The Nepal Digest - February 20, 1996 (8 Falgun 2052 BkSm)

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The Nepal Digest Tuesday 20 Feb 96: Falgun 8 2052 BS: Year5 Volume47 Issue3

  Today's Topics:

        1. Message from the editor

        2. KURA_KANI

              Sociology - From Nepal's Mountains to Bombay Brothels
              Education - A school in Magdi district needs your help
              Tourism - Tourism and deforestation
              Economy - Floating vs. Fixed exchange rate what is Nepal's choice?
              Cultural - Re: No Bamboo, No Flute
              Politics - Old Habits Die Hard...

        3. JAN_KARI

                    Visa Lottery (1997)
                    Bagh chal -- "Tigers and goats"
                    American Research in Himalaya & Tibet (fwd)
 * TND Board of Staff *
 * ------------------ *
 * *
 * TND Foundations: General Information *
 * Editor/Co-ordinator: Rajpal J. Singh *
 * TND Archives: Sohan Panta *
 * SCN Correspondent: Rajesh B. Shrestha *
 * Webmaster Correspondent: Pradeep Bista *
 * *
 * +++++ Food For Thought +++++ *
 * *
 * "LIFE: Indulgence vs Seeking Truth - Which is your forte?" -Sirdar_Khalifa *
 * "If you don't stand up for something, you will fall for anything" -Dr. MLK *
 * "Democracy perishes among the silent crowd" -Sirdar_Khalifa *
 * "We have guided missiles and misguided men" -Dr. MLK *
 * *

********************************************************** Forwarded By: Rajesh Shrestha <> Date: Thu, 8 Feb 1996 18:08:38 -0500 (EST) To: Subject: From Nepal's Mountains to Bombay Brothels

Cross-posted from SCN:
--------------------- I read this artcle in News Bite from Working Assets Online

This is not the problem of Nepal or India alone, Women of our sub-continent are mis handled and mis guided by social unjustice and poverty. We should go to the root of this and ask our coscience what we should do.

New Untouchables : From Nepal's Mountains to Bombay Brothels
                           by Richard S. Ehrlich

     KATMANDU, (IPS) -- Thousands of women,
     admired for their exotic beauty, are being exported
     from Nepal's Himalayan villages to become sex
     workers in India's squalid brothels, where they are
     often infected with AIDS.

     "They are beaten in the brothels," said Durga Ghimere,
      president of ABC Nepal, a women's welfare group.
      "Each woman must entertain more than 30 men in a
      night. It is inhuman."

      The women are sent hundreds of miles away from
      home, across Nepal's southern frontier, to sleazy
      brothels in Calcutta, Bombay, New Delhi and
      elsewhere. Pimps can resell a prized Nepali sex
      worker for up to $1,000.

      "About 5,000 to 7,000 Nepali girls become prostitutes
       in India each year. There are 40,000 to 50,000 Nepali
       prostitutes in Calcutta and an estimated 25,000 to
       30,000 in Bombay. In all the big cities in India you can
       see Nepali girls," Ghimere said.

       A total of 200,000 Nepali women are currently
       working in the sex industry throughout India, she

       Madhavi Singh, an economist at Katmandu's Center
       for Economic Development and Administration, said:
       "The trend in prostitution is increasing. Girls want
       material things, they want to enjoy life. So they run
       away from home because they want to have all those
       things overnight."

       Gauri Pradhan, founder of Child Workers in Nepal,
       pointed out that there are many mountain villages
       "where abduction and deceit are not needed to traffic
       women into Indian brothels, because women give
       their consent without hesitation. For them, India
       means Bombay, and Bombay is the dream land which
       will put an end to the poverty and hardship of their

       "These mountain villages may be beautiful for visitors,
        but it is a constant struggle for their inhabitants to
        meet their most basic human needs," he added.

        Nepalese prefer to have sons instead of daughters,
        because girls are often perceived as a financial burden.
        Nepal is the world's only Hindu kingdom, and sons are
        needed to conduct major religious rituals, including
        funeral services.

        As a result, women often turn to prostitution simply to
        make enough money to get ahead, in an economy
        which denies them equal opportunity.

        National Planning Commission official Padma
        Mathema said, "The only new opportunities which
        have evolved for women in the recent past are in the
        carpet industry, textile weaving and the garment
        industry. We find that women workers are
        concentrated in the least skilled, poorest paid levels of
        these industries."

        Ministry of Education and Culture official Neelam
        Basnet said, "Girls are denied the same educational
        chances as boys. The general view is that girls' major
        responsibilities will be within the domestic sphere,
        where education is perceived to have little to offer,
        especially in child rearing."

        But after a Nepali prostitute contracts AIDS, they are
        often treated as outcasts by society.

        Dr. Pushpa Bhatt, at Nepal's AIDS Prevention and
        Control Project, told how a prostitute named Geeta
        returned to her village, but was initially shunned by
        family and neighbors when they discovered she had

        "When she attempted to get drinking water from a
         shop, she was refused," Bhatt said. Geeta's mother
         temporarily blocked her from entering their home even
         though the family bought the house with their
         daughter's 11 years of earnings as a prostitute.

         "Sexual activity, for Geeta, was forced," Bhatt
          explained. "She did not choose prostitution. Geeta had
         been sold into prostitution."

          ABC Nepal estimates there are more than 10,000
          HIV-positive people in Nepal. ABC Nepal is funded by
          the American Foundation for AIDS Research,
         UNESCO, the Global Fund for Women, the
          Washington-based Center for Population and
          Development Activities, and other groups.

         "More than 50 per cent of the girls who have AIDS in
          Nepal were prostitutes who returned from India,"
          Ghimere said.

         Health officials said AIDS is also spreading in Nepal
         via drug addicts sharing needles, a polluted blood
         supply in some medical facilities, and widespread
         ignorance of how to prevent the illness.

      Official statistics on the Human Immunodeficiency
      Virus (HIV) which causes Acquired Immune
      Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) are incomplete due to
      insufficient testing. Government reports show only
      338 people are HIV-positive.

