Sunday, April 13, 2014

New Year 2071

नयाँ बर्ष,
तिमीलाई के भनु,
भन्नु पनि छैन कि जस्तो लाग्दैछ .
बसन्तहरु सँग फक्रिएर,
तिमी संगै रमे, शुभकामना साटे,
बार र रेस्तुरन्टमा मर्किदै, मचिदै,
केही होस्मा, केही बेहोसिमा शुभकामना साटे ।
कहिले पात्मा लेखे, कहिले हात्मा,
कहिले ईमेलमा त कहिले सेतो सेतो कागज्मा ।
मन्दिरहरु धाये, पार्कहरु छिरे,
बहना खोजी खोजी शुभकामना दिये .
अङ्रेजिमा दिएछु, नेपाली अनी के के,
शुभकामना दिन भएछु पो के के ।
तर आज
शुभकामना मेरो शुभकामना,
अर्थहिन लगेको छ .
मेरो शुभकामना बेचिएको छ .
मेरो सुभ्कामना बिष्णुमती संगै बगेको छ
खै कती बग्नु पर्ने हो,
खै कती प्रमाण खोज्नु पर्ने हो,
खै शर्मा नायधिश इजलाश्मा के भन्ने हुन,
सन्कोचहरुको बिचमा, अन्तर्घतको बिचमा,
मेरो सस्तो सुभ्कामना,
मसितै छ, मसितै सुरछित पनि,
म आँफै शुभकामना दिएरहेको छु
२०७१ शुभ रहओस ।

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Assembly of District Development Council (DDC): Context, Challenges and A Way Forward

21 Assembly, DDC Jumla

Jumla’s overview:
District Development Council (DDC), Jumla conducted its 21th assembly on 13 March 2014 in its premises where four constituent assembly (CA) members, chair of Karnali Development Commission, representatives of the government officials, political parties, village council, I/NGOs, media, women’s network, citizens were gathered. It was looked like a festival and the encouraging mass than International Women’s Day 2014, just five days before. During 2069/2070 (2013/2014), DDC spent the total Nrs 1, 88, 96,60,000 ($1889600). It constituted of DDC’s sole implementation Nrs 41, 07, 81,000, sectoral expenses Nrs 1,09,92,48000 and I/NGO’s contribution Nrs 37,96,31,000. An individual of Jumla secured Nrs 18,896 (the total population 100,000) and it was only 29 % of the expenses against plan.
Jumla is the zonal headquarter of the Karnali which characterized as the most remote, conflict affected, poor region in Nepal. However, Jumla is the most developed and accessible district than other districts (Kalikot, Mugu, Humla, Dolpa) in Karnali. Thus, it is a choice district of all development actors, government personnel and others. After Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) 2006, government and external partners put Karnali as a priority region for poverty alleviation and development. Thus, the volume of the budget is increasing and various forms of development activities are on progress such as suspension bridges, Surkhet-Jumla road, micro irrigation plants, gender, social inclusion and empowerment of women, dalit and marginalized communities.
At the meantime, Jumla has many distinguished features. The Sinja valley is popular for the origin of the Nepali language as well as place for Nepali civilization. Even today the ancient temples and royal palace can be found. Likewise, it has very popular religious places and temples such as Chandanath,Pandav gupha, Mahat etc. Jumla has few hot springs where as only Tatopani hot spring is in use and is in public attention. Jumla is the main entrance to hike Rara lake and Patrashi mountain. It is globally recognized for a place where paddy rice cultivated in the highest altitude. It is also hub for various aromatic and non-aromatic herbs, vegetables, fruits. Many culture, herbs, flora and fauna are yet to explore. Though the few outstanding and historical actions are also implanted unintentionally such as Dor Bhahadur Bista, a first anthropologist and sociologist in Nepal, founded a Karnali Institute in Chaudabis, Dillichaur. Likewise, in order to honor and commemorate people who died during 10 years Maoist insurgency in Jumla, a Miteri Shanti Batika in Bohoragaun, Katikswami is under construction. Further, the Karnali Institute for Health Academy, Jumla and Agriculture research centers in Chhumchaur and Guthichaur are franchise the importance of Jumla by many ways in national economy and development.
Sinja Valley, Jumla 
In this scenario, the expectation of people of Jumla is increasing dramatically. Meantime, the national policy discourse is also pushed to enact at micro to macro level of development in Jumla. It means, people and policy are seeking tangible results against investment from various levels and sectors. The result is more crucial to fill the gaps of about 300 year’s long deprivation, depression and domination of the state in a way and the other way around. It is also more valuable to build culture of peace at large. Despite all good initiatives forwarded by the DDC, the report and presentation is similar as 2001, 13 years back in Jumla. DDC report presented data on input instead of the results and its quality. The report piercing sharply to whom are well known about the ground realities. For instance, here, few cases shared from the grass root to validate the gaps in saying and doing.

