Killing a Monster by Teaching : A Conversation with an English Teacher at Hills

Meet Wonderful English Teacher Laxmi who is trying hard to Kill the Ghost of English in students at remote

Meet wonderful English teacher ( Teach For Nepal fellow) Laxmi who is trying hard to Kill the Ghost of Learning English in students at remote village called Ashrang in Nepal.

She says no body will believe she going to the hills where mobile networks wouldn’t reach, where narrow roads will take her away from her home and her family to somewhere unreachable from technology she is enjoying at her home town Kathmandu. People would rather suggest her to go abroad as other hundreds and thousands of Nepalese who fly away for better future of themselves. But here is Laxmi Khatri, who is  breaking away the tradition that her friends and family would do and going to somewhere to “teach”. Nepal is somewhere, where teaching job is the most unwanted job as it pays less, facilities are less and may be it is the last option one would do. But it is not same for people like Laxmi, who is young, energetic and courageous to go to the hills, leaving a development career in Kathmandu and start up a completely different career as a teacher in the remotest area of Nepal as a Teach For Nepal fellow. Teach For Nepal is working with young, energetic graduates like Laxmi to help enriching teaching in Nepal and adding a brick to the Nepali academia by targeting remotest parts of Nepal.
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And I stand up for myself

Growing up in a country where there are so complications just because you are a girl is a challenge. However, it seems like there are different versions of this complications, these challenges all around the world from the most developed to the least developed ones. I belong to a country where woman is both Goddess and Witch where mensuration is a sin and a fetus is aborted if it is a female. The cult of good woman hood is measured on the same basis like around the world. If you are a misfit ~ you are a whore. However, the gradual development of the society and education as well as wave of communication has empowered both men and women of Nepal and slowly the society is changing. Yet, something that has been deeply embedded in the society for thousands of years ~ hardly change.

When I see my 63 year old aunt struggling to write letters of Ka, Kha , Ga ( Devnagari Script ) in the dim light of my room. I remember my grandfather who educated his three sons and never let the other three daughters to go to school. I can see her yearning for education, yearning to write and understand the world. But she cannot do that and I get frustrated on her behalf. What was the reason of not sending you school? I ask her and she replies we always thought if our brothers will be educated they will be big and will be enough for us, that is what our father said. I frown. I just frown.

On Thursday Oct 09, US Embassy in Nepal hosted a wonderful Google Hangout on the occasion of International Day of The Girl with the Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Catherine M. Russell from State Department, Dr. Anju Malhotra from UNICEF and girls like us from Jakarta and Cairo. The session was such a powerful and intriguing that it made me think so much of education, girls and empowerment around the world. Time and again Ambassador Russell emphasized on how much education is important for standing up, how much it is necessary for changing our own future. She said that the issue of girls should to be part of discussion in policy; family and the issues should be brought to table. Dr. Malhotra said, “Magic Bullet in development is education”. The hangout with these two powerful women was powerfully moderated by Monique Coleman who has been continually working in the similar field of empowering girls around the world. Continue reading

Prem Srem at Galli Salli

It was her on the phone: “Bring my photo and silver sikri and come to the galli.

May be the year was 1985. It was an obscure time to love.

With a lump in his throat, he opened his old steel box. He had glued her photograph onto a cardboard and punched a hole through which he slung her silver sikri, for safekeeping. It was his favorite, but it belonged to her

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“At the Galli, I saw her with a bunch of women. Their faces blurry like photographs of moving objects . My heart and eyