Remote Nepal Speaks: Young Voice of Karnali

A political discourse with the students of Karnali Technical Institute in Jumla, one of the most remote districts in Nepal

“We need the President in Nepal. Tomorrow Karnali might give birth to a child with the capacity to become the President of the country. That’s why the top post of the country should not be reserved for one certain family. All people should get opportunity to reach there.” Pics by Wagle

By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle Street Journal

KTS (Jumla)- It’s not easy to follow the politics of Kathmandu from this remote corner but the students of Karnali Technical School (KTS) discuss about the current affairs as and when they get time from their study. Youngsters from various districts attend the school, first of its kind in Nepal that was opened to provide technical education to those who are unable to go college, but in today’s discussion (with Katnipur) 12 students representing five districts of Karnali zone, one of the most backward regions in the country, are present. The topic: Politics, Constituent Assembly elections and the dreams of Karnali.

Many feel that the Maoists haven’t changed their intimidating style of functioning even after joining the government and the youngsters expressed their concerns about the possibility that the Maoists’ activities might put the CA elections, which has already been differed, in danger. They said the Maoists must immediately stop such behavior and the problem in Terai must be solved so as to create suitable environment to conduct elections. Their analysis was that the country would plunge into deep crisis if election doesn’t happen in time.

“Election on one hand, abduction and beatings on the other,” said Durga Hitan (Mugu), a student of ANM. “It doesn’t seem possible.” (Students cited an unfortunate incident that took place a few days prior to this conversation in which the Maoists had manhandled their principal. The Maoist cadres had smeared the principle’s face alleging him of promoting corruption in the school. The students immediately retaliated by vandalizing the Maoist office in the district headquarters. The subsequent investigation of the incident showed that the corruption charges against the principal were baseless.)

Narendra Khatri (Jumla), a student of Construction, said the problems in the country will deepen if the election doesn’t happen. All students participating in the discussion are above 18 years and they all said that they would actively take part in the electoral process. “Who will take this country forward if we fail to elect a good leader?” asked Chandra Kumari Shahi (Kalikot), a student of Agriculture.

Though it’s almost certain that the country will adapt federal governance structure political parties are divided over the technicalities like naming and constituting the federations. Some including the Maoist have proposed that the federations be named after ethnicity where as others have said they should be named after geographical/natural landmarks like mountains or rivers. It’s certain that this region will get its name Karnali, name of the biggest river. All youngsters participating in the discussion favored geographical names over ethnic. “No ethnic,” said Lokendra Bahadur Shahi (Jumla), a student of Construction. “Geographical.”

This remote district that was not connected to the road network until recently might not be a dream place to study. But there happens to be tough competition and occasional power play to get admitted in this institute. “No tension at all,” commented Narendra about the life as a student here. Bhima Gurung (Dolpa), a student of ANM, added: “It’s peaceful here. No noise. Once you adjust yourself in this environment, you start enjoying.” Durga added: “More enjoyable than staying with family.” Prithvi Bahadur Nepali (Jajarkot), two of the students participating in the discussion from outside Karnali, said: “Many don’t have enough money to go and study in Kathmandu. Here, many are children of poor.” Chandra said: “You can meet friends from all 75 districts.”

It’s mentioned in the constitution that the first meeting of the Constitution Assembly will decide by simple majority the fate of monarchy. The overwhelming majority (84%) of youngsters in this meeting decided in favor of abolishing monarchy while the two who said they favored continuing the provision of kingship said that they would like to hold election for the post of king. “We need the President,” voiced Prithvi. “Tomorrow Karnali might have a child with the capacity to become the President of the country. That’s why the top post of the country should not be reserved for one certain family. All people should get opportunity to reach there.” Youngsters rejected the concept of Baby King that some leaders have floated in the politics of Kathmandu. “Like grandpa like grandson,” said Narendra. Bhima said: “All the money that the king gets from the state should be invested in Karnali.” Birendra Pun (Dolpa), a student of Agriculture, said: “The country can’t be run without a king. But this king is unacceptable. We must hold election to have new king.”

Karnali, considered the most backward region, is one of the most talked about topic in the national press and debates. Ask anyone from Karnali; it’s almost certain that each of them have at least one plan or dream about the development of the region. All these youngsters stressed on the need to link all five districts to the road network and proper marketing of herbs found in the region. “We should utilize herbs properly,” said Lal Bahadur Budha (Jumla), a student of CMA. “There should be proper marketing.” Chandra Kala Rai (originally from Khotang but admitted on the quotas of Humla), a student of CMA, said: “Opportunities of jobs and higher education should be created here.” Narendra talked about declaring Karnali region a tourist area where as Durga stressed on the need to promote modern ways of farming in fruits and potato. “Road access to all districts,” said Dan Bahadur AD (Mugu), a student of Agriculture. “Then we should concentrate on education and health.”

Three districts of Karnali-Mugu, Humla and Dolpa- are yet to be connected to the road links. But many Mugeli said they have become hopeful about the road coming to their district especially after seeing vehicles running in Jumla.