The real stories from ground:
Agriculture: the limited cultivated land in headquarter is increasingly occupied by cemented house in disorganized manner. The market is occupied by grains, vegetables and fruits that are imported from the India. The land which is outside of the Surkhet-Jumla road and headquarter are remaining empty, farmers are avoiding to use it due to dependency on donors, migration, no modernization on agriculture, no market etc.
Jumla Bazar

Carpet enterprises owned by Chandra Bdr Rawal, Tatopani
Business and Entrepreneurship: all stakeholders are saying that Jumla is potential for the agro-forestry based business and entrepreneurship everywhere. There are 900 micro enterprises are officially registered in D-Mega association. However, the progress is very slow and sustainability still a big challenge. Many of the herbs collectors don’t know where is the exact cost, destination of the herbs and its purpose/uses. Meantime, some of the herbs is disappearing e.g. Satuwa. The local products such as chips of apples, jam, tea etc are not used by the local people. People are more prone for testing; using opportunities provided by the government/NGOs rather apply forever. Thus the nature is more exploitative than conservation and promotion for future.
Raw wool of Sheep in Jumla

Education: a three grade students not recognized the letters/words of 1-100, students are studying in ground due to not having class rooms, three classes run in the same class room, five grade school has three class rooms and three teachers. Students often go to villagers due to not having drinking water supply (Jogibada primary school, Kudari, March 2014). Most of the school activities are disassociated with the life of the students, their family and society.  Most of them have dirt hands, running nose, bare foot, merely no bags, if yes, they are torn well etc.
Grade 3 students were here due to not having class room in Gogibada, Kudari

Health: a 21 years old woman admitted in hospital for treatment of severe malnutrition of 10 months boy and she has 4 months pregnancy from Botamalika, Jumla (INF, Jumla, March 2014). District health office sanctioned two Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANM) in Sannigaun. However, both of them are living in headquarter and attained only 3 days in a month (AWON, December 2013). The birthing center should be served 24/7 hours service for the maternal and child health as policy but no one taking care of it in terms of taking corrective actions. The pneumonia, diarrhea and malnutrition are the key killer diseases for children.

Social Evils and practices: even the health personnel, school teachers are practicing Chhaupadi in headquarter of the district. Likewise, women are working 18 hours a day. In many villages specially from Sinja valley, men are not at home e.g. only 3 senior men are at village in out of 89 households in Kadagaun, Sannigaun, Jumla (AWON, December 2013).Even today the early marriage is prevalent (AWON, March 2014).
Chhaupadi in Bohoragaun, 

WASH: the 23 villages are promulgated as ODF (Open Field Defecation) free villages. Unfortunately; villages are occupied with open defecation observed in Kudari, Sannigaun. There are no toilets, if yes not used or no water or very congested and dirty too. The rate of absenteeism of adolescent girls is increasing due to not having toilets and water supply in school.

In addition from above mentioned cases/stories, the appearance of that day; the people in stage and in ground as audience is enough to understand the reality of 21 years assembly of DDC in Jumla. The number of women and quality of their presence is enough to understand the gender equality, women’s right and development at large.

Few Questions to assess the results of DDC’s budget/performance:
In order to assess the impact of such over flooded of budget and programs, hundreds of questions yet to answered by the DDC and concerned stakeholders.  The following questions are the representative questions only.
1.      How much grant is transferred at the name of women, dalit, disable at village level and what is the impact of it?
2.      What is the impact of district education office which is being implementing its strategy since last 2 years? How many schools are identified best schools and why? How many schools gave sanctioned teachers and classroom as number of grades?......
3.      Are the planned activities relevant with community and people? If yes, what is the impact yet?
4.      How many women enjoyed their rights as CEDAW article 14 ?
5.      What is the percentage of women in local peace committees?
6.      What is the status of the women within political parties e.g. how many political leaders aware about their manifesto?
7.      How many GBV survivors women get prompt response from one stop crisis center?
8.      How many women/household do abolish the Chhaupadi practice this year?
9.      What is response of police while seek support of police?
10.  How many men give up to go to migration?
11.  What is the loss from the load shedding?
12.  Which are the best practices of sustainability?
13.  Where is the analysis of the efficiency and effectiveness?

Reasons and Challenges;
To answer the above mentioned questions and to explore the underlying causes of having such devastating situation, there are various controlled and un-controlled factors. Here, few reasons and challenges explained for sensing the reality.
1.   Poor mind set:  Money, geographic difficult are not problem indeed. The positive feeling and pro activeness merely absence among the employees. They want to work in comfort zone and promoting corrupt culture. In other hand, the citizens are also fully occupied with dependency culture. The dialogue, interaction or discussions starts, `we are poor, government/NGOs are not taking care of us’. Very few people are ready to work by and for themselves.