      Prostitution is not new to Nepal. It blossomed under
      Nepal's elite royal Rana family, during their rule from
      1850 to 1950. Their extended royal family persuaded
      females to work in the palace and nearby mansions as
      maids and wet nurses, and then enticed many of them
      to become concubines.

      "A Rana prime minister and prince could have
       thousands of maids and hundreds of concubines,"
       Ghimere said. "Even though Nepal is now a
       democracy, this tradition of sale and migration as sex
       workers continues."

With regards. Mahmood Hassan

********************************************************************** Date: Wed, 14 Feb 1996 21:42:26 -0500 To: From: (Padam Sharma) Subject: Visa Lottery (1997)

U.S. Department of State 96/01/29 Instructions: 1997 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program Bureau of Consular Affairs


The Immigration Act of 1990 provides for an annual diversity immigration program, making available each year by random selection 55,000 permanent residence visas in the United States. Visas are apportioned among six geographic regions based on immigration rates over the last five years, with a greater number of visas going to regions with lower rates of immigration.

Africa includes all countries on the African continent and adjacent islands; Asia extends from Israel to the northern Pacific islands, including Indonesia; Europe extends from Greenland to Russia, including all countries of the former USSR; North America is Canada and the Bahamas; Oceania includes Papua New Guinea and all countries and islands of the South Pacific; South America includes Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean countries.

ENTRIES MUST BE RECEIVED BETWEEN FEBRUARY 12, 1996 AND MARCH 12, 1996. Entries received before or after those dates will be disqualified regardless of when they are postmarked.

STEP ONE: CAN I ENTER? You are not eligible to apply if you were born in one of the following countries:

For 1997, the ineligible countries are: CHINA (Mainland and Taiwan), INDIA, PHILIPPINES, VIETNAM, SOUTH KOREA, UNITED KINGDOM (except Northern Ireland), CANADA, MEXICO, JAMAICA, EL SALVADOR, COLOMBIA, and the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, and their dependent areas. Natives of Hong Kong and Northern Ireland are eligible to enter.

If you were born in an ineligible country but your spouse was not, you can claim your spouse's country of birth instead of your own. If you were born in a country where neither of your parents resided at the time, you may be able to claim one of their countries of birth.


Applicants under the diversity program must have either:

-- a high school education or its equivalent; defined as successful completion of 12 years of education comparable to a U.S. high school degree, or
-- two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years training or experience; U.S. Department of Labor definitions will apply.

Documentary proof of education or work experience should NOT be submitted at this time. It will be required later if your entry is selected.


-- Only ONE entry may be submitted by or for each applicant during the registration period.
-- Submission of more than one entry will disqualify you.
-- There is no special application form. Simply provide the following information on a plain sheet of paper, typed or clearly printed in the English alphabet.


1. APPLICANT'S FULL NAME (LAST NAME SHOULD BE UNDERLINED) Last Name, First Name and Middle Name EXAMPLE: Public, George Quincy

2. APPLICANT'S DATE AND PLACE OF BIRTH Date: Day, Month, Year EXAMPLE: 15 November 1961 Place: City/Town; District/County/Province; Country
                                       EXAMPLE: Munich, Bavaria, Germany

3. NAME, DATE AND PLACE OF BIRTH OF APPLICANT'S SPOUSE AND CHILDREN (IF ANY) If you are selected, your unmarried children under 21 years of age and your spouse can also apply for visas.

4. APPLICANT'S MAILING ADDRESS The mailing address must be clear and complete, since that is the address where the notification and instruction letter for persons selected for registration will be sent. A telephone number is optional, but useful.

5. APPLICANT'S NATIVE COUNTRY IF DIFFERENT FROM COUNTRY OF BIRTH Clearly specify your claim of chargeability to another country (see above).




-- Submit your entry by regular mail or air mail to the address matching the region where you were born.
-- Entries may not be sent by express mail, fax, hand, messenger, or any means requiring receipts or special handling.
-- Envelopes should be business or letter size, between 6 and 10 inches long (15 cm to 25 cm) and between 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 inches wide (9 cm to 11 cm). Postcards are not acceptable.
-- You must list your country of birth (See STEP ONE on previous page), name and mailing address in the upper left corner of the envelope.
-- Failure to comply with these instructions will disqualify your entry. Complete your envelope following the example on the envelope below.
-- Use the correct postal ZIP code for your region:

  DV-97 Program DV-97 Program
  National Visa Center National Visa Center
  Portsmouth, NH 00210 U.S.A. Portsmouth, NH 00213, U.S.A.

  DV-97 Program DV-97 Program
  National Visa Center National Visa Center
  Portsmouth, NH 00211, U.S.A. Portsmouth, NH 00214, U.S.A.

  DV-97 Program DV-97 Program
  National Visa Center National Visa Center
  Portsmouth, NH 00212, U.S.A. Portsmouth, NH 00215, U.S.A.

Registrants will be selected at random from among entries received according to the instructions above.


                   6"-10" or 15 cm-25 cm
. Your Country or birth .
. Your Full Name .
. Your Street Address . 3 1/2"-4 1/2"
. City, Province, Postal Code . or
. Country or Residence . 9 cm-11 cm
. .
. .
. DV 97 Program .
. National Visa Center .
. Portsmouth, NH 00---(see above for .
. appropriate/zip) .


A computer will make a random selection from among all qualified entries in each geographical region no later than July 1, 1996. Successful applicants will be notified by mail, at the mailing address listed on the entry. Persons not selected will NOT be notified. (U.S. embassies and consulates will not be able to provide a list of successful applicants.)

Individuals selected will be registered to apply for immigrant visas, and will be provided further instructions. Their spouses and unmarried minor children can also apply for visas. Applicants must meet all eligibility requirements under U.S. law to be issued visas.

Important Notice There is NO fee to enter the DV-97 program. The use of an outside intermediary or assistance to prepare a DV-97 entry is entirely at the applicant's discretion. Qualified entries received directly from applicants or through intermediaries have equal chances of being selected.

*************************************************************** Date: Tue, 13 Feb 96 20:38:53 EST From: Ganesh <> Subject: A school in Magdi district needs your help To:

Dear Editor: Please post the following nobel work by 'Mahabir Pun' in The Nepal Digest.

Ganesh Panta

----------------------------Original message---------------------------- From: To: Subject: A school in Magdi district needs your help

Dear Readers;

Let me start from introducing myself and then give short glimpse of my activities and my future plan.

My name is Mahabir Pun. I am from Nangi village, Myagdi district Nepal. After I graduated from the University of Nebraska in Summer, 1992, I went back to my village and decided to help villagers. However, I didn't know what I could do for the villagers. Since the nearest high school from my village was about four hours walk away I saw the high school as the immediate need of the people. Therefore I decided to start from establishing a community high school and teaching there. I talked with villagers and we decided to upgrading the middle school that was already there. Thus the high school came into existence from the January of 1993 without any funding. This is how my struggle along with the villagers started to keep it run and survive.

We saw no chances of getting support from the government because they didn't have plans and budget for helping the schools like ours. Therefore the first step we took was raising money from six villages and people living in the cities. In a short period, we raised about US$ 3,600 which now has increased to US$ 14,285. The second step we took was starting income generating programs that were possible there. With the help of the Institute of Himalayan Conservation, Japan we built a camping ground for the trekkers with solar heated hot shower, toilet, dining hall and kitchen. We started raising chickens and rabbits in the school to sell the trekkers. We made jam from plum, peaches and apples for trial which worked good. During the festivals and fairs we organized food stalls and sold foods. The villagers along with the students are working very hard for all these programs. I am just helping them.

We got some helps from abroad also. The American Nepal Education Foundation of Oregon helped us to send five students for teachers' training in Pokhara. The students finished their school and are now back to village. The foundation also provided US$ 2,500 for building constructions and also sent 700 books for the library. Some of the faculties of the University of Nebraska sent some money for the school. The Rural Education and Development of Nevada is helping to build a library and get a VHF telephone line. Some of the friends from Nebraska helped to install a micro-hydro generator that produces a 1 KW power for the school. It is good to have supports like this.

However, we don't want to be burden to our friends and organizations always. We will try everything to make the school self-supportive, independent, and the best for which we need some help for some more years. Right now here in Nebraska I am trying to find ideas to produce educational video films on the Himalayas and Nepal. The purpose of this program is to raise some money for the school. I have started to work on this video program from the "zero" level like I did with the school program. I am desperately looking for help for making this video program successful. Please e-mail me your suggestions.

Let me finish this introduction with a few lines of Robert Frost; Two roads diverged into a wood and I; I took the one less traveled by; And that has made all the difference. I think I have taken the less traveled roads and I would like you to be part of the journey as far as you can go. I guarantee that it will bring a lot difference to the life of poor people living in remote villages of Nepal. Next is the progress report of our activities.

Progress Report of Nangi Community Development Work April, 1995 - December, 1995 and A Call for Emergency Help

I had planned to make this call earlier in last October but two different things barred me from doing this. First, my laptop computer broke at the time when I wanted to write. Then I set out for taking slide pictures of the mountains, people, and villages in the remote areas behind the Himalayas. It was right after the November snow storm that ever hit Nepal killing 60 people and injuring many others. If I had left a couple of days earlier I would have been caught in that storm. I am glad that I am alive to write this report and make this SOS call for the school. I will give a glance of progress we made in last nine months and then the reason to make this emergency call for help.

1. Development of Physical Facilities:
         We completed furnishing work for learning center in May. This is 12 yards long and 7 yards wide. We have put twenty-five chairs, two long tables, two benches and a bookshelf there. Students and villagers are using the building as study hall and meeting hall . We are also using it as temporary library. We have put 800 books in it.

We are about to complete the construction work of two more class rooms. It was almost done when I left my village. After its completion there will be fourteen rooms in the school; 11 for classrooms, 1 science room, 1 storeroom and 1 office room. Thus there will be enough rooms for the next few years.

We have started the construction work of a Public Library in the school compound from the middle of December. In fact, this will work as a school library. The reason we decided to call it Public Library is because we want the villagers also use it. Theis building is 17 yards long 7 yards wide. We hope to finish the work in about six months.

There will also be a VHF telephone in the library. This will be the only telephone in that area within a radius of six hours walking distance. The survey for the installation of the VHF telephone was completed when I was there. It will be installed most possibly in one month. Thus we can have direct contact for which I had to spend a couple of days.

2. Income Generation Programs:

I am glad to tell you that the open grazing area that seemed of no use before has become a gold producing land. From the camping ground with a dining hall and hot shower facility that we built there last year we have made about Rs 40,000 (US$ 715) until December. This is a good sign that tells our area has high potential of tourism.

We also built a wooden house for raising rabbits and chicken in the school. We are selling the chickens to the trekkers and rabbits to the villagers. We sell a live chicken by weight at the rate of about $1per pound. A well-grown rabbit costs about $ 2. The income from camping ground as mentioned in previous paragraph also includes the money from the chickens and rabbit's sale.
         The month of July is the fruit season in my village. That time we made 500 bottles of jam from plums, peaches and apples in the school. Each bottle weighs 800g. (1.8 pound). We sold most of the jams in nearby towns and hotels in tourist trek. We sold each bottle of jam for $0.70. It is my plan to start a small jam factory in school for income generation.
                  3. Fund Raising Programs:

This also has been a good year regarding contribution coming from well -wishers all over. A sum of Rs. 167,200 (US$ 2,986) came from the friends working with Gurkha Reserve Unit in Brunei, a small country in the south-east Asia. The Mountain Ecology School of Japan sent 24 students in our village to learn about the ecology and the living style of the people in our area. The students lived in our village for 11 days. They provided Rs. 17,000 (US$304). The Institute of Himalayan Conservation Japan is providing money to pay for a plant nursery worker and maintain the nursery. An American organization called Rural Education and Development is providing about $6,300 for the construction of a library building, for buying books and installing a VHF telephone in our village. The American Nepal Education Foundation from Oregon provided $500 for buying school supplies. They also sent 700 books for our school library. We borrowed Rs.170,000 (US$3,035) for buying about one and a half acres of land near Pokhara city. Our plan is to develop that land as a tourist resort. The resort will be also a part of the income generating program for the school.

Every year my village and a nearby village organize village fair during the summer. This year our school ran food stall in each of the fairs for raising money for the school and the library. Students, teachers and members of village development committee worked for the stalls. We also organized a cultural program during a festival in October. A total of Rs. 15,000 (US$ 268) was raised from these programs. We will organize the programs in coming years too.
         It is encouraging that some of the trekkers who visited our village wrote back telling that they were interested to contribute either educational materials or money for the school.

Reason for Making This Emergency Call:

Before I give you the reason let me again tell that my plan is to make the school and the rural development program self supportive from every point of view such as man power, finance and others. For that we are doing our best in our effort to find ways to start income generating program on local level. However, we have found that our attempt is not that easy and will take some more years to get to expected goal. We already knew this. A short glance of how far we became able to go economically in our attempt is given below.

Until now we have deposited Rs. 800,000 (US$ 14,285) in a bank on fixed account that brings interest of Rs. 72,000 (US$ 1,286) a year. We charge Rs.40
(US$0.70) a month for each high school student as tuition fee that will bring about Rs.29,000 (US$ 517) a year. Moreover, we hope to make a minimum of Rs. 40,000 (US$ 715) from the different income generating programs. Thus the projected yearly income of the school is about US$ 2,518 for the coming year.

There are eight full time teachers to whom we need to pay Rs.3,000 (US$ 54) a month. The salary we are paying for them is US$10 less than their basic salary. The minimum cost for operating the school including teacher's salary for this year will be about Rs.300,000 (US$5,358). Thus we are short of US$2,840 for the coming year i.e. about US$ 237 a month.

Where do I get this money from? This reason compelled me to make this SOS call for help. I would also like to tell that I need the help atleast for two years. In the coming two years we will try all the possible options that exist for generating more income for the school. Right now I am looking for 24 friends who will be interested to donate US$ 10 a month for supporting our school. Here is how you can send your contribution.

Please make your check or money order to: University of Nebraska Foundation, NEPAL PROJECT , University of Nebraska at Kearney, and mail it to: Dr. Leonard Skov, Department of Educational Administration, UNK, Kearney, NE 68849 . Your contribution will be tax deductible. The Foundation will send your receipt. It will transfer the money to the bank account of the school in Nepal. The management committee of the school will also send you receipt for your help. We will also send you newsletter of the school activities once in every three month. Please let me know when you decide to contribute.

Before you decide to make contribution, please be clear that your contribution would go to help educate the children of people in the mountains of Nepal. These are the people who can't afford even US$ 50 a year for schooling their children. Starting with no money but the enthusiasms of the people three years ago we have done some progress for establishing the high school. The villagers have become more and more supportive. In 1995, each household of the village provided 29 days of free labor service for the school and rural development programs. The financial support from organizations and friends abroad has been very helpful for developing the physical facilities of the school such as classrooms, library, income generating programs etc,. Financially, we are also doing well because we have been able to cover about 50% of the expenses of the school. However, for the next 50% we are looking for help that I would like to categorize as " Emergency Help" for keeping the school alive. Please help. Thank you very much. I appreciate your help.

From: Mahabir Pun Ludden Hall #334, University of Nebraska at Kearney Kearney, NE 68849 Phone#308-865-3857, email-

********************************************************************** From: Rajesh Shrestha <> Date: Thu, 8 Feb 1996 18:02:41 -0500 (EST) To: Subject: Tourism and deforestation

Cross-posted from SCN:

I've trekked in Annapurna and in less frequented areas around Lake Rara in the west and the Jugal in the east of Nepal and have also travelled in the Terai where I suspect the majoirty of deforestation has taken place. Without having the time to launch into what would be a 5,000 word dissertation, I was struck while in ACAP headquarters in Ghandruk(?) at how trekkers were being made to feel guilty about their activities, that they were responsible in a major way for environmental degradation in the area. However, despite seeing locals using wood where they were supposed to be using kerosene, I thought the Annapurna area to be well managed and in a sustainable way. The deforestation I saw in the Jugal was out of control and very damaging. I saw fires being started to clear forest, soil erosion and other problems but there were no tourists at all -- just a lot of people in too small an area. Tourists do have an effect on the Nepali environment but so do the Nepali people themselves. Just look at the population statistics over the last 40 years. There is the real problem. I am not against educating trekkers and tourists -- it's obvioiusly important -- but taking responsibilty for our actions and policies is not just a lesson for Western cultures.

If you want more information, then e-mail me.

Cheers Ed Douglas


*********************************************************************************************** From: Rajesh Shrestha <> Date: Tue, 6 Feb 1996 20:32:31 -0500 (EST) To: Subject: Floating vs. Fixed exchange rate: what is Nepal's choice?

An article from Clari News today talked about the issue of whether to keep the exchange rate of the Nepali currency fixed or instead float vis-a-vis the Indian currency.

Until now, since the known history of Nepali economy I believe, Nepali currency has been tied to the Indian currency with minor adjustments. This was quite fine for a long time until the Indian currency recently floated itself against international currencies. Now that the Indian currency itself is floating and has recently been observed to be quite volatile, does it make sense to continue to fix Nepali currency to Indian?

This is a very tricky question because it really seeks to ask us where our habits and priorities lie in the short run vs. the long run.