Nepali version of this article appeared in today’s edition of Kantipur





7 responses to “Remote Nepal Speaks: Young Voice of Karnali”

  1. Joseph Avatar

    i want know some thing like if you want say hello by Nepal langueg or how are you … like this i want know like welcome evry Graitting


  2. bhim kc Avatar
    bhim kc

    how are you = tapai lai kasto cha in nepali

    welcome = swagat cha,

    you can use hello to hello

  3. Sumry Avatar


    I am a Nepali student studying in America right now. I went through your blog and found it very inspiring. I too think that its the youth of the country that have the power to change. Actually you guys already know what your society needs for the development like you have mentioned in your blogs that we should utilize our herbs and have proper marketing system. Actually, you guys already have a plan but all you guys need now is someone who can understand your vision and trust you folks for bring on the change that karnali zone deserves.
    Me and my sisters from the church here are very interested in helping make the education system of Karnali district better. Can you please give me some information’s on the school system in your district, its conditions, how many students there are, are girls sent to schools over there? and what should be done to get the dalits and poor students into school?
    I would love to hear from som eof you in the future…..

  4. Sumry Avatar

    my mailing address is :

  5. Aja Bahadur Shahi Avatar
    Aja Bahadur Shahi

    Dear All
    Greetings from Karnali Youth

    Actually, I saw a web site I found that it is pleasure for me really. We are the origin of Kash so, we are a unity of these region. We understood the real situation but we cannot do that in reality. We are the youth of Karnali so we are searching the Right of youths. If we found it It’s great for us but we did not get that opportunity than after we use for huge ideas for Karnali people. Therefore, all Karnali youth’s are unity for long live. We can do it for our Rights. Karnali is not only the discussion topic but also the work in there. If Karnali only one the topic we cannot do any thing for their region. Karnali people are wating for development for all level and sectors.

    Karnali Youth
    Aja Bahadur Shahi
    Mugu, Karnali.

  6. Kancha Avatar

    I don’t think Karnali is the only topic of discussion as we could feel poverty in development, in every nook and corner of Nepal. When we talk of Karnali we are seduced to think of remoteness, weariness, isolation and suffering. It is very easy job to make assumption and escape out after the end of interpretation as we all have been practicing it right from our first learning in this infant society. This ignorance and innocence of society has been the source of infanticide and destruction prevailing in the present Nepal.

    Fate of Karnali could not be judged by any new form of government, weather it be Monarch, Oligarch, Dictator or anything else as read in the history. Since, all those forms have already been studied by the cognitive society and has absorbed, stored deep in the abyss of evil.

    The only intellectual youths of Karnali could bring down the savior to help them combat against the problems of Karnali. The mixture of the real suffering in them with the new developmental insight which should be cultured in the blood and then injected in the society can only break down the unbreakable

  7. KYV Avatar

    NGO Corruption in Karnali, Nepal.

    The rich are getting richer and poorer are getting poorer in the poorest part of Nepal (Karnali). The theory of 1% controlling the 99% of the wealth gets proven even in the land of the forgotten world “Karnali Dara”.

    We set Kachari once in a month here in Khalanga Bazar in the same fashion that Maoist did during their insurgent period. We are alerting and inspiring the deprived youth of the forgotten land to stand for the justice. Maoist said they will snatch it from the rich and give it to the poor. Indeed they were right in our land, they took all the pain and suffering from the rich and handed to us.

    Before the great king Bali Raja Shahi was born and the Nepali language was evolve in Karnali, this land has been ruled by Thakuri and managed by the Bramans cast. Chettris has enjoyed the wealth and sense of power too.

    There goes the Mukiyas (Leader), Nike (family head), Baidar (lawyer) and Thanedar (Police), who basically ruled the villages by suppressing the poor and uneducated under their feet.

    This was the history and trend in Karnali Dara. Not much has change since then. The same family has got the key to the door for wealth and power. According to our consistent research and more to come, we have found thakuri and barman’s dominating the lower cast dalit which consist of Kami, Damai, Hudkay, Sarki, Bhemal and Kumal.

    There are more then 1,000 NGO who have directly and indirectly worked in Karnali. This is a growing area of concern in this remote part of forgotten land. NGO and politics has been the greatest businesses venture to the ruling families. Why are,t the poor getting opportunities and chances despite having qualification and rights to sense the wealth and power? ~ Answer is simple, the key to the door of the magic power and wealth has been in the hands of the few families.

    Top 2 corrupted NGO in the Karnali, 2015, more to be cont…..

    1 – Human Rights and Environmental Development Centre (HURENDEC) – Kalikot.

