The fruits of their labour by Kishor Maharjan

THE FRUITS OF THEIR LABOUR: It is 11:30 AM in Martadi and Chandra Khatri has just arrived with 15 kgs of apples. He sets his sack down, “I left home at 4 AM this morning,” he says. Khatri does this at least four times a week but this season has been extremely difficult for Bajura’s […]

The Recycler by Robic Upadhayay

THE RECYCLER: Ram Pravesh Prasad’s store in Teku is all crammed with junk metals, plastics, electronics, and furniture. There is no available space, and all corners are stuffed, there are things lying on top of other things. Visitors are met with constant banging and a heavy dust fills the air of the store. Prasad has […]

Hunger Pangs by Sabrina Dangol

HUNGER PANGS: Every day 4 PM, Sabita Baniya, 56, gets ready to walk from her home in Chika: Mugu to Kantipath. She sits patiently on the pavement across Bir Hospital and waits with 300 others. This is where various volunteer groups come every day to distribute food. She picks up beaten rice, vegetables and sometimes, […]

Culture under a shadow by Kishor Maharjan

CULTURE UNDER A SHADOW: Men were in ‘daura suruwal’ and women were in traditional red with colourful beads and jewellery. This week, Martadi, Bajura locals came together in the middle of Rautada forest to celebrate the local Madu Puja, in honour of the Hindu god Kailash. Women were carrying flowers and ‘jamara’ in big baskets […]

Troubles weigh a tonne by Robic Upadhayay

TROUBLES WEIGH A TONNE: In Satungal, Hira Brick Factory is quiet and deserted. On non-lockdown days the area is busy, and the kiln’s big chimney throws out black smoke as far as the eye can see. Around the factory are small one-roomed brick huts where workers live. These paper-like houses are narrow, dim and without […]

Frontline Journalist by Madhuri Mahato

FRONTLINE JOURNALIST: My name is Madhuri Mahato and I have been working for Community Radio Narayani FM for 12 years. On 3 August, the station manager of the radio station tested positive with coronavirus. As I got ready to leave for the radio station, my father asked, “Can’t you take a leave from the radio […]

Losing Hope in Jeddah by Nitu Ghale

Raju Murmu, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia LOSING HOPE IN JEDDAH: Raju Murmu, 31, from Jhapa is crammed in a room in Saudi Arabia with 14 other Nepalis. The 14 pooled their money together and bought an internet package to ensure that their voices are heard but the package is running out and they can’t afford to […]

Survival Instincts by Robic Upadhayay

SURVIVAL INSTINCT: It is the second week of the Kathmandu-wide lockdown and I have made it a routine to out for groceries at 7 AM. As I walk my neighbourhood, I notice that the number of shops selling daily essentials has increased considerably. The government allows daily essential shops like vegetables and groceries to open […]

Golden morning will come by Rakesh Prasad Chaudhary

GOLDEN MORNING WILL COME: Rekha Mahato, 40 has been running a small cafe in Jaleswar’s Cinema Hall Chowk by herself for a decade. Mahato is the only woman from the Pasi community in Jaleswar who runs a food business. The early days of the cafe were challenging, “People used to abuse us, and say that […]

Slaughtering Rights in Jhapa by Parwat Portel

SLAUGHTERING RIGHTS IN JHAPA: Rafiqul Haque, 38, worked as a tractor driver and supported his family of seven. On Wednesday evening he was on his way back home when he saw that a large crowd had formed in Kamatoli Bajar. He was curious, so he went to check out what was going on. That afternoon, […]