India accounts for 29% of Nepal's foreign trade - this is a big, if not the biggest, trading relationship. Fixing the exchange rate of Nepali currency to the Indian currency does provide us with the security and safety of price stability regarding the imports from India. On the other side of the coin, however, tying a knot with a floating Indian currency, it is not possible to also fix the exchange rate of Nepali currency with other international currencies, say the dollar. Doing so could result in massive capital flight when the exchange rates do not align. That means, the Nepali currency would also have to float every time in the same wave that the Indian currency suffers against the dollar. Essentially, the Nepali currency would be subject to the vagaries of Indian currency - making it look like Nepali currency is just another print face of the Indian counterpart, just like the most recent episode when Nepal devalued Nepali currency against the dollar (to ~ Rs.60 for a dollar).

At 29% by volume, India is admittedly a big trading partner. However, it is small compared to the fact that Nepal has no proper access to sea and if you take into consideration the comparative difference in the size between Nepal and India. If the figure had been something like 75% or 60% or even just more than 50%, it would be a different scenario and the price stability of Indian imports would matter more. But we have imports from third countries also to worry about.

The very fact that we have a $300m trade deficit with India indicates an outdated and non-functional exchange rate. Floating the Nepali currency could increase prices of goods imported from India and reduce exports but not both together, as the coalition government seems to suggest. At this specific instance when India's currency dipped new lows, freeing up Nepali currency from the Indian would cause our exports to fall but it would lower prices of goods imported from India in Nepal. Freeing up Nepal's currency against the Indian rupee would would give Nepal a better control at our economy. When future fluctuations happen, the exchange rate would simply change to shield the economy from having to make other harder adjustments. In the long run, our exports could infact rise and close in the enormous trade deficit with India.

The reluctance in floating Nepali currency essentially lies in the fears that short-run economic indicators would point downwards. However, it only would be short term and in this particular instance only. Tomorrow, if the Indian currency evaluates, we would experience the opposite short-run effects - comparatively cheaper Nepali goods and hence increased exports. This is of course simplifying the scenario a great deal and assuming other factors remain constant. In the long run, one would hope that trade balances would be smoothened out as the exchange rate mechanism is designed to serve.

As Nepal aspires to become a financial center in South Asia, a free and floating exchange rate would become more necessary and viable. Sooner or later, we'd have to free up Nepali currency from the maternal Indian currency and lead a path of its own.

Since this is a prickly topic in economics, I'm sure disagreements abound. The economists in you, please express your views and lets have a hot and invigorating debate.

Thanks. Rajesh B. Shrestha

******************************************************** Date: Wed, 07 Feb 1996 16:42:36 +0100 To: From: Suresh Bhagavatula <> Subject: reply: No Bamboo, No Flute

Dear Editor

this is in reply to the letter in Jan 12th TND by Mr. Pramod. K. Mishra,
"No Bamboo, No Flute: Killing the Womon in the Womb.

i think it would be good to keep these words in mind before we start any critizism.

"it is better to light one small candle then to shout hoarse at the darkness."

i am not deneying that the practise of killing the females does not occur in india nor that the preference for a male child is more. it is sad that they happen. but the tone of the message makes every indian hindu parent a kind of psychopatic killer, frothing at the teeth just waiting for a female figure (or how ever the difference is known) to show up on the screen so that he could finish it using hi-tech devices.

can anyone from any country say that the women there were/are not given a raw deal? since time immemorial man had alway been commiting atrocities on women with varying degrees. if someone is proud that in his sect, the attrocites were not as bad as the ones commited by the other hence his people are angels is short sightedness, i think . how could have man thought of chastity belt, stuturing of vagina, female circumcision and so on. it is only 150 years ago that for the first time a law favouring women was enacted. That was in France which forbade man to bring his concubine into his house against the wife's wishes. couple of days ago i saw on TV, here in GERMANY (a "developed" land), men saying that men can have extra marital relationships because it is natural but women who have extra marital relationships are prostitutes.
  it would be good if one would try to ease out the differences between the sexes other than pointing fingers and accusing each other for the differences in attrocities being committed.

secondly about castes: human beings have always been discriminating (both harmless and harmful) each other. these people eat pig, those people dont support contraception, yuck! my neighbour eats fish head in dal, these people have dark skin so make him a slave, kill that person for he belongs to another sect and so on. can any one say that he had never discriminated some other till date. one always have friends who have similar tastes, a neat chap would never want to be a close chum of another who farts and pinches his pimples in public. a chap with a suit, tie and shining shoes would never be found kissing a punk. so people always stay together with other people who are similar to them (language, culture, tradition, habits and so on) so it is very natural for human to form groups of like-minded-people. is there any sense when some one says that there is discrimination IN INDIA because of caste. we can say discrimination is every where and in india it is in form of chastes. a professor (a jew, for those interested) of oriental studies in an american university was actually supporting the explicit discrimination prevailing in india. he says that it is much better than what it is in other countries where it prevails but no one admits it and was saying that this form of subtle discrimination is very hard to take.

even in communities which do not have caste system, marriages (90% of the time) take place between people who have the similar beliefs, likings, colour of eyes, skin and so on. (Jared Diamond, Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee).
  i am not supporting caste system or a great believer in it. i would be really, really happy when we discade discriminations and say that the whole world is one big family (maybe that is not possible) but till then we can start believing in a free world that is as long as things are within the limits of man made rules called ethics, its fine.
  if some men actually stay unmarried because there are eliminating women of his community in the womb so be it, let them learn it the hard way. they chose that path. if some government wants to make this form of elimination unethical so be it as long as it is not harming the people in other countries.

why see something bitter in a good intention. even if there some bitterness, as long as this does not finally out do the goodness i think it is fine.

it is due time we start respecting the other human for the very fact that he/she is a human. one doesnt need anything more than that.


********************************************************************** From: Rajesh Shrestha <> Date: Thu, 8 Feb 1996 10:39:37 -0500 (EST) To: Subject: Bagh chal -- "Tigers and goats"

Cross-posted from SCN:

In article <4f85c6$> (Ron Willems) writes:
>During my visit to Nepal I picked up a bagh chal-set (sorry if
>misspelled), which came complete with the rules of this game, which is
>also known as "tigers and goats". Somewhere it says that the goats win if
>they succeed in "surrounding a tiger". What exactly does that mean? Is it
>enough if for one turn at least one of the tigers can't move? We are
>playing it like that now, but it seems that the tigers can only loose
>this way.
>Any light on this matter would be highly appreciated; thanks!
>Ron Willems

There are 25 spaces in the board and alltogether there are 24 pieces
(20 goats and 4 tigers). After all pieces are placed one by one
(and if non of the goats are "eaten" by tigers during this, then), there is one space is left for movement, either for the "bagh" or the bakhri (goat).

Now, the aim for goats is to make the remaining one (or more) space(s) safe so that NON of the tigers could move and thus (tigers) get defeated. Whilst the aim of tigers is to take as many goat pieces as possible so that goats could not form safe space(s). In this case goats give up sorrounding tigers and accept defeat.

In this game both have equal chances of winning, some prefer to play with bagh and some with bakhri.

Hope that's clear. Omraj

********************************************************************** From: Gadamsetty, Nagesh, HSC/EMP[] Sent: Wednesday, February 07, 1996 2:09 PM To: '' Subject: Looking for Nepalese in San Antonio TX area


I would like to meet some Nepalese in and around SanAntonio TX area. I would be appriciative if you can forward any information.

Thanks in advance Nagesh

********************************************************************** From: Rajesh Shrestha <> Date: Sun, 11 Feb 1996 17:49:37 -0500 (EST) To: Subject: Kathmandu Post

Cross-posted from SCN:

The "problem" with the Kathmandu Post has been solved. They now have a new server which provides much better access. Their new address (I've already updated links from my home page) is

Congrats to Mercantile for setting up this new server.

Rajendra (Kiran) writes:

>Hi Friends,
>Let me first thank Rajendra and Merchentile for informing us about the
>reasons for "Slackness" in accessing KTM-Post lately. I believe if the
>Merchentile had informed put a note saying we could expect such
>slow-access to the net once removed from US it would have been great. Any
>way, I have a proposal (Remind you I am not a computer expert and know
>very little if any about working of the www). Would it be possible to
>creat a mirror-KTM post in the US, ofcourse with the help of some folks
>here who could volunteer their time and have the resourse to do do.
>Would appreciate comments.


 -- using template mhl.format -- Date: Fri, 02 Feb 1996 16:35:38 PST To: The Editor <>

From: Bhushan Mudbhary <> Subject: High Horses, Ivory Towers...

>From Fri Feb 2 18: 35:58 1996
X-Sender: X-Mailer: Windows Eudora Light Version 1.5.2 Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

This is an observation to the following comment made recently on the TND as regards recent troubles with accessing The Post and such. I quote...

> i gess the Nepali mentality has other priorities
>such as te can or bida or just plain nepali laid back approach, which
>looks kind of quaint in this aggresssive time-space annihilation realm.

I too observed the delay in getting into the web page of the Post. But I would gladly subject myself to an eternity of such frustrations than suffer the vulgarity of the impatience and arrogance displayed by the author. It is impossible for such "Brahmins"(from Boston?) to conceive that anything else besides the absurdly implied "backwardness" of Nepalis can be responsible for the delay in getting into the web page. I myself attributed the problem as a symptom of how far back technically our brethren are back home, and how glad I am to see an attempt to catch up no matter how seemingly trivial to those of us in our Ivory Towers.I am amazed that any company no matter how
"rich" in Nepal even attempts to host a web site, they should be lauded and helped along not ridiculed by people who clearly haven't benefitted from a US education.

********************************************************************** From: (Diwas Khati - student) Subject: hi To: Date: Mon, 12 Feb 1996 18:44:15 -0500 (EST)

Would the Nepali student at Robert Morris Collge in Pennsylvania please respond to this posting. You could be a lot of help. My address is
<>. Thanks in advance

********************************************************************** Date: Tue, 13 Feb 1996 12:34:11 -0500 (EST) From: Subject: Forwarded mail.... To: THE NEPAL DIGEST <>, RAJESH SHRESTHA <RSHRESTH@BBN.COM>

How to save money on longidstance calls. Date: Mon, 12 Feb 1996 13:17:34 EST
> > Subject: Internet phones.....
> >
> > > Ever thought of making a long distance call and being
> > > charged only the local rate? You will, and there's not a thing AT&T can
> > > do about it.
> > > Last week VocalTec, a software company based in Israel,
> > > unveiled Internet Phone, a revolutionary new product that
> > > allows users of the Internet to speak to each other in realtime over
> > > the world wide computer network.
> > > Since most people access Internet through dial-up accounts
> > > the only charge incurred is that of a local telephone call.
> > > In less than a week, users have downloaded 25,000 copies
> > > of the Internet Phone software from VocalTec.
> > > Until now the most popular way for Internet users to
> > > communicate with each other was by e-mail or through text chat
> > > gateways. The voice capabilities offered by Internet Phone add
> > > a new component to the 'Net surfers' tool box and promises to
> > > make the Internet more attractive to a wider variety of users
> > > including:
> > > --Telecommuters who can check on daily work activities with a
> > > simple data call.
> > > --Small and medium sized companies with remote offices who want
> > > to teleconference.
> > > --Home users, or students away at college who want to maintain
> > > contact with far-away friends and family.
> > > The appearance of Internet Phone has the big long distance
> > > carriers running for cover. From 1990 to 1993 they saw the U.S.
> > > Postal Service lose $1.8 billion to inexpensive electronic
> > > alternatives such as e-mail, and during that same period the
> > > volume of business-to-business mail declined by one third.
> > > Privately spokespersons for the telcos fear the same will
> > > happen in their industry because of the Internet Phone.
> > > They have good cause to be concerned. Depending on the
> > > speed of your modem sound quality of
> > > Internet Phone is comparable to that of a regular long distance
> > > call, conversations aren't stilted and can be carried on at a
> > > normal pace, and because the Internet is designed to route
> > > messages around trouble spots there's never a chance of the
> > > circuits being busy.
> > > "Sprint's fond of saying that you can hear the sound of a
> > > pin drop using their service," said John Hampton, a software
> > > developer from Carson City, Nevada who was interviewed using Internet
> > > Phone.
> > > "I say using the I-Phone you can hear the pin actually falling.
> > > This is so good."
> > > The Internet Phone relies on technology VocalTec developed
> > > for its corporate users who wanted to conduct inter-office
> > > communications over their own computer networks.
> > > To accomplish this the company invented a technique that
> > > compresses sound In addition, a secret mathematical formula
> > > allows the software to overcome
> > > one of Internet's inherent weaknesses -- sometimes data packets
> > > do not arrive at their destination in the same order they were
> > > sent making the message unintelligible.
> > > At a minimum the Internet Phone requires a 486/33Mhz IBM-
> > > compatible PC running Windows 3.1, a sound card, a SLIP or PPP
> > > connection to the Internet, and a 14.4K modem. Users download
> > > the Internet Phone program from VocalTec's homepage on the Internet
> > > ( and then have 30 days to try it out
> > > for free. During the trial period there is a 60 second on-air time
> > > limit before the program has to be re-loaded.
> > > Until April users can register Internet Phone by e-mail
> > > for $49, after which it will be available in stores for $99.
> > > With its voice activation mechanism and a quick tour
> > > tutorial for beginners, the Internet Phone is extremely user friendly.
> > > live Internet Phone directory provides a list of all Internet
> > > Phone clients that are on-line at any given moment. A click on
> > > a user name in the directory results in a ringing tone on the
> > > receiving end which when answered allows the call to begin. An
> > > on-screen indicator informs the receiver who's calling in a manner
> > > similar to the "Caller ID" feature available with standard
> > > telephone service. If the person being called is on-line with
> > > another call, the caller will get a busy signal.
> > > "It's better than speaking on a regular telephone," said
> > > Peter Lucas of Duneden, New Zealand. "Over the past week I've
> > > spent nearly 20 hours on my computer chatting with people in
> > > France, Australia, Great Britain and the Bahamas. For me the
> > > phone company doesn't exist anymore. I'm going to make my overseas
> > > friends get this otherwise I'm not calling them."
> > > While consumers prepare to by-pass them the long distance
> > > phone companies are putting on a brave face and deny that there
> > > is anything to fear.
> > > "Were looking at this, but we aren't overly concerned,"
> > > said Gini Gold, a spokeswoman for AT&T. "Not everybody has Internet
> > > first of all so its a matter of convenience. With the phone you
> > > can pick it up and call. Then you have to consider the level of
> > > quality and service we provide. When your call doesn't go
> > > though you can always call us, but who are you going to call when you
> > > have problems with Internet Phone who are you going to call and
> > > what type of support are they going to give you."
> > > Gold said companies considering using Internet Phone for
> > > business should be aware that the Internet network has many
> > > security problems.
> > > Despite AT&T's ambivalent attitude towards Internet Phone,
> > > telecommunications analyst Reid Halloway believes the new
> > > technology will affect the long distance carriers do business.
> > > "The ultimate impact of this is that long-distance rates
> > > will continue to come down. That's just the way competition works.
> > > These guys at VocalTec have transformed a data crunching
> > > machine into a true telecommunications device, they've found a new way
> > > to skin the cat. It's the age old story of commodities over time
> > > --prices come down."
> >
> >
********************************************************************** Date: Wed, 14 Feb 1996 09:06:47 -0600 To: From: satrughan shrestha <> Subject: Where abouts of Prakas Silwal

 Ramesh Shrestha from Chicago is trying to find where Prakash Silwal is. If anybody knows where he is or could convey this message to him, Ramesh would appreciate it. Prakash can contact Ramesh at 312-262-3819. Ramesh has no E-mail yet.
************************************************************* Date: Wed, 14 Feb 1996 11:54:19 -0500 (EST) From: Subject: American Research in Himalaya & Tibet (fwd) To: THE NEPAL DIGEST <>


Dear Dr. Sorkhabi:

I would like to receive a copy of the Himalayan Notes, dealing with Geography and Environment in Nepal, through email if that is possible.

I would also like to draw your attention to the active Himalayan research at Clark during the 1990s:

1. Professors R.E. Kasperson and B.L. Turner have been involved the global critical zones study that included the Nepal Himalayas. The Research is published in a recent book entitled, "Regions at Risk: Comparison of Threatened Environments," published by UN University Press.

They have also concluded a NASA-supported study to "Assess Himalayan Criticality using Remote Sensing," a preliminary report appears in the journal of "Global Environmental Change" 1995 September issue under Millette et al.

They are currently advising a doctoral student, Amulya Tuladhar from Nepal, is his NASA Earth System Science Fellowship, to study, "The pattern and conditions for forest increase in the Himalayas." A preliminary abstract is attached below:


                The Greening of the Himalayas ?
        Exploring Global Vegetation Index 1982-90


                       Amulya Ratna Tuladhar
        Graduate School of Geography, Clark University

        Deforestation reports conjure an imaginary of denuded Himalayas. Recent documentations of localized landscape recovery with trees suggest a regional scale of Himalayan greening. Is this hypothesis supported by time series data of weekly Global Vegetation Index (GVI)? In this paper, I note an increasing trend in GVI over 1982-90. This trend remains robust even when distortions due to inter-satellite Advanced Very High Resolution Radiomenter
(AVHRR) sensors have been removed by limiting observations to NOAA-9 satellite sensors, for July 1985 to October 1988. Further, the GVI-increase trend is strongest for the remote northwest Himalayan Middle Mountains while none of the other, more-accessible subregions of the Himalayas register a negative trend. While principal components analyis with ground-based georeferencing with GPS systems may help disaggregate and verify the sources of variations affecting GVI, my preliminary explorations do not allow me to reject the contention that the Himalayas may be greening at a regional scale.