    The great grand son of the Raskoti raja (Royal Shahi Family) is the president and leader of the communist party as well as head of HURENDEC NGO in the district headquarters of Kalikot. Since the communist expanded in this “forgotten land” this Shahi family chose to accept communism as their ruling strategy and maintain dominance. Their secret to keeping the dalit and deprived cast under their feet is by the corrupted funding of the NGO and construction project accumulated from the Nepal government projects such as roads, hospital, drinking water, bridge and many more. This is grated to them in all commission basic. To achieve NGO project a handsome sum of money is paid to the proposal writer and the headquarter (HQ) of the INGO in the capital city of Kathmandu. The senior communist party leaders in the capital coordinate the handshake as they hold the door keys to the ministries. The roads made by this family have not just been blocked due to heavy flooding during the monsoon, it has also become a death bed for all the travellers who pass by. Since the opening of the Karnali Highway more people have died due to the corrupted road then the 15 years long Maoist insurgency in Karnali.

    HURENDEC has been the HQ for this royal family to mobilise its party activities.

    2013, Kapil Shahi a member of HURENDEC NGO gang raped on a dalit 14 years girl who had come for SLC exam away from home, Gyala High School in 2013. As the eldest son of this family is high up in the district communist party committee and has strong connection with central level this poor girl was never heard justice. Can you imagine this 14 years dalit girl, no matter which family she come from being avoided justice in Europe or America?

    There about 89 staffs working for HURENDEC at the moment. They are mostly Thakuri’s and Bramans who are related this Shahi family. This NGO has been active in Karnali since last 15 years and it has worked on many projects, such as drinking water, animal drinking water pond, micro hydro, road construction, suspension bridge, farming goats, education, micro loan, building school infrastructure and hospital. 95% percentage of the infrastructure that were mentioned completed have never been started on reality. All the money was enjoyed by this Shahi family to buy real estate in Kathmandu and Surkhet which are the prime location in Nepal. For those working in HURENDEC they get a monthly salary of Rs 8,000 ($80) per month but on the annual audit the staff minim salary is shown Rs 16,000 ($160). During the recent Parliament election 60% of the MP in Karnali are from the Shahi family. During the election all the staff of HURENDEC in Karnali had to forcefully donate 2 month of their salary for the election campaign and they didn’t get their salary for 5 months as all the money was wasted in the election campaign.

    2011, Bhim Bahadur Shahi of Jubitha VDC, who was teaching Proud Shiksha (Elderly Education) for HURENDEC NGO and a brother in law to the HURENDEC NGO president, killed a dalit (Untouchable) for lighting his cigarette from Shahi’s hotel kitchen fireplace. Killer has been life in prison for his racist murder in the Kalikot District Jail.

    2 – Karnali Integrated Rural Development Research Centre (KIRDARC) – Jumla.

    This KIRDARC NGO was established by the Royal Chettri family of Jumla in 1999. Though during the Maoist insurgency this family was a high value target in the eyes of Maoist cadets. Later on when Maoist joined the government this family accepted the membership of the Maoist party to gain safe heaven from central government and started this family business of KIRDARC NGO. A lot of foreign INGO has been interested to donate in Karnali and realising the emerging opportunity, this family diverted their interest toward this venture. They are one of the biggest NGO working in Karnali but this has been a platform to launch and shelter communist activist and mobilise their party expansion.

    If you are travelling through the corridor of Karnali Dara, you will see innumerable projects build by KIRDARC NGO but you will hardly seen any one of them been functioning as they would have never been build according to the estimation. 90 % of the fund would be shown only on the paper and 10% of the fund can never achieve what 100% of the fund could achieve. You can see many suspension bridge with in 2 years of their inauguration left hanging instead of a crossing point for villager’s both in Tila Karnali and as well as in Humla Karnali River.

    KIRDARC NGO has also been involved in building many health posts building. Some of them have a budget of up to a million dollar but you can hardly see the roof of the health post these days. Due to the monsoon rain building have been damaged making the medical staffs to treat patients from near by shelters. There are many high school buildings build by KIRDARC in Karnali but now you only see ruined buildings, this is due to the corruption conducted by this Royal Chettri family.

    Had there been proper 0 % corruption with proper planning and construction of the projects build by KIRDARC the sweet and heartily donated fund from EU and American nations would still be representing their love and kindness for the most needy people in the Karnali Dara. Instead of making this family multi millionaire in the third world country only to rule eternally.

    We are deeply sad to let you know 90% of the fund being corrupted by this humongous ruling Cheetri family the only hope of the foreign aid have elope like the melting of a ice cube in a summer bright sunny day.

    20 years ago this family living in mud house in Jumla but now they living in multi million luxury villa in the prime location of Kathmandu with 4 X 4 vehicles and ticket for the guaranteed MP sit to stand for the election. We as deprived dalit (untouchable) youth are not complaining for the multi millionaire life style this family have been enjoying as we can’t reach that high, but we are only expressing our out cry as the last hope in the form of foreign aid help has been snatched by this Royal family. If nothing is done to stop this parasite KIRDARC NGO to snatch the future of dalit we remain slaves in this remote Karnali Dara.

    We are talking about the lives of these children and the people who live in sorrow and suffering because they only come from a dalit (untouchable) cast, in the forgotten world “Karnali Dara”.

    * Note – Doko is a basket to carry grass and firewood; Bariyo is a rope on which you can carry firewood from the forest. 
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