The Nepal Digest - October 19, 1995 (6 Kartik 2052 BkSm)

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Date: Thu Oct 19 1995 - 16:16:41 CDT


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The Nepal Digest Thursday 19 October 95: Kartik 6 2052 BS Volume 43 Issue 4

     Happy Dipawali - The Nepal Digest

 ******************************************************************************
 * TND Board of Staff *
 * ------------------ *
 * Editor/Co-ordinator: Rajpal J. Singh a10rjs1@mp.cs.niu.edu *
 * TND Archives: Sohan Panta k945184@atlas.kingston.ac.uk *
 * SCN Correspondent: Rajesh B. Shrestha rshresth@black.clarku.edu *
 * *
 * +++++ Food For Thought +++++ *
 * *
 * "If you don't stand up for something, you will fall for anything" -Dr. MLK *
 * "Democracy perishes among the silent crowd" - Sirdar Khalifa *
 * *
 ******************************************************************************

********************************************************************** Date: Thu, 12 Oct 95 17:38:00 CDT From: mahesh <U45330@UICVM.UIC.EDU> Subject: Re: The Nepal Digest - October 9, 1995 (26 Ashwin 2052 BkSm) To: Editor <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu>

Dear Mr. Singh,

I'm writing this short note to thank you for enrolling me on your subscriber's list. To give you brief note about myself, I'm a graduate student at University of Illinois at Chicago in the ecology and evolution program.If there are any more info you might want or any support please feel free to let me know. I'd be more than glad to be of help to our digest.

Thanking you once more, Namasteji!! Mahesh Gurung

********************************************************************* From: Sushil Upadhyay <SUSHIL@mallatrk.mos.com.np> To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu Date: Fri, 13 Oct 1995 08:51:03 +0545 Subject: Hello.

Quite interesting to read the views of Nepalis living abroad.

Both sensible and distorted. Don't ask me to specify. I don't keep records.

Will debate with author(s) directly when and if.

Keep us posted!
  Sushil Upadhyay, Malla Treks, PO Box 5227, Kathmandu, Nepal
  Reply to: sushil@mallatrk.mos.com.np
  Fax: 977-1-418382, Phone 418387, 418389, 410089

  Malla Treks info on the Web - http://www.bena.com/mallatreks

************************************************************ Subject: nepali children behind bars? To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Date: Sat, 14 Oct 1995 14:00:10 -0400 (EDT)

a report from WFS...
_______________________________________________________________________
         ** W o m e n ' s F e a t u r e S e r v i c e **
                            Weekly Digest

         20 West 20th Street Suite 1103, New York, NY 10011 USA
   tel: (212) 807-9192 fax: (212) 807-9331 e-mail: wfs@igc.apc.org
______________________________________________________________________

Table of Contents:
  o NEPAL: A CHILDHOOD BEHIND BARS
  NEPAL: A CHILDHOOD BEHIND BARS By Connie Stambush
 
 Nepal, Aug. 8 (WFS) -- Nine-year-old Tara looks like any other girl her age. Her front baby teeth have been replaced with larger, slightly crooked ones and her chocolate-brown hair is constantly falling into her eyes. She responds to queries in the mildly bored manner of a young child.
  
    But Tara is not like other children. When she was two and a half years old, Tara's father murdered her mother. Tara witnessed the crime.
 
    Since then, she has been living in a prison for adults.
 
    "My father was sure my mother was a flirt, so one night he killed her in her sleep. I watched him slit her throat with a knife," she says almost matter-of-factly as she chews a piece of gum.
 
    Several months ago, Tara was finally rescued from prison by volunteers of an nongovernment organization called Prisoners Assistance Mission (PAM). The organization lobbies for human rights in prison and for better jail conditions.
 
    Tara is like many other Nepali children whose parents are sentenced to prison. Often they have no one left to care for them. They are either sent to live in jail or left to fend for themselves on the streets.
 
    Sukanya Waiba from PAM said children end up living in Nepali prisons if their bread-winner guardian is arrested, or if both the parents are in jail. Sometimes the guardian they were living with outside dies, and they are brought to their imprisoned parent. Some of them are born in prison.
 
    "The child is not a criminal. He is helpless, yet has to stay with the father or mother," Waiba said.
 
    She claimed such children are always at risk of being physically molested, maltreated and malnourished. "Not to mention the psychological scars they will inevitably end up with as a result of their incarceration," she added.
 
   In a new venture that began in March this year, PAM has set up a small home for such children. Tara is one of a dozen children who now live in the PAM Nestling Home, which provides shelter, education and health facilities for the children of prisoners.
 
   The home has also accepted children who have never been to prison with their parents, but were left behind with neighbors or relatives.
 
    Director Singh B. Moktan said these children are often not cared for at all. "They usually end up at the prison walls waiting for their mothers to feed them. Their mothers share their food with them, passing it through the prison bars," he said.
 
    Though Tara spent several years in prison, she was lucky she was put into the women's prison cell where one of the female inmates took care of her. Her two younger brothers, however, are still in prison with their father.
 
   Moktan believes around 70 to 75 children are living inside Nepal's prisons today. But he regrets that he cannot help them because the home lacks space and money.

  "We have the capacity to house 20 children," Moktan said, "and when we receive more funding we would like to put the older children into boarding school to make room for more children."
 