2.   Lack of vision and commitment: in Jumla, each village council has periodic plan and these plans are accumulated at district level. Some of villagers do not know the real needs due to lack of knowledge and exposure. Rest of them know and has have resources so far for implementation. Unfortunately, the plans are not changes in to the actions. For instance, hot spring,Tatopani is a popular hot spring in Karnali. It is full with dirt, bad smell and merely zero hospitality among the members and management committees. Many things can be done without money or little money but people are feeling peace and enjoying a lot by pointing to the government and limitation of the fund.
Hotspring at Tatopani village 

The dirt in hotspring, at Tatopani

3.   Synergy among stakeholders: the government heads passing the balls from here to there at the name of system. Most of them are love to work in comfort zones, within the stereotyped system and policies. There are several examples to prove it e.g. ahead of Skills Development office, has been working in Jumla since last three years. He knows that the post training support mechanism is the key factor to continue the skills as practiced in training. He neither find a way by collaborating with like minded organizations nor manage internally. Likewise, the small cottage industry has the same experience but lack of coordination and collaboration to generate synergy and sustainability.

4.   Lack of accountability: the prolonged absence of the sanctioned post in institutions and no one pay attention to correct it. Sometimes it is open secrete among the organization head, they just ignored. Even the government personnel do not like to contribute if there is no incentives or daily allowances. Likewise, the political leaders are disperse and no common vision, planning and commitment beyond their political boundaries.

5.   Mentoring and Monitoring: Usually, the mentoring and monitoring is for the sake of formality. Even the central level mentoring and monitoring is very traditional manner and confined in papers and near by areas from the headquarter. Even the DDC is failed to do it. The village council is also a synonym of the conflict. The huge amount of money is delegated for the empowerment and development of the villages. Unfortunately, village council failed to prioritize the urgent concerns and come up with 100 plans which is not possible to work out.

6.   Absence of elected bodies at local level: The entire resources are governed by the government bodies who are not necessary be from local, expert in local knowledge and skills, and not for the long term. The local election was held in 1997 thus political parties are consulted for planning and implementation. Unfortunately, lack of knowledge and skills among the political parties/leaders and their dominant nature for everywhere, the development is really affected badly. The corruption and mis-management of fund is largely observed everywhere.

7.   Population Vs Human Rights: The total population is low compare to the geography (100000 DDC Profile, 2013). About 5% households are really rich by many ways. But rest of the population is struggling so much, living in deep depression, ignorance, extreme poverty, and so many other deprivations which is crucial for survival as human being. It has been talked several times so don’t like to repeat the same again. In this scenario, working in Jumla/Karnai is seems very time consuming, expensive and tedious too. In this connection, where is human right of low population? Where is the state for them? Where is the basic human rights of them? Where is the investment since 300 years back? Working in Jumla is often become a debate in Nepali politics and policy discourse. One school of people considered that working in Jumla is a loss of resources and another schools of thought claiming their right even asking for the compensation because it is considered a violation of human rights by many ways.

Way forward:
As shared above, the funding and the geographical difficult are not challenges, they are the opportunities in the other way around and it is only a mind set of people, institutions and all. This article doesn’t present the way forward as a form of each activities and time frame because it is only a plan, need something different beyond that as mentioned below;
1.      Establishing common goal and commitments: The civil servants are always blaming to political leaders and political leaders always pointing towards the civil servants. In Nepal, both parties; civil servants and political leaders enjoy the powers during the conflict and post conflict period from 1997-till date. Both systems don’t show the real impact in the development and good governance. In local and national level, the corruption is shooting up, the development indicators are putting off such as women empowerment, poverty indices, malnutrition etc.The experience from the monarchy to federal democratic context, none of the actors have vision towards their organizational journey. Usually, their positions and powers are floating over the temporary thoughts, emotional issues and personal interest at large. Therefore, the leaders; civil servant, political parties should sit together at least 3 days and develop a common understanding on goals and strategies where any new comers obey and function under same frame. This is real way to address the issue of Jumla and Karnali instead of gossip. The all leaders should speak, stand beyond the boundary of comfort, interest of an individual. In democracy, each should posses the right of choice, but shouldn’t turbulent the common goal at all. There should be common ways forward on gender equality and women empowerment, education, climate change and environment, health and so on.
2.      Proven model from own self: Nowadays, leaders are losing their followers because of lack of honesty and commitment on their saying since long. They are good in saying always e.g. LDO drank and verbally abuse woman and two days after gave speech on women’s rights. That kinds of examples found everywhere specially so called leaders e.g. a women leader talking about the women’s right but she practiced the harmful traditional practices e.g. Chhaupadi, no red color after death of husband. Similarly, a politician spoke over radio on fighting against corruption and next day just asked to police to release the offender of the violence against women. Thus, each activists, leaders, individuals and organizations should follow the norms and policies as guided by the government. Each should be a model rather seeking model from outside from the country and each are potential candidate to make the things happens.

