there is more chance of finding another human being then an animal.
Finally the last and the biggest difference are the existence of the annoying leeches. This was a completely new experience for me and it was my very first encounter. Despite me not being afraid of them I had to regularly check for them as it would sting and itch once they bit and sucked me. Despite this being a minor substance for people who are used to hiking here in Nepal, it’s a pretty funny difference.
To conclude this short essay, This was an amazing and refreshing event organized by Deerwalk community. I delivered it every way packing out an amazing experience, and it gave me a new look in nepal’s natural beauty. This is something I would definitely like to try again and I definitely didn’t regret my decision of going with my father. The people in this event was amazing and very fun to talk to. They taught me many things about nepal and even met someone who was from the very same village as my dad. If it was possible I would maybe apply for internship later if the subject still interests me, and Finally thanks to everyone in the deerwalk community for organising this immersive and fun event.
Report By: Samjhana Pokhrel, Analraj Bhattarai & Kofulla Shrestha
At 8:30, all of us in the hiking team gathered together at the Deerwalk premises. Loaded with water bottles and drinks, we started from Panauti and headed towards Khopasi. It took us around two hours to hike to Banthali from Khopasi. We enjoyed walking a lot with our team. At one point during the long walk, we got caught up in bushes and slippery roads and ended up with an unforgettable moment – one of our colleagues slipped to the ground comically producing a bout of laughter from the rest of us. What an experience! Then a few of us, including me, followed a different way to reach the resort.
For a while we relaxed and took a lot of photos but soon we were speeding up again. Laughing, talking and resting on the suspension bridges, when and how the hours passed, no one knew. Than after about an hour of a walking, we finally reached the resort.
The resort was exactly as we had imagined. A quite resort amidst scenic views of nature. We stayed at the resort for three hours; eating, drinking, and dancing. All the while some of us occupied the dance floor while others kept busy just watching and enjoying. Finally, we had a delicious lunch together after which all of us came to the dance floor.
Singing and shouting we started moving down, crossing all the bushes and hanging bridges. After what seemed like a very short journey, we reached Khopasi. Then we got on our bus and drove all the way back to Kathmandu.
On the 1st of August, I can honestly say that I had one of the best experiences in hiking. We started off at Deerwalk with a good breakfast and some happy conversations and headed to the bus that would take us to Khopasi. After reaching there, we started the hike with good spirits. We walked on and on and on. We observed the wounds of last year’s earthquake and how it had impacted the life of people living there. We saw raging rivers, beautiful scenes, and long bridges. We came across so many plantations and took photos of various sites.
Even though it was narrow path almost many of us felt it was not so tough compared to high hill trekking. The climb was so joyful that we felt like even the weather was encouraging us. We laughed, talked and walked so happily that initially we were not exhausted at all. Then slowly the conversations drained, and we started talking more slowly and walking more slowly.
But soon enough I could see our destination in sight. Then we sped up once again. When we reached there, I sat down, rested and had enjoyable conversations with pleasant people. The dancing began, and I watched happily from afar.
Soon enough it was time for lunch where we ate to our fill. I never realized that I was so hungry, and I must have eaten a lot more than considered healthy. I did feel like I haven’t had such delicious food. I was just that hungry, or the food was that delicious.
Afterwards the dancing resumed, and I joined in for a bit towards the end. And I’m happy to say that I wished that we could’ve dance for a while longer. We then walked back towards our bus on a journey that seemed much shorter than before. The path seemed narrow and started descending through the forest and because of the recent rain most of the way was slippery . Many of us lost balance and ended up sitting right on the wet rocks.
After we had climbed onto our bus, the exhaustion hit me, and I felt like I had no energy left in me. The ride refreshed and energized me, and I walked off home with a smile on my face.
Before attending the IT4D conference I thought the conference would be boring like other conferences. Obviously I know IT and of course it does help in many aspect for development. But the scenario was completely different. The IT4D conference was much more interactive and interesting. Before attending the conference I didn’t know that we had done so many things due to IT and IT has helped us a lot. It was new to me. “Wow! We have mobile apps used in these fields?!”I met so many people in the conference and I think this might be the cool way to reach more people. I think I should be able to use many of these mobile apps in my line of work. And that would be awesome! I hadn’t known much more about the mobile apps and IT before I went to the conference. But now I feel like I need to update myself.
As for the hiking, my thoughts before and after the hike were completely different. In the hike I found people who have so much ideas stored in them. Those people were fun loving people, their ideas were aspiring, their motives were clear and it was really good to know them. The most fun part was the killer dance moves of the people. And I thought to myself, “I should learn them too.” Meeting new people was a really good experience. Ideas click, but people make it happen. And I think fun is the best way to do it. Getting to know the people, making friends, sharing life experiences was the astounding environment. Wow! That’s the best way to do it. I am really glad to be a part of it. And I am grateful to everyone that led me to it.
Report By: Mahika Pandey
The morning was cool when we stepped off the bus and stretched our legs. Our hike was to start and begin at a resort in (start place). At a restaurant, we loaded our back packs with water bottles while the talking lightly and musing of the journey ahead. The journey had been short: only an hour. Our group had assembled at the Deerwalk complex for breakfast before boarding the bus and setting off. We had pulled into the resort at around 10:00.
We were led down the road into a grassy area by a local guide. He pointed at a very muddy, steep incline that we were supposed to climb. The inclined path was the first leg of our journey: it was also the worst! The trail was narrow, uphill, and infested with leeches: most of us were bitten. We came upon many slippery patches of ground and sudden downhill sloped areas, where everyone was forced to jump. After a half hour of complaints on my part and difficult hiking, we took rest at a wayside restaurant. We gave each other much needed leech checks and a number of socks and shoes had to be shook clean.
We decided to abandon the road less traveled and take the main road for the remainder of the hike. The road was rocky and winded up the mountain. The atmosphere was light as walked, glad that we were free of the treacherous path we’d started on. However, the rocky road soon became muddy and slippery. The incline steepened and every step was taken more cautiously, as not to slip and fall.
We headed back down soon after. The wet ground was even harder to navigate downhill. When we reached the rockier road we had an option: take the long, leech-free route, or the leech-infested shortcut. Without much hesitation we chose the safe way out. The downfall of the safe route: there was no shade from the relentless sun, and the road was endless. Under the glare of the sun the road spiraled upwards as we walked along it.
After about an hour of walking, we again reached the resort in (end place). We sat gratefully in the indoors and downed cold drinks. We stayed at the restaurant for three hours, eating, drinking, and even dancing! The music came on and a dance floor was created in the middle of the floor. The dancing was spirited and some of the tipsier adults provoked lots of laughter with their dancing. We ended our time at the restaurant by taking turns standing in front of the camera and talking briefly about the hike.
When we finally piled back into the bus it was 5:00. The ride back was alive with a game of Antakshari! Everyone enjoyed the raucous singing and light talk. We pulled into Deerwalk at around 6:30. After farewells, we all headed back home. The hike had been a short and tumultuous, but great fun nevertheless!