   Moktan said the home gives priority to girls living inside the prisons, because they are more often abused.
 
   "In one instance we learned of a girl living in an all-male jail with her father," he recounts. The girl had earlier been living with her mother outside prison, but when the mother remarried she turned over the daughter to the father in jail because her new husband would not accept the child.
 
    "We considered this to be a desperate situation, and made an immediate rescue," said Moktan.

   No law in Nepal stipulates that prisoners should relinquish their children to a children's home. Waiba admits many of the parents, especially wealthier prisoners, do not allow their children to leave prison.
 
   "In the case of a couple held for counterfeiting, their 5-year- old child was imprisoned with the mother," said Waiba. "She refused to let the child be taken away because she would be too lonely in prison without her."
 
   Waiba said she has had to work hard towards gaining the trust of jailers in order to get information on the conditions of the children in prison.
 
   Her efforts are slowly paying off. She now receives letters from some of the district jailers informing her if children are forced to live in particularly bad conditions. Sometimes they inform her if a child is about to be turned out on the streets.
 
   Prison regulations state children are to be released from the
 prison when they reach the age of 10. But because most of them have nowhere to go, some of the jailers have been known to alter the children's ages on the records to prevent their being thrown out.
 
   "I don't want to keep the children here because I know this is not the right place for them. But where is the authorized children's home where I can send them?," a jailer once asked Waiba.
 
  Back at the PAM Nestling Home, a faint smile flickers across
 Tara's face when she is asked if she is happy to be out of prison.
 
     "Yes I'm happy," she said, her eyes darting around the room,
 "because now I have the opportunity to go to school." (Ends/870
 words)

----
Amidst grief and joy I was first, I first knew sorrow and pleasure, good
and evil. Obeying you or disobeying means the same. I was first to know. I
was first to touch the tree of knowledge, first to bite the red apple. I
was rebellion first on your earth.                 - Kabita Sinha

********************************************************* From: sdhakhwa@cats.ucsc.edu Date: Sun, 15 Oct 1995 13:44:25 -0700 To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu

What follows is an essay on women and journalism by MANISHA ARYAL. This was published in Kathmandu's SPOTLIGHT newsmagazine of August 12, 1994. This is produced here with Manisha's permission, and through Ashutosh Tiwari's help. Devoted HIMAL readers may know that until August 1995, Manisha was the Associate Editor of that Himalayan bimonthly.

Struggling For Space Is it necessary to reserve a percentage of jobs exclusively for women? Will quota ultimately lead to professionalism among women journalists or will they lose direction under the protective umbrella of a male dominated Nepali media?

Newspapers and newsmagazines are coming up by dozens every year. Journalism is an up and coming profession. Add to this the low ratio of competent journalists to papers, and you have innumerable opportunities available for the taking. The doors to the profession are just as open to female as to their male colleagues. But the number of capable and committed women is very small, and once someone proves her skills, papers compete among themselves to hire her.

To talk of quota, as a means of ending all discrimination is unfair on the emerging group of sincere and talented young women who have come into journalism wanting to do something. Genuinely interested in writing, and willing to take up the challenges that come with the job, this group will carve a niche for its members by fighting obstructions along the way.

Dangling the quota carrot in front of women might attract a number of them in the beginning, but will not sustain the interest of the better among them in the long term. Part and parcel with the quota concept comes the assumption that one will be sheltered, that one can get in even if one is not good, that one does not need to work too hard, and that one will be allowed to hang around even when one proves herself to be incompetent.

Except in some exceptional cases - I limit my arguments to the general here - reservations do not encourage hard work, and those that demand and enjoy quotas will be found slipping into some comfortable job within a paper's hierarchy. This is when the process of actual discrimination starts. Women journalists will be treated by their editors and male colleagues not as fellow professionals but as bodies that encroach on their space. Those of us practicing journalists in Kathmandu comprise a privileged group of women. Good schools, colleges, exposure and the freedom of choice. Granted it is not all roses, but we learn to take the thorns as well. We make our choices and decide we like the challenges reporting and editing offers. That, in essence, is what keeps us afloat.

We want to be free, to range far and wide across the vast space of journalism, not to be hemmed within the boundaries of a sanctuary, covering soft features and "women's columns", which is exactly what a quota system would ultimately lead to.

There was no quota for us. We never demand to be protected because we believe we are equal. We joined the profession to become journalists, not a protected species. If we know who we are we do not need protection.

Here I would like to share an experience I and a colleague from Gorkhapatra, Harikala Adhikari, had in mid-March in 1994 while conducting a workshop on basic writing skills for some 25 women in Palpa. The focus was on news and feature writing. Among the women attending the workshop from the villages of Madan Pokhara and Tansen were college students, school teachers, a college lecturer, community development workers, a political activist, and the wife of RSS' Tansen correspondent (she did most of his writing).

These women had come for the 40 hour workshop, genuinely interested in learning. The 4-hour-a-day scheduled sessions stretched to 8 to 10 hours every day - sometimes with only one break in between. The women of Palpa did not have lofty dreams - they wanted to be able to write occasional pieces on events in their communities.

Today, five months later, out of the 25 women, eleven write frequently in Deurali, published for rural readers from Tansen, 4 have linked up with Asmita and Panos and three have even had their stories published in Gorkhapatra.

