Training on Social Media for Bridging Urban and Rural Youth has been successfully completed on May 12, 2013 at Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science, (IAAS) Rampur campus in Chitwan, Nepal with more than 40 undergraduates of Agriculture and Veterinary Science as participants. The aim of the training was to provide knowledge about social media and its wise application and bridge the gap between the rural and urban youths via different social media such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. It was organized by environmental activists, Mrs Kavita Gautam and Mr Jiban Panthi. The program was supported by Youth Action Fund.The program started with exchange of information such as names, institute of their involvement, hobbies, dislikes and expectations from the program by participants. After the introduction session, Mr Jiban Panthi, one of the resource persons gave brief history of how the term "climate change" evolved. Later on, Mrs Kavita Gautam introduced participants to the different social media that are being used to interact with the virtual world.As said by Mrs Gautam, "social media is the group of internet based virtual communication and networking application. It is second life (first life is face to face interaction) and interactive platform for people of common interest". According to her, "social media are means of two way interaction. Unlike traditional media, social media has created opportunities of two way communication and now-a-days are being changing business. Social media can be used for different purposes such as selling goods, connecting audience, interacting with friends of common interest, promote large campaigns etc."“Social media though has many advantages, it has disadvantages too. Social media might enhance criminal activities viz-a-viz hijacking, woman trafficking, sexual abuse and harassment, misuse of information etc. Misuse and abuse of social media are becoming one of the major problems. It might also create abnormalities such as addiction, depression etc. in youth”, said Kavita.Resource persons mainly focused on Facebook, Twitter and Wordpress blogs. They gave detailed information about how social media like Facebook, Twitter and Wordpress blogs can be used to empower youth and connect with each other to bridge the gap between rural and urban youths. During the training, detailed explanation on Wordpress blog was done after the break by Mrs Gautam.At the end of program, Assistant Professor Ananta Prakash Subedi of the Department of Ecology, IAAS, said that such type of training helps youth to explore their creativity and give them opportunity to build up their career. According to him, such kind of program increases skills, knowledge and information level of youth. He also focused on the necessity of follow up programs to keep youths active in social media.Achievements of the training:
- Knowledge about different social media such as facebook (profile, page, group etc.), twitter, wordpress, blogspot/blogger etc., and their feautres.
- Use of these social media to disseminate knowledge and bridge the gap between youth of different location such as rural and urban areas.
- Creation of Facebook Group named “Social Media for Bridging Urban and Rural Youth: IAAS, Rampur Chitwan”.
- Creation of new blogs.
- Common platform for social media activists with common interest.
- Though there are many other social sites to be included; they were excluded during training. It would be better if other social media such as Paperli, Academia, LinkedIn, Skype, PB Works, Drop Box etc. were introduced.
- Internet facility became major problem. This was major constrain to practice the knowledge on spot.
- Pre and post assessment of knowledge of participants about basic social media. which would be helpful for report preparing was conducted too.