Quarantine Reflections by Madhuri Mahato

QUARANTINE REFLECTIONS: “I am a leader. I travel often in my constituency to understand people’s problems. I was on one such visit when I got infected with the coronavirus. When I tested positive, I was shocked. And then I was terrified. Over the months I had come to believe that I was not going to […]

Sixty-Five and on Duty by Sikuma Rai

SIXTY-FIVE AND ON DUTY: Subhash Chandra Silwal retired at 60 from the medical profession five years ago. He tried poultry farming, but it did not work out so he started working at the Laligurans Hospital in Talchikhel as a lab technician. He lives with his family in Lele, Lalitpur, some 20 KM from Kathmandu’s centre. […]

Fighter Nurse by Krishnamaya Upadhayay

FIGHTER NURSE: Sitala Rokaya, a 27 from Sinja, Jumla is a staff nurse at the Karnali Institute of Health Sciences Hospital. She is also the mother of a 9-month-old baby. She is assigned to the intensive care unit and the hospital now treating 14 COVID-19 patients. “There is no place for fear,” says Rokaya, “During […]

Tough Journey Home by Nitu Ghale

TOUGH JOURNEY HOME: Shankhalal Ghising, 24 from Sindhuli ended his two-year contract in Dubai in March. He was on an expired visa and he wanted to fly back to Nepal right away, but could not due to COVID-19 lockdown. “Once the time on your visa runs out, you have to pay a fine to remain, […]

The Drive to Live by Robic Upadhayay

THE DRIVE TO LIVE: Deepa Budhathoki, 32, is a Safa Tempo driver who drives the New Road-Baneswor 6 KM-route. Originally from Gaighat, Udaypur, she has been a Safa Tempo driver for 12 years and used to make an average of 8 trips every day pre-pandemic. Driving the tempo has given her financial independence and joy. […]

Take a Chance on Dance by Sabrina Dangol

TAKE A CHANCE ON DANCE: Every afternoon, Subima Shrestha, 43, sets up her laptop and speakers in the living room of her house in Satdobato, Lalitpur, to start the online class for ‘Kathak’, a classical Indian dance form. The sound of beating ‘tabala’ fills the room as Shrestha carefully monitors the dancers via her laptop […]

No tax elaspe by Robic Upadhayay

NO TAX ELASPE: On the last day to pay taxes, the Inland Revenue Office in Pulchowk, Lalitpur was in full swing The office was crowded and disorganized. A bottle of hand sanitizer here, few people with masks there, and not much social distancing. What was most worrisome was that the service seekers were licking their […]

Despair in Dubai by Nitu Ghale

DESPAIR IN DUBAI: In July when Dipesh Bhattarai, 21, read that Nepal will resume international flights by mid-August, he was thrilled. Bhattarai has been stuck in Dubai for the last four months on an expired visa without a job and no way to support himself. A few days ago Bhattarai’s excitement turned into disappointment when […]

Earthen Problems by Rakesh Prasad Chaudhary

EARTHEN PROBLEMS: Sobha Pandit, 60, runs a family business selling clay pots and bamboo baskets. She belongs to the Kumhar community in Jaleshwor, and the upcoming Hindu festival Teej is an important one for her business. Teej and Chauthi-Chand festivals celebrated in Mithilanchal are not complete without yoghurt set in the clay pots that Pandit’s […]

Let me earn my living by Sikuma Rai

LET ME EARN MY LIVING: On 22 March, Rama Bohara, 43, became the proud owner of a vegetable pushcart. She would take it out early in the morning and set it up in the marketplace. She had a plan–if she sold a certain amount of vegetables every day she could pay back her loans in […]