Keywords: Himalayan Environment, Remote Sensing, Global Vegetation Index


2. Dr. Barbara Thomas-Slayter has been exploring the inter-relationships between ecology, gender, and community in Nepal. This research has been published in "Human Ecology," 1994,22(4): 467-494 as
"Land, Livestock, and Livelihoods: Changing Dynamics of Gender, Caste, and Ethnicity in a Nepalese village." Eight Nepalese scholars have been trained in Gender and Community Analysis at the International Development Program at Clark by Professor Thomas-Slayter.


3. Dr. J. Ronald Eastman has worked closely with UNITAR to develop GIS research capacity for Himalayan research both in Nepal and in US. His work on GIS Decison-Making for Land Use in Kathmandu Valley was published in "Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing," in 1990.

He continues to supervise remote sensing and GIS analysis research for Clark's ongoing Himalayan land use research.


4. Professor Sarah Buie has researched on the spiritual and cultural meanings of Nepal's environment, particularly trees. A visual arts professor, her representations of the cultural meanings of trees has won acclaim.


Let me know by email if any of you would like more details on the above.


Amulya Tuladhar Clark University USA

********************************************************************** Date: Wed, 14 Feb 1996 12:58:23 -0500 (EST) From: Subject: Old Habits Die Hard... To: THE NEPAL DIGEST <>


        Two news items about Nepal politics convinces me that for each step forward Nepalese leaders take, they take two backwards.

Take for example, Girija's call for younger leadership when we were in the midst of Ganeshman and Krishna Prasad onslaught on Girija's premiership. A lot of us applauded Girija's call that finally we might see leadership going to a new generation. Indeed, we thought the elections of Deoba was a step in this direction (never mind that congress failed to form of a govt after election because RPP objected a new coalition with Girija again). Now we have Girija who is all set totake over NC party leadership again, Two steps backwards.

It would be interesting to see how the power dynamics would work with Girija also a member of parliament, would he follow his Parliamentary leader which Deopa is in principle of his party or would Girija dictate as a Party president. Remember as parliamentary leader and pm, girija considered himself accountaable to only his 74 congress parliamentarians not to the party.

The second news item is the feud of the Joshis: the newar communist Kamal Krishna Joshi who is the VC of TU and the Brahmin Congressi Govind Joshi, the minister of education. Minisster Joshi wants VC Joshi to resign due to "incompetance" which VC joshi is challenging him to prove.

We decried that bureaucrats and professionals are unnecssarily politicised so that there is a change of leadership whenever there was change inthe national govt. Somewhow people agreed, it was ok to change political appointees such as ambassadors but the GMs, Secretaries n VCs have been the fuzzy zone.

If we go by traditon alon, i have seen the lowliest of low class govt employee, a daily wage nursery labor getting hired and fired with the
"toks" of a Forest Minister, should we condone this or do we believe in a modern bureaucracy with "independent" civil service etc to make appointments done merit of the job concerned not political loyalties?

Former Congress VC Mathema tried to change by drafting a new education law which reqquired the neew appointee to be sanctioned by the TU senate rather than be a political appointee that needed to be changed with govt. he put the institution but he had to go when he perceived that UML govt was not willing to work with him but without firing him.

Minister Joshi is in the same bind, he prefers that VC johsi leave without his needing to firing him and drawing the criticism that he is congressizing the bureaucracy, VC johsi is not obligining so in the neame of Nepal's onward march to rational bureaucratic pretence we have the students and the nation suffer with this bunch of jokers.

****************************************************************** Date: Wed, 14 Feb 1996 13:58:32 -0500 (EST) From: Subject: Nepal related NSF-funded Research... To: THE NEPAL DIGEST <>

Title : Peasants, Poverty, and Land Encroachment in Agrarian Nepal:
              A Political Ecology Analysis Date : March 1, 1995 Start Date : January 15, 1995 Expires : December 31, 1996 (Estimated) Investigator: Nanda R Shrestha Sponsor : Florida A&M University
              Tallahassee, FL 32307 904/599-3000

NSF Program : 1352 GEOGRAPHY Fld Science : 88 Geography Fld Applictn: 0313000 Regional & Environmental

Abstract :
     9411168 SHRESTHA This study will analyze land encroachment as an
     ecopolitical struggle over land access and control in agrarian Nepal
     using a political ecology framework. Nepal, like many developing
     countries, has arrived at a juncture where mounting peasant
     impoverishment has come face to face with growing ecological degradation.
     This interface reveals that poverty is not just a socioeconomic issue; it
     is also an ecological issue with wide- ranging ramifications. As in many
     other agrarian societies, there is a struggle between peasants'
     day-to-day survival, which includes land access, on one side and the
     state's dominant interests and environmental sustainability, which leads
     to land/resource control, on the other. Two basic questions emerge from
     this growing ecopolitical struggle: why does the struggle occur and how
     does it affect the sustainability of what can be termed "peasant ecology"
     in which peasants are engaged in direct production relationships with
     nature. Their socioeconomic viability therefore is intrinsically
     intertwined with the ecological sustainability of their environment.
     Land encroachment is thus seen as a form of peasant (social) movement
     and/or a form of everyday resistance against the state and its land
     control policy. Guided by this general conceptualization, this study
     will investigate three interrelated issues: (1) the evolution of
     human-environment relations in agrarian Nepal, focusing on the social and
     political configuration of peasant ecology, (2) the political ecology of
     land encroachment, i.e. the social and ecopolitical conflicts over land
     in te Tarai, and (3) the implications of these conflicts for peasants'
     socioeconomic viability and environmental sustainability. The study will
     involve extensive research in Nepal relying on both the collection of
     formal materials relating to land use policy and actual land use and on
     interviews with peasants and officials in the region. This research
     will contribute to adva ncing a coherent theoretical political ecology
     framework, one that can be used to investigate similar struggles
     unfolding in various local and regional contexts throughout the third
     world. As such it will also add new insights relevant to the formation
     of policies for dealing with the growing tension between the protection
     of critical environments and the social and economic survival of local
     populations who are dependent on those environments.

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