3.      Solidarity among NGOs: The level of change and development achieved so far is the partially outcome of the NGO too. However, the NGOs are also so much divided by politics and donors. Many NGOs also are fall for corruption. Therefore, all NGO should sit together and make a master for implementation. NGO’s works are under mind on the basis of volume of amount its posses rather the quality work. NGOs are not for party politics, corruption and conflict in the community at all.

4.       Critical engagement in the ward level: By considering the overlapping of social issues from micro to macro level, the engagement should focus at ward level. The supports from one day training, Nrs 5000 for income generation activities, Nrs 100 for scholarship etc are not work well in transformation of rural Nepal like Jumla. The patience and consistence work required otherwise the development work doesn’t make sense at all. Without knowing logic and exposure on what it is, really doesn’t sense e.g. teachers are teaching on menstruation and practicing Chhaupadi at home.
By considering the above discussion, the DDC, Jumla  would use the budget in rational way; the total al Nrs 3,11,24,40,000 (2070/2071) where DDC will be contributed Nrs 80,83,92,000, from sectoral offices Nrs 1,64,45,15,000 and I/NGOs will be contributed Nrs 65,95,33,000.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Colors of life:

जीबन्का रङहरु, 
कालो, रातो, एस्फटिक । 
पोतिये क्यान्भस्मा,
लेखिये पानाभरी,
साटिये मुटु भरी ।
फुले मरुभुमिमा,
रसाये ढुङे पहाडभरी,
रंगिये बेरङ अश्रुबुधरु पनि।
जीबन्का रङहरु,
स्वोतोन्त्र पंक्षिहरु झै,
बसन्त का पलुवासंगै,
फुले, खेले पहेलै,
झरे सकिये कठै पारीजात .
जीबन्का रङ्हरु,
बिलाये बिजुली चम्काइ सँगै .
आयु बिनाका रङहरु,
से फोकुसुन्दो जस्तो अटल,
राराको गहिरो निलो रङ
छचल्किन्छ छन्द सँगै ।
जीबन्का रङहरु,
अपुरा अधुरा कती कती,
धुलोमा मिल्छन जती,
बिउझौछन् सपनिमा उती उती.
जीबन्का रङहरु,
Wishing HAAPY HOLI   

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Way Forward against Persistent Plane Crash in Nepal

 Today is the 12 the day out of 13 days mourning of people who were permanently gone due to crash of Jumla Bound Plane (Nepal Airlines) in 16 February 2014.For the sake of them, I am writing this article to draw attention at policy level.

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nf} ;/sf/ klg lglis|o eof], hgtf klg cgk9 eP . lzlIft, ;ls|o g]tf rflx s] ePsf xg\ s'lGg < @! cf}F ztflAbdf cem u0ftGq g]kfnsf g]tfsf] /0fgLlt b]v]/ klg pb]s g} nfUbf] 5 . ;fRr} s;– s;sf] nfz xf] < eGg] kf]i6df6{d ug]{ 6f]nLnfO{ dfq yfxf 5 xf]nf, cem egf} dfg]{ b}jnfO{ yfxf xf]nf . glrlgPsf, 89]sf nfzx? dfly xtf/xtf/,s'/fO{ s'/fO 7"nf7"nf :j/n] kf6L{sf em08f cf]8fpg eGg] cfhsf] hgtfsf] dfu, cfsf+Iff s]xL klg xf]Og . l9nf] jf rf8f] s'lxG5, uGxfpF5 eg]/ jf st{Jo af]wn] sf]xL, s'g} cfkmGt g} geP klg nfzx? ;+sng ul/G5 / glhssf] cfkmGtnfO{ x:tfGt/0f ul/G5, To;sf s'g} z+sf g} 5}g . z+sf t ca km]/L To:tf b'3{6gfx? sd u/fpg s:tf /0fgLlt canDag ul/Pnf eGg]df xf] . kmfu'g $ sf] b'3{6gf eO/xbf, gofF hf]z hfu/ af]s]sf o'jf ;ef;b\x?af6 of] kª\ltsf/n] km/s ck]Iff u/]sf] lyof] t/ b'ef{Uo k"/f ePg . s0f{nL, hf] cfhsf lbgdf hxfhsf] ofqf lglj{sNk 5, hxfF cfhsf lbgdf klg ul/aL / k5fl8kgn] r/d kL8fdf afFRg afWo 5, hxfFsf nflu sf]xL af]n]g . x'g t s0ff{nLafl;sf nflu s0ff{nLn] dfq af]Ng' kg]{ xf]Og . hf] sf]xLn] klg af]n] x'GYof], u/] x'GYof] . b'3{6gf t hf] s;}nfO{ klg kg{ ;SYof] . kmfu'g ^ ut] g} sfi7df08ksf] hxfh afh'/fdf b'3{6gfdf k/]sf] lyof] .
bf]>f] ;+ljwfg;efsf] k|f/Dedf ;a}sf] Wofg hfg] 5 . oxL b'3{6gfnfO{ glh/ agfP/ Pp6f sfof{Gjogsf] dfkb08 aGg] 5, To;sf] r':tb'?:t cg'udg ul/g]5 / g]tfx?n] ;flRrs} hgtfsf] k|ltlglwTj ug]{5g\ eGg] nfu]sf] lyof] . g]tfx?n] km]/L klg efif0f ;'gfP, ;xfg'e"lt b]vfP, uf]xLsf] cfFz' r'xfP .
g]kfndf xjfO{ oftfoftsf] ;'/Iff clgjfo{ aGb} uPsf] s'/f l:jsf/g} kb{5 . lsgeg] !_ ;do / ;+:sf/ ablnbf] 5 . ;f]vn] xjfO{ dfu{ k|of]ustf{sf] ;+Vof a9\bf] 5 . @_ …u/] s] x'GgÚ eg]/ ko{6g, pBf]u, Joj;fonfO{ dWogh/ /fVb} b'u{d g]kfnsf] k|fs[lts ;|f]t kl/rfng ug]{ hdft klg a9\bf] 5 #_ ;'b'/ klZrd, dWo klZrd / k"jL{ g]kfnsf] lxdfnL / s]xL kxf8L lhNnfx?df cfhsf lbgdf klg xjfO oftfoftn] dfq sf7df8f}+ / /fhdfu{;Fu hf]8]sf] cj:yf  5 .

o;y{ b'3{6gf 36]kl5 sf]nfxn ub}{ plkm|g'eGbf 3l6;s]sf b'3{6gfaf6 ;/sf/, g]tf / hgtfn] l;sfO{nfO{ sfo{df ?kfGt/0f u/] xfdL ;a} g]kfnLsf] enf] xf]nf .

The Ugliest side of Engagement with Ishani Shrestha, Miss Nepal 2013

Chalise Salina: Dd congrats hai project smile awarded bhayachha tesma action works lai ni dherai dherai badhaii:9/27, 8:37am
Radha Paudel:what ? I do not get you ?can you tell me more !:9/27, 9:06am
Radha Paudel: now i get it, thank you dear, my dream fulfilled

I just entered in to the room of my hotel in Istanbul, Turkey and turned on my laptop, I received above message from Salina Chalise. Obviously, this news made me pleased. I got more information about it and congratulated to all my supporters in Jumla, Kathmandu and everywhere. Indeed, we spent so much time, efforts and money to get a single, simple smile J. People considered it as pride of nation; it was the first time in the history of Miss Nepal and so on. Unfortunately, I didn’t find the name of Action Works Nepal (AWON) except at the last banner of the video. I was surprised; where is the ethics? When I watched the official video twice, I was more than shocked, my heart shaked due to the sentence spelled by Ishani Shrestha, Miss Nepal  2013. She said `I was surprised me many of them do not even tooth paste and tooth brush’’. Then, I numbed how she dared to say so? It was in Kudari which is the almost urban and educated area. After a while, I again watched video to verify her saying I knew more facts from the video. She said, the AMA SAMUHA (mother’s group) formed spontaneously. Action Works Nepal  has been working since long to form groups and its mobilization.

 It is unhidden fact that was Action Works Nepal was since beginning; fund raising in Kathmandu, and Jumla. In Video, there was photo of me, Radha Paudel, as everywhere. Next day, I received many message from Jumla and others why did Ishani Shrestha more than insult Jumla people? What would like Action Works Nepal’s position against it because Ishani Shrestha was Jumla due to Action Works Nepal.

I had connected to Hidden Treasurer in March 2013 through one of my relatives for Jumla’s Peace project but it was diverted to Miss Nepal. We had gone through series of meetings with Ishani Shrestha, Hidden Treasurer and other related people. Finally, we agreed to go Jumla for dental camp where the documentary would proceed accordingly. Further, the field preparation, media mobilization and coordination was the responsibility of AWON and the financial parts (transportation, medicine, doctors) was the responsibility of Hidden Treasure or Miss Nepal 2013.  From the AWON, that agreement allowed transportation for two person. However, that entire project/activities should be followed the principles and working framework of AWON. AWON considered Ishani Shrestha, Miss Nepal, 2013 as MEET (volunteer).

One of my friend said me, wasn’t it cliché, when I shared the plan for Jumla visit along with Miss Nepal 2013. I debated with many friends, took challenges to involve Miss Nepal 2013 in to the journey of Action Works Nepal. Indeed, it was very good idea and breaking the stereotyped culture as well. As guided by the philosophy and strategy of the Action Works Nepal, anyone can join in its mission with positive mindset, passion and commitment e.g. Barak Obama and any street vendor.

Though our agreement was not signed formally but agreed and shared over emails. Based on that, the fund raising and media mobilization was moved in Kathamndu. 

Fund Raising in Basantpur Darbar Square

Fund Raising in Basantapur Darbar Square
Fund Raising in Patan Darbar Square

Fund Raising in Patan Darbar Square
The first and second fund raising event were gone in Basantapur Darbar Square and Patan Darbar Square respectively. I was badly disappointed by the friends who were with Ishani. Because he asked the torn clothes which was acceptable for the Jumla people. I stepped on stage and debated on his statement. How dare you were, you took back your statement, it was not dignified at all. I am Jumli and NOT acceptable at all. I also shared it with Hidden Treasurer that was non-negotiable for AWON. That was the reason that AWON team sorted out all materials on office again.

AWON team sorted out clothes 
AWON's volunteers busy in packaging 

AWON's volunteers busy in packaging Add caption

The dirty and torn clothes also donated 

The days moved on. Samjhana went to the Jumla a week before to manage everything includes information about dental camp, coordination with district stakeholders, community people, media mobilization and all. Ashes was along with Samjhana for assisting her (Unfortunately, Ashes never showed up after Jumla visit; reports, sharing, photos and all).
Samjhana was in Kudari with students

Samjhana and Ashesh in meeting at Kudari

Unfortunately, flight cancelled and flue next day in May 12 2014. People were keenly waiting to welcome us.  Samjhana was really supporting my mission by heart, everything was on hand. I was so pleased and proud of her.
Street Drama Perfomed by the youths 

Welcome by community

Deuda Song by youth and women

About 300 clients benefitted from the camp directly specially extracted of tooth. Many people came for filling of teeth which was not possible due to timing and funding. We also went to the Saphuli, for meeting women’s group, went to Triveni School and Kudari High school, everywhere appreciated. The support from local NGOs, clubs, schools, security, red cross, police were very much appreciated. 
Local Police Chief warmly welcomed us 
A senior Dr working 

 We shared funny stories specially I enjoyed about the Kathamdnu about 40 years back. We also lived in the birthing center of Kudari. However, there were dark sides of the camp; i) Ishani hesitated to join public for fooding as planned, ii) I was busy in taking care of pharmacy because I was worried about follow up and I noticed there were some errors. There was hanging the Ishani’s hospital banner in the gate, I saw it when I went out for food. I was mad, how they put on their banner without my permission. The Jumla’s activities; bad and good, were belonged with AWON. I asked Kehab Dhital (AWON’s staff) to take out. No one asked about it. I didn’t have any debate except photographer of Ishani though I didn’t feel that they were our partners, only donors.

Good bye from the Kudari 
Traditional dance encountered at HQ
Ishani and myself spoke over radio Nari Aawaj about camp and experience

When I arrived back to Nepal from Turkey, my collegues asked about the space and contribution of AWON in the Jumla’s trip.  Without support of local organization, there was merely not possible. Then I wrote and called to hidden treasurer but not connected. I also wrote email with note of disagreement.  The entire photo of Jumla was belonged with AWON’s working areas so we were expecting a call for review of video. We didn’t get anything though the Ishani’s work and video secure fifth position in World Miss 2013, that was first time for Nepal.

 We always proud what we contributed to make this happened . People often blamed to leaders and others but failed to do from their side. We forget ethics which we taught to others and expect from others. 

Through this article, I sincerely apologized from my team/friends and Jumla people who were hurt from the engagement with Ishani Shrestha, Miss Nepal 2013.' 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Karnali: A dark with Freezing day due to Crash of Jumla Bound Nepal Airline,16 February 2014

Nepal Airlines: The crash plane, 16 February  2014
No any argument on each human born for die, and no one able to predict. However, I have very tough time to tolerate the pain from the horrifying, terrific crash of Nepal Airlines 9BB on 16 February 2014. I have been bonding with Nepal Airlines (NA) due to association of my dear inspirational dai Vijay Lama. Most of the NA staff helped me while travelling. Many of them knew me due to spoke on his popular television program BLACK and WHITE. I also often use it while flying from and to Kathmandu and Jumla. The direct flight is easy and cheapest than other flights though bit hard to get the tickets for ordinary people. Because there is quota for the government people, security, leaders and so on etc. Officially, I do not posses anything though sometimes I also flew by approaching myself and sometimes via travel agent. My favorite route for the direct flight is via Pokhara because it flies over Dolpa. I do not stepped in Dolpa yet and secondly, I always feeling of `flying bird’ while flying over the mountain of Dolpa. I feel so proud of my country and my mountain.
 I started my journey to Jumla since 2001 by Asian helicopter where the airport under construction for black topped. I would say that I have experienced of all forms of planes and helicopter except army.  Since day one, I always enjoy in plane where most of my friends are phobic, they chanting the names of the god/goddesses and asking for the wishes for safe and pleasant flight. I don’t know why that I simply sleep even a 30 minutes flights or enjoying with big bumping.
Due to nature of my work and philosophy, most of the people in Jumla, simply love me, respect me and relation (nata) with me; some called me elder sister, some young sister, many called me Phupu (sister-in-law), some called me Thulimummy (mom’s sister). In village, mostly people called me Radha, Radha nani, Radha Sir and very few are calling me Radha jee and Radha Madam. To me, there is no minister, no parliamentarian, no rich, no political identity and so on,  I simply but from my heart called brother, sister mother, father  and jee. Some of them called me during the special days, wishing me and invite me to eat when I am in Jumla. Some are really remember me during festivals and greetings me as like kinship e.g. they touched my foot/hand for greetings. In this ocean of love and respect, very few people just jealous and blamed me. Sometimes, it is more than blaming, press released against me. Usually, I knew such kinds of messages bit late; may be a week or month or more than that. But I never upset, I never angry with them because this is not their fault, the key gap in socialization including pro-longed depression and feudal mind set and culture of Jumla.
While travelling in and out of Jumla, I am lucky and I always get opportunity to take care of kids, money, sick person, valuable materials etc. In 12 Dec 2013, I was flying back from Jumla with Sujay Lama and Dr Edmund Kellerman. They are senior Tennis coach in US and board of directors of the Project Nepal. They were in Jumla for monitoring visits of their support as well as support Action Works Nepal. But, I was busy in chatting with my Jumla friends and relatives such as Barsa Neupane Hamal and her son, EKesh Bikram Hamal, Manav Sejuwal and so many others.
Barsa Neupane Hamal  (Nurse)and Ekesh Hamal

Ekesh was playing at inside of Jumla Airport
Barsa Neupane Hamal was the daughter in law of Sarpananda Hamal, wife of his younger son (Dipendra Bikram Hamal). Sarpananda is close family friend since 2001 while we worked together for establishing blood bank in Jumla. His grandson, Ekesh had disappointed to leave his grand dad so I try to please him by shooting photo, giving snacks and playing with him. His grand dad also asked me to take care of his daughter in-law and grandson.

During that flight, a patient was also with us so I was running to find the relatives to handover the patient. Meantime, Manav Sejuwal dai was also helping me in this process. He called ambulance to transfer the patient to hospital. I knew him since 2001 as a genuine political leader, representing Nepali Congress. He was district president in Jumla. He was the first MSC from Karnali. His wife, Kantika Sejuwal is my friend and we are together in many networks e.g Women Human Right Defender.
Transferred the patient at Nepalgunj airport
Manav Sejuwal in podium 
In Jumla, there are many lovely and funny stories associated with my life and work. In 2001, I was only one woman officer in Jumla so most of the people knew me. I also know but I do not know exact name and relation even today. I keep on confuse all the time J. I do not know that the Tek Bhadur Mahatara and Nanda Mahatara were couple for long. Both were so lovely and role model couple in Jumla. Usually in Jumla, the men are so exposed and women are not and there is huge gap in socialization between husband and wife. But that was the perfect couple, work together, travel together and always smiling. Three years back, Tek Bhadur stopped me in front of his house and requested for tea. He added, pleased just called us if you don’t have time to spent with us. We were so grateful and proud with you for leading to establish blood bank and C-section in Jumla at the first time in Karnali. Mrs Mahatara added, Radha madam, I missed your long and thick hair with Sari, she put long laugh in each meeting. Recently, she just recovered from the breast cancer; she shared with me all details. She is so courageous woman as well and her husband is real role model among men (REAL MEN). They were came to Kathmandu for follow up and others stuffs along with me on November 2013.
Tek and Nanda Mahatara

Since 2001, I was associated with Devkota family when I started to stay in Hotel Everest in Bijaynagar as paying guest. This house is belonging with Mahashanker Devkota. The association is more strong and lovely when I and Bhanu were survived in terrific war between Maoist and Nepal army on 14 November 2002. Mahashanker Devkota considered me as god daughter/adopted daughter. Devkota family is really big, even today I do not know exact name and relation but I know s/he belongs with Devkota family that means with me. They also love me and support me accordingly though we are not much closely communicated except with Bhanu’s family and Chandra (recent days). I know a brother is working in Agriculture Bank and recently in Jumla’s as a In-charge. Usually, dad (Mahashanker) and ama (mother) updates the things.

Since 2001, I keep on observing a young, genuine, calm and dynamic lady in Jumla. I know her as a player, teacher, Radio anchor. Recently, she had many hats/identities such as vice president of Nepal Red Cross Society, Jumla, President of Radio Nari Awaj, Jumla and President of Mahila Shashkta Sanjal (women’s network), Jumla.  In order to strengthen her skills and knowledge, I started to coach her, use her as resource person for Action Works Nepal, brought her to Kathmandu to train her etc. Radio Nari Awaj is also a partner organization of Action Works Nepal so voluntarily I worked with her to improve her radio as well e.g. strategy formulation.  We ate together, slept together, work together several times in village and headquarter of Jumla and Kathmandu. She was also a nominee for Youth Champion Peace Leader 2013 initiated by UNDP, for details; Further, she was very good friend of Samjhana, Saroj too.
Gauri as a Nominee for Youth Champion for Peace 
Gauri with black scarf and cream white in front row 