Compare this with a training I went through in Kathmandu in 1991 with Centre for Women and Development. It was an all female group of 25 women (it was believed that mixed training were not good enough for the advancement of female journalists, and that a women-only training would produce more and better women journalists). The training was 8 months long, with two months as internship in the media of choice. Only 5 of my fellow trainees write sporadically and 20 of them never utilized their training. It was not that they did not have opportunities. They made a clear choice - and the choice was not to write.

There you have it: A journalism career is a matter of interest and commitment. The call for "affirmative action" comes mostly from the privileged urban milieu, where women have been exposed to the enticements that our sisters in the hinterland do not know exist.

Those of us who choose journalism as our career do so with open eyes. We are confronted with innumerable options - between daily papers and weekly one. between newspapers and newsmagazines, between writing in English and Nepali language, between daily news and in-depth features, etc. In deciding a career in journalism, we give up a lot but we also gain immensely.

Every generation, has to make its own choices. For in the end, it is not on grounds of gender, group, caste, ideology or affiliation but on the basis of ability, efficiency and quality work that you are judged. I for one, want to be known as a journalist, not as a "women journalist" a title that men love to bestow.

********************************************************************** Subject: Radio Nepal Shortwave frequencies To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Date: Thu, 19 Oct 1995 10:34:51 -0400 (EDT) From: "Rajesh B. Shrestha" <rshresth@BBN.COM>

Cross-posted from SCN: ---------------------

> ssinha@blue.weeg.uiowa.edu (S. Sinha) wrote: > > >Anyone knows the shortwave frequencies to hear Radio Nepal (If there > >are any) ?? > > Try tuning to 5.005 MHz between 6:30 - 7:30 A.M EDT > > I saw a posting loooong trime ago which mentioned that Radio Nepal was > received at the above frequency in Houston. >

Radio Nepal broadcasts on 5.005 MHz from 00:15 UTC to 18:15 UTC and on 7165 MHz, same times. Thus Radio Nepal broadcasts from 8:15 pm to 2:15 pm the next day, until standard time returns. But you wou't be able to hear it over all that time.

To convert from "UTC" to local time, subtract 4 hours for EDT and 5 hours for EST, and so forth for other US timezones.

(This is from the 1996 Passport to World Band Radio, which is available in bookstores for $19.95.)

Because of shortwave propagation conditions, the signal will be strongest when it is night or twilight over the signal path between Nepal and the US. 7:00 am EDT is 4:45 pm in Nepal. So earlier in the morning here would be better, while later in the evening would be better in Nepal. Thus the suggested times in the posting are kind of the best compromise for propagation conditions, with the resulting stongest signal.

Also, Nepal is "over the north pole" from most of the U.S., which is a bad path for radio signals. The poles have more electrical disturbances from solar activity, which upsets the radio reflecting layers resulting in very poor signal quality.

Keep trying, as conditions vary yearly, seasonally, daily and even hourly!

**************************************************************** Date: Thu, 19 Oct 1995 11:24:13 -0400 (EDT) From: Nuru Lama <nurulama@husc.harvard.edu> Subject: An article for all of us!!! To: The Nepal Digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu>

Dear Editor, The following article by Bikas Joshi appeared in The Kathmandu Post of July 30,Sunday. I thought it might be of considerable interest to those facing the moral dilemma between 'home sweet home' and economic opportunism. Here it goes!!

Brain Drain:Why Not? By Bikas Joshi

A few days ago, in a letter to the editor, a concerned citizen made an impassioned plea against 'brain drain', the migration of skilled Nepalis to countries in the West. As a recent graduate of an American university myself, the subject hit quite close to home.

It is an issue hundreds of people like me have to face every year, it demands a disppassionate look, shorn of all the hot-buttons of emotionality.

First, let me state whom I am defending. I am not speaking for those who go out to foreign countries on government scholarships and decide not to return. I believe that is morally indefensible,and that such actions constitute serious transgressions on their part that are surely improper.

I am defending those people who go to foreign countries to study on their own. To say that they have to return home, "to serve one's country", is quite irrational. Other than chanting the mantra of patriotism, what other reason can be given for this? Why is it that Nepalis have the "duty" to come back home? At best, such an expectation is an affront to their freedom as human beings to do what they please.

What makes a Nepali decide to stay in the West? By West, I include the developed part of the world, including countries in South East Asia. Skilled -and unskilled, for that matter- migration occurs because of people's inherent desire to better themselves in every material way. People always go for what is good for them; it is their nature. To quote John Locke, people have to have life, liberty, and property (the last being modified to "pursuit of happiness" by Thomas Jefferson). Any government action that prevents the exercise of any of these rights constitutes a violation of the inherent contract that people have with society. Rather, than being carried away by emotional rhetorics and condemning perfectly rational people who may have decided to emigrate, it may be better for us to identify factors that caused them to take this decision, so that actions could be taken to ameliorate the situation.

The following four factors were listed in a survey by economists Jagdish (a "brain drain" from India to the United States) and Paul Krugman in the seventies, when the study of this topic was in vague.

Income differential was the first factor identified. The reason this is important should be clear: people try to maximize their lifetime wealth. Earnings, even net of costs, are considerably higher in the West than in Nepal. These people have invested their own money for studies. Many parents have poured their life savings into their children's education, even selling assets (such as land). Is it not fair for them to expect some return on that investment? Back in Nepal, there are hardly any opportunities to do so, if one is to remain honest at the same time. A Secretary at the government ministry - the highest position attainable in civil service - officially earns a mere six thousand rupees a month.That is less than the expected monthly repayment on the loans that many have taken out in their studies. Government policies have hardly helped; real wages for skilled workers have declined steadily. While pursuit of egalitarianism may be politically expedient, it reduces incentives for trained people to perform. A reduction in the gap between the lowest and the highest salaries may have long-lasting repercussions, indirectly forcing able, trained professionals to raise their welfare by moving out.

Available professional opportunities also matter. What can a graduate from a good foreign university do? I presume very few take the civil service route, because of the red tape and the frustations involved. These days, many who return to Nepal are going for NGOs and the international development agency-type jobs as the pay is considerably better. But what about the long-run? Working in these agencies, they are bound to hit that proverbial glass ceiling eventually; they are stuck in a dead-end job. These people move out of the country because they just cannot do what they would like to here, due to lack of openings and sufficient diversity. How important is this factor? This may affect the very best professionals, whom Nepal needs desperately, but who can also sell themselves in foreign countries.

Potential emigrants also consider the living conditions. Nepal does not offer security anymore. The government has not been able to guarantee the safety of citizens. It has not been able to ensure a welcome political environment, either. Schools and colleges are frequently closed for the flimsiest reasons. What people fail to realize to realize is that those who decide to emigrate are humans, too; they want what is best for themselves and their families. The West guarantees, in addition to better professional opportunities, better health care and better educational system. Who are we to say that they are wrong in trying to ensure a better future for themselves?

Working conditions was the last factor identified in the survey. Take an example of a scientist who has studied esoteric subject because of her love for it. What is going to do in Nepal? The utter failure of government past and present to create an infrastructure for specialists like her to work here in definitely one fator driving these invaluable human resources out of the country. Specially with the recent politicization of almost every walk of life, a professional who only wants to eke out an honest living is in for a tough time. She may just want to opt for an anonymous bliss in the West rather than a life full of tension back home.

Somewhat related to this is another factor, very prevalent in Nepal- an excessive premium that we put on age. Stuck to our strict social structure, we have failed to realize that, on certain things, a twenty-something recent graduate of a university may indeed know a lot more than a fifty-something who has not touched a scholarly book since his college days in the Sixties. Whereas an old person spouting off discredited ideas is treated with respect, a youngster who tries to correct him is considered an upstart. The only way to go up the hierarchy in Nepal is through age, and that can be frustrating for people who may be bubbling with zeal and ideas, but are too young to have the authority to put them into action. This appreciation of talent is much more evident in the West (though, by no means, perfect), and that inspires the best and the brightest to go there.

But what about entreprenuership? If they cannot get used to existing system, why can't Nepal's "educationally qualified people create green pastures in the country itself, rather than seek seek them elsewhere?" Why not indeed? It is because it's just not as easy as it sounds. Green pastures cannot be created overnight. One needs a lot of capital and influence to do anything in Nepal. And a recent graudate whose parents are mere citizens is bound not to have either. Many graudates from rich families may decide to come to Nepal for, with the resources they already have, Nepal can offer them much more prestige than they can ever hope to get in any Western country. Others, however, may not have any choice. It is not that these "brain drain" professionals do not want to stay in Nepal - after all, they have their families and their hearts in Nepal. Most of them are basically forced out of the country because of the restrictive environment.

The leaders of Nepal have frequently stated their intention to see Nepal developed like Singapore. It may be beneficial for our politicians to actually look at what Singapore is doing. The country nurtures its best talents, providing them with the best possible education and ensuring that they get to exercise their abilities. The best professionals are also encouraged to enter polciy-making, with the all-powerful ruling people's action party virtually ensuring their entry into the parliament. The best and the brightest Singaporeans are compensated for their contribution, providing them further incentives to stay within the country. While other restrictive regulations of Singapore are best ignored, this may be one thing worth emulating.\

All said and done, patriotism alone cannot ensure that the talents of Nepal will stay within its borders. Nepal is backward-there is no doubt about that-but the way to get out of it is not to condemn those who had to leave the country to pursue their own dreams, but to ensure that they have the right environment to return. Blame not the emigrants, but those who created stifling policies.Only when this is realized and corrected can the country retain its talents, and have them work for development, as it desperately needs.

***********************************************************************************************

*********************************************************************************************** Date: Mon, 16 Oct 1995 09:21:32 -0500 (EST) From: atuladhar@vax.clarku.edu Subject: HimNet - Himalayan Network: No. 22 (II) (fwd) To: THE NEPAL DIGEST <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu>,

This issue of Himnet has two articles of interest to Nepali Netters.

---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Mon, 16 Oct 1995 10:20:31 +0100 From: Himalayan Network <HimNet@erdw.ethz.ch> To: HimNet@erdw.ethz.ch Subject: HimNet - Himalayan Network: No. 22 (II)

#04 Conference Report: Hard Livelihood - the Himalayan Porter From: himal@himpc.mos.com.np

A Summary Report

The meeting entitled "Hard Livelihood: Conference on the Himalayan Porter", held in Patan (Nepal) on 3-4 August 1995, raised important questions relating to portering, which is among the most excruciating of human labours. Himalayan load carriers, a productive and much-needed work force have long been used (and often exploited) for their ability to transport heavy goods, for long distances, at low wages. The Hard Livelihood conference, which was the first of its kind, addressed issues ranging from economics to collective bargaining, from psychological trauma to orthopaedic considerations. (A full report on the conference will be carried in the Sep/Oct 1995 issue of Himal magazine. A monograph is also planned.)

In the course of the proceedings, it became clear that Himalayan portering should be categorised under four heads. Domestic Porterage, which is ubiquitous, involves carrying daily household requirements such as firewood and water, as well as lugging yearly supplies of daily essentials from roadhead to homestead. Commercial Porterage, which involves the heaviest loads (of kerosene, foodgrain, calico), is done either by dokey sahu who do their own trade, or porters working for hill merchants. Development Porterage is a phenomenon of recent decades, in which villagers hired by the government or development agencies carry construction material and supplies for hydropower projects, suspension bridges, schools, health posts, etc. However, it is Tourism Porterage which has the highest profile, and is the mainstay of the trekking industry and Himalayan mountaineering.

Among the papers presented, the study entitled "Portering in the Garhwal Himalaya" by Ramamurthi Sreedhar (Institute of Environics, Dehra Dun) focused on Nepali porters active in the Gangotri and Kedarnath pilgrimage areas. Sreedhar found that most of porters come from the Rolpa District of West Nepal, but also from Rukum, Bajhang, Dailekh and other districts. There is no institution, governmental or non-governmental, looking after the interests and welfare of these Nepali porters.

Lhakpa Norbu Sherpa (Thame Village, Khumbu) researched the impacts of helicopters on portering in Khumbu, and concluded that heli-transportation had a definite negative impact on the earning capacity of mountain porters. Porters have always been vulnerable to advances in "portering", such as trucks, Urang herds, mule trains and Twin Otter aircraft. The overall critical question was whether the diverted wealth was returning to the national economy, or simply being consumed by expensive foreign technicians, imported machinery and fuel. Lhakpa Norbu reported that the average income of a porter in Khumbu last season (after the advent of helicopters) was NRs 155 a day, and the expenditure was NRs 74 a day. Sherpa ends his paper with a cartoon that has a porter exclaiming, "It is no longer worth the pain!"

Lawyers Bharat Raj Upreti and Hari Phuyal analysed the legal provisions in Nepal as they applied to porters, and concluded that the Civil Code (Muluki Ain) tends to protect employers rather than labourers. Regarding the all-important question of wages, the paper suggests that the emphasis should not be to make additional laws, but to develop a simple and effective mechanism for enforcement of porters' right to wages.

Dr. Buddha Basnet, Medical Director of the Himalayan Rescue Association, in a presentation entitled "Medical Problems of Porters" said that high-altitude porters may have "protective physiology" which makes them less vulnerable to hyperventilation, more tolerant to cold, and allows better adaptation to the high altitude oxygen-depleted environment. One study of muscle biopsies shows that Sherpas had a high capillaries-to-fibre ratio, which meant that the muscles were more efficient because received more blood supply. There was even a possibility that both human beings and animals (yaks) which have lived at high altitudes for centuries, have adapted so well that they might be anatomically different from lowlanders. Dr. Basnet cautioned participants not to ignore the severe problems of hypothermia, altitude sickness, anxiety attacks, gastroenteritis faced by midhill porters who travel to higher climes.

A pioneering study by Dibya Gurung and Tsering Tenpa (KMTNC/ACAP) looked at the specific issues related to women who join the load-carrying workforce, including ethnicity, working conditions, sexual harassment, and physiological concerns. Up to 15 percent of porters in trekking tourism are women, in the age group 14-30. The researchers suggest that portering has also opened up economic opportunity to women and that there are trekking groups that prefer women porters because they are thought to be more reliable. Gurung and Tenpa cautioned the conference participants portering women, having found an employment opportunity, did not want it jeapordised by wrong- headed activism.

Nancy J. Malville and J. McKim Malville (University of Colorado, Boulder) in their paper "Loads and Body Mass: Commercial Portering on the Jiri-Namche Route" document the load- carrying by the traditional Nepali porter. They found that even younger porters (11-15 years) was carrying 135 percent of their body mass. Males in their late 20s carried the heaviest loads in relation to their size, 83 kg average, which was 159 percent of their body mass. Even those in their 60s were carrying 116 percent of their body mass. The heaviest load-carrying recorded was one of 108.2 kg (238 lbs) carried by a 44-year-old Rai trader who stood 146 cm tall (4'9"). He was carrying 228 percent of his own body mass. The researchers end by stating: "The institution of portering demonstrates the strength and resilience of the human body, which the Nepali porters have probably pushed to the physiological limit." They add that load carrying may have significance for early hominid evolution, and that "dorsal load carrying" may actually have helped stabilise the bipedal habit in humans.

Pitamber Sharma of ICIMOD, presenting his paper "Equity and the Nepali Porter", stated that the issue deals with poverty, opening better options for gainful employment, and providing porters with the dignity that goes with such strenuous labour. Collective bargaining was rare and porters were therefore unable to effectively articulate their problems. He said equity issues should be first be addressed in the more organised sectors of portering, which was in development projects and tourism. A regional porter labour market oriented to tourism portering must be established. While portering was often seen as a "dying occupation" by development planners because of the expansion of road networks, Sharma felt that "it is quite likely that in the year 2015, about 30 percent of the hill mountain population will still remain beyond a day's walk from the nearest road". While long distance domestic portering may be reduced, there would be a manifold increase in short distance portering, particularly due to the projected expansion of the mountain economy.

In their paper "Thaplo Bata Namlo Hatau" ("remove the tumpline from your forehead"), T.B. Shrestha, Bishnu Bhandari and Anil Chitrakar (IUCN Nepal) state, "portering is one of the few professions in the world where the more experienced you are the less is the pay". Porters have neither insurance nor political leverage. In the past, there was some respect for portering, which is why chautari rest platforms, water spouts (dharapani), dharmasalas and patis (night halt stops) were established at proper intervals on hill trails. These are all languishing today. The researchers said that on the one hand the state must develop a more "porter-sensitive development strategy", and on the other, it must develop the country in such a manner that the full potential of the Nepali workforce will be realised without the use of the namlo.

In "Push and Shove: The Construction of a Portering Economy in Northern Pakistan", Kenneth Iain MacDonald (University of Toronto) said over the last 150 years, portering in Baltistan had emerged from a form of codified forced labour into a legitimate part-time occupation. During the transition, a significant change had been the increasing refusal by porters to passively accept the conditions under which their labour was appropriated. Through time, the Baltis have used various means to gain a measure of control over their own labour power. MacDonald suggests that Baltis tend to be characterised in tourism and other literature as 'unreliable', 'cowardly' and 'unintelligent' mainly because they engage in acts of resistance, in an effort to exercise a degree of self-determination and retain an element of dignity in a task that can be most degrading. "What has been transmitted among travellers as a bad reputation is actually a racist misinterpretation of the actions of subordinate groups involved in continuous resistance against domination and the appropriation of their labour."

Ben Campbell (University of Manchester), in "Porters, Poverty and the Protected Periphery", studies portering among the Tamang in the Kathmandu Valley periphery. Campbell (who could not attend the Conference), states that historically portering was a primary means for the state to extract value from village communities which produced little or no surplus that could be taxed. The population of the Kathmandu hinterland was always used to move goods through the Himalaya. The Tamangs' position within the strategic interests of the polity of Nepal was not to warrant the granting of trade privileges, which many of the Bhotiya traders received. The strategic role of Tamang communities in central Nepal was rather as porters, as an underdeveloped reserve of labour power at the service of the central elites. Their marginal niche and subsistence economy was treated with neglect, and jealously guarded from recruitment to Gurkha regiments.

Dr. Upendra Devkota, Nepal's only neurosurgeon, in his paper "The Cervical Spine of the Male Nepali Porter", presented preliminary findings based on the study of load carriers. The aim of his study was to see "whether the condition of the cervical spine of male Nepali porters was better, similar or worse than that of the controls". It would be expected that there would be accelerated degeneration of the upper spine (known as spondylosis) of individuals engaged in a lifetime of portering. However, the initial findings indicated that this might not be the case. Dr. Devkota reported that in the 40-49 age group, only 12.2 percent of the porters studied had significant wear and tear of the cervical spine. The average for a "control group" was as much as 25 percent. The study therefore, "tended to suggest that male Nepali porters in their 40s have significantly less spinal degeneration compared to the Western controls." If this is supported by further research which is continuing, then perhaps the use of a namlo-like devices would be useful as physiothery aids in the world of medical science.

.................................................

#05 Water use efficiency in the Himalaya From: Bhanu Neupane u <neup2011@mach1.wlu.ca>

I'm developing a conceptual model to assess water use efficiency in the Himalaya. I've selected Langtang-Trishuli basin as my study area. To pursue this task, I will be using SRM model to elaborate the supply side of the issue.

Can somebody please provide me the email addresses of Dr. K. Siedel and Dr J. Martinec and suggest somebody equally renowned in SRM modelling in the Himalayas. Drs. Siedel and Martinec, to my knowledge, are associated with ERTZ.

Thanks in advance.

Bhanu (Neup2011@mach1.wlu.ca)

*************************************************** Date: Mon, 16 Oct 1995 19:15:03 -0400 (EDT) To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Article by Ashutosh Tiwari From: Mahesh Ghimire <umghimir>

Hi

We all have experienced similar situations in Nepal. Once I had hard time persuading a book-store man to let-me glance through a book I intended to buy. The experience was bad but... When I (Sahariya short pant man) go to a shops or resturants in not so remote outside kathmandu valley district Sadarmukams I get the same VIP treatments tourists get in Kathmandu and other tourist centres. So I reason as long as I don't mind getting those `sir' or `madsab' treatments I shouldn't....:-)

Many of my well read and well positioned collegues are so prompt to quote phoren experts on Nepali issues and so eager to please phoren delegates and experts in their Nepal time-travel that the smiles on the waiter's face while serving a tourist is pale in comparision.

**************************************************************** Date: Mon, 16 Oct 1995 19:16:40 -0400 (EDT) To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Discrimination acts of Malaysia how do you guys compare?? From: (Remo)

List of discrimination act pratice by the government.

1. 70% of university place is reserved to Bumiputra 2. As 70% of U places is allocated for bumi hence entrance to U is

not base on merits but base on the race you belong to.

3. 5% discount for Bumi house buyers and 0% to non bumi

4. Bumi privilege is in the constitution and cannot be question

5. 30% of houses/flats/condos in any new housing scheme have to be reserve to Bumi purchasers

6. Companies must have at least 30% Bumi staff

7. Government projects must have 30% Bumi content

8. Government agency and civil services are monopolised by Malays

9. Only Malay can be elected to be Prime Minister

10. Public listed company must have at least 30% bumi share

11. Priority is given to Bumi in company share balloting

12. TV programs banned for no good reason

Note :

Bumi/Bumiputra = Native Malays ,muslim religion

Equivalent to Aborigines from Australia Red Indians in USA

The Malaysian definition of a Malay is constitutional:

pillai@mgg.pc.my (M.G.G. Pillai) wrote: a Malay is one who practices the Islamic faith, habitually speaks Malay and adopts Malay customs and practices. All other natives are bumiputras.

************************************************************** Date: Mon, 16 Oct 1995 19:17:28 -0400 (EDT) To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Sentenced to Death - Oct 22 From: Shyam <shyamal@mit.edu>

SENTENCED TO DEATH

Talks on Minority and Human Rights in South Asia

Asma Jahangir (Pakistan) Asghar Ali Engineer (India)

11 year old Salamat Masih, a christian living in Pakistan was sentenced to death this year on a charge of blasphemy. Two years ago thousands of muslims were killed in India in mob violence following the demolition of a mosque. What is the connection between these events? Find out from two people on the frontline.

Asma Jahangir, noted activist, author and defense lawyer for Salamat Masih is the founder of the largest umbrella organization of women in Pakistan. Asghar Ali Engineer, a reknowned scholar and activist from India has devoted his entire life to studying and fighting mob violence and oppression in the name of religion.

Sunday, MIT October 22nd Building 6 Room 120 3-00 PM Closest T Station: Kendall Square Bus Number 1 to 77 Mass Ave

Info: email madath-request@mit.edu Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia

********************************************************************** Date: Mon, 16 Oct 1995 22:46:53 -0500 To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu From: sharma@plains.nodak.edu (Padam Sharma) Subject: Kurakani

Agriculture and Forestry University: More questions than answers!

Commenting on The Kathmandu Post editorial, about above subject Mr. Tuladhar writes,

"Just for starters, re: the new proposed ag+for university is another example of reproducing emppty institutions to socio-techno fix what is essentially a deep political problem. As an insider of the forestry institute, I think this new initiative is intellectually and politically bankrupt and neither will the agriculture productivity will go up nor will forest environment will be ameliorated with "more mechanized production for agriculture" or training more unwanted foresters for forestry sector job. Please read and come forward with your discussions. Thanks ----amulya"

I was thinking of commenting and starting a discussion on the above subject. But Mr. Tuladhar's snap judgement on the issue threw me off guard. Before entering into further discussion, I would like Mr. Tuladhar to answer some questions and elaborate on his statements. The idea is to discuss the issue on a more logical sequence.

1. Does Nepal need an institution of higher learning in agriculture and forestry? If yes why and if not why?

2. If yes, does agriculture and forestry need separate universities? Same university?

3. Could Mr. Tuladhar elaborate on his statement, "ag+for university is another example of reproducing empty institutions what is essentially a political problem."

4. What is the meaning of , "I think this new initiative is intellectually and politically bankrupt?"

5. What is the basis of the statement, "neither will the agriculture productivity go up nor will forest environment be ameliorated"?

6. Is Mr. Tuladhar's objection to the proposed univeristy based on fear that Institutue of Agriculture might gobble up Institute of Forestry?

7. Is Mr. Tuladhar's cynical statement on the subject just a force of habit?

It is very easy to make a few rhetorical statements on any issue. The trouble starts when we start thinking hard on the subject.

Sincerely Padam Sharma Email : sharma@plains.nodak.edu

**************************************************************** From: bpandey@metro.mccneb.edu (Bhuban Pandey) Subject: Happy Dipawali To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu Date: Tue, 17 Oct 95 8:35:55 CDT

Hi Netters! Greetings from Omaha, Nebraska.

We wish you all a very happy "DIPAWALI."

Thanks.

Bhuban, Prabha and Bhumika Pandey

********************************************************************** Date: Tue, 17 Oct 1995 18:57:58 -0400 From: ABasnet@aol.com To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: About subscription of TND

Dear Editor

I could not stop thanking you for a wonderful THE NEPAL DIGEST, which I recently happened read at my friend's house. The articles in TND, were so well written and I really enjoyed when going through them. This is the only paper that I can get access about Himalayan Kingdom and its happenings. I have my own e-mail now, and I want to subscribe TND. So, Please kindly send TND on my address.

Sincerly yours, Achyut Basnet Springfield College (Grad Student) MA, 01109

************************************************* Date: Tue, 17 Oct 1995 20:37:21 CDT To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Help Needed to Find the Address From: smool@sauaca.saumag.edu <Sudeep Mool>

I request the editor to publish this massege in TND.

I am looking for the internet address of some of my friends. If anyone reading this massege happens to know the address(es) of the person(s) listed below, please email me. I would be grateful. Thanks.

1. Mr. Anoj Dhoj Joshi, NY 2. Dileep Agrawal (previously attended Clark University, MA) OR Mr. Manoj Agrawal. 3. Subash Dhakal (second batch from St. Xavier's Campus, Jawalakhel, Nepal) 4. Jagadish Maharjan (") 5.

********************************************* From: Puspa M Joshi <pjoshi@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu> Subject: Tidbits To: nepal@cs.niu.edu (Nepal Digest) Date: Wed, 18 Oct 1995 08:02:25 -0400 (EDT)

Tidbits from Columbus, Ohio : By Puspa Man Joshi

Although, because of Mid-terms, several people were unable to attend, the Dashain celebration in Columbus was great fun. Credit for the success goes to Gyanu Sherchan who spent her valuable time organizing the party.

Though the food was excellent, the highlight of the party was the presence of 8 student guests from Ohio Wesleyan, and Cornell who made the party very lively. After the dinner, Monica Sherchan presented a short cultural program that she had organized. The party ended with the singing and dancing by the guests and hosts. ----------------------------------END

Dear editor, I am mailing a poem I wrote which I recited during the Dashain celebration in Columbus. I hope you would post both versions. Thank you.

Puspa Man Joshi

Man Ko Bhookha (Hungry for Respect)

Malai Lagchha Kasaibata Man Pauna Purkhyauli Ko Nam Sunaunu Parchha Bhanne Chhaina Na Ta Pad wa Yogyata Bataunu Parchha Bhanne Chha Ajjha Sampatti Wa Adhikarko Dhank Lagauna Ta Katti Pani Abashyak Pardaina

Kinaki, Aphule Man Manaparayejhhain Arule Pani Man Manaparaunchha Bhani Janera Kasailai Man Gari Diye So Byaktibata Manko Badala Samman Painchha

Tara Kunai Pani Byakti Sampatti, Pad, Adhikar Wa Upadhile Mattiako Chha Bhane Yekatira, Chahindo Bhanda Badhi Man Khojna Thalchha Ta Arkotira, Arulai Man Garna Birsera Apaman Garna Sikee Janchha

Ajjha Tyatimatra Kahan Ho Ra Kasaile Man Gardapani Apaman Gareko Samjhi Janchha Ani Sadhain Sadhainko Lagi Manko Bhookha Banee Rahanchha

Hungry for Respect (Manko Bhookha) By:Puspa Joshi

I believe that To gain the respect of someone One does not need to mention one's family background Neither does one need to tell the qualification or position Nor is it not necessary to declare a huge bank balance

It is so simple If we treat someone As we wanted to be treated We would be honored

However, when a person is conceited Because of wealth, qualification or position He forgets to respect others He learns to lower people

More than that Even when someone respects him He feels he deserves more

In spite of wealth, qualification, or position Such a person is always hungry for respect.

****************************************************************************** * * * The Nepal Digest(TND) is a publication of the Nepal Interest Group for * * news and discussions about issues concerning Nepal. All members of * * nepal@cs.niu.edu will get a copy of TND. Membership is open to all. * * THE EDITOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO EDIT ARTICLES FOR CLARITY. * * * * Subscription/Deletion requests : NEPAL-REQUEST@MP.CS.NIU.EDU * * Provide one line message: sub nepal "lastname, firstname, mi" <user@host> * * [OPTIONAL] Provide few lines about your occupation, address, phone for * * TND database to: <A10RJS1@MP.CS.NIU.EDU> * * Snail-Mail Correspondences to: Rajpal J.P. Singh * * Founding-Editor/Co-ordinator * * TND Foundation * * 44 Greenridge Ave * * White Plains, New York 10605, U.S.A. * * * * Digest Contributions: NEPAL@MP.CS.NIU.EDU * * Contributors need to supply Header for the article, email, and full name. * * * * Postings are divided into following categories that are listed in the * * order below. Please provide category-type in the header of your e-mail. * * * * 1. Message from TND Editorial Board * * 2. Letter to the Editor * * 3. TAJA_KHABAR: Current News * * 4. KATHA_KABITA: Literature * * 5. KURA_KANI: Economics * * Agriculture * * Forestry * * Health * * Education * * Technology * * Social Issues * * Cultural Issues * * Environment * * Tourism * * Foreign Policy * * History * * Military/Police * * Politics * * 6. CHOOT_KILA (Humor, Recipies, Movie Reviews, Sattaires etc.) * * 7. JAN_KARI: Classifides (Matrimonials, Jobs etc) * * 8. KHOJ_KHABAR (Inquiring about Nepal, Nepalis etc. ) * * 9. TITAR_BITAR: Miscellaneous (Immigration and Taxex etc. ) * * * * **** COPYRIGHT NOTE **** * * The news/article posters are responsible for any copyright violations. * * TND, a non-profit electronic journal, will publish articles that has * * been published in other electronic or paper journal with proper credit * * to the original media. * * * ******************************************************************************

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