In 16 February 2014, I was in Kathmandu office. Samjhana shouted from her office `Radha didi, Radha didi, Jumla’s plane is out of contact.’ I was numbed. I knew some of my friends and relatives were flying and the nature of Jumla flight. Then I started to call Jumla and Kathmandu who were available in mobile network to ensure who were flying. Many of Jumla friends and relatives didn’t know about it, I felt bad. The name list of crew team and passengers were confirmed till afternoon but didn't know about the status of the plane whether it was lost or kidnapped or anything. Media shared very in consistence news and photos. Samjhana, saroj and team came to my residence and keep on trying to find the info by calling police, CDO, army who were involve in the rescue team in Arghakhachi. We gave up everything and paid full energy towards the plane crash. Called to Jumla and asked friends to take care of relatives of victims. In 17 February 2014, many of us gathered in Singhdarbar to create pressure for expedites the search of plane and later we gathered in Sundhara. Finally, about 500 people from Karnali and others gathered in front of the TU teaching hospital for getting dead bodies. Unfortunately, dead bodies arrived late. The process is very systematic and scientific too. Authorities called three family members and taught about the process. They gave us a form (Ante Martum) for filling the gaps about the details about victim (identification). It had 22 pages. I also was inside along with Sarpananda and Dipendra. Later, the friends from Jumla and Nepalgunj also started to come. We filled it well.  When I met Lalit jung Shahi, Bhanu, son of Ms/Mrs Mahatara (Santosh), I really hard to take breath.

About 3.30 PM, of 18 February, 2014 we received the dead bodies. We all went to the Pashupati. I was in Rajendra’s body to Pashupati by Ambulance. I was there till 10.30 PM. I didn’t like to leave the cremation till over. The entire Pashupati was full crying, smoke, occupied by all relatives and friends. Dipendra wanted to burn together of Brasa and her son so we waited for while and over only at 10.30 PM. But two dead bodies still not recognized (administrative process) because they flew at the name of different person. Manav dai and Gauri’s also not over due to political reason. Nepali congress wanted to put Manav’s body in its party office for condolence and Gauri’s mom was coming late from Jumla (initially, Gauri’s body planned to bring to Jumla).

In 19 February 2014, we started to burn our friends since morning. We did Gauri’s about 9 am where Nepal Redcross Society, player and Federation of journalists in Nepal and many people were there. She never married woman so there was confusion for performing funeral activities. Paban, Gauri’s nephew wanted to lead the process, he did fire on dead body (dagbatti), he mentally prepared for that. Unfortunately, his dad and neighbors not agree with him according to Hindu mythology. I know Gauri well, we share the plans  so Paban is right person. I also spoke with Tara (Gauri’s brother) and others to change the Shastra (mythology). I said, does Shastra write about daughter to perform funeral of their parents, my sister and myself did along with our brother so let’s change the frame of Shastra. There was big debate and finally Paban was chosen when Gauri’s mother also suggested for the same.
Then, about 1 PM, Manav’s body brought from party office, he was kept on pyre no 2, considered VIP. Sher Bhadur Deuba and Prakashman Singh were there for honoring him by putting Nepali Congress’s flag over his body.

I knew almost all, Dr Bikalpa Pokhre because I have special connection with Jumla hospital due to establishing a blood bank and C-Section. He was continuing the things which are initiated since 2002 during my time. Deepak Shrestha, a major was appreciated my book Khalangama Hamala, he was good friend of my friends. I knew all of them in a way and other except Denis citizen.

While Manav was on fire, I felt so bad and asking myself; why do I survive all the time? Manav, Barsa, Ekesh, Tekendra and Nanda were together with me while leaving Jumla in November and December 2013 respectively.  I have very bad headache. I couldn't control myself and I ran back to residence.Indeed, I love to die via air crash or heart attack though it would very panic to relatives/family/friends.

Likewise, I wonder myself, the big chunk of productive people were lost from Jumla which push back about 20 years of Jumla’s development because they are role model in all sectors; politics, journalism, teaching, banking, doctor, nurse etc.
To me, it is the more pain and lose than the Jumla’s attack by Maoist in 14 November 2002. The entire Jumla freeze and in dark.
Now, I am sick having chest infection, severe headache, none of the medicine works. I have no word to express my pain, feeling so empty in my heart and mind.

Love you all, and may your departed souls REST in PEACE. I like to borrow a word of Sarpananda dai; make the space in Heaven for me, I will come one day to see you all.
Dead bodies in TUTH, Maharajgunj

After identification of dead bodies, ready to bring Pashupati

Final good bye to all 

For video news, here is the link

PS: This is my personal experience and feelings, my observation Only, I wrote and share for ventilate myself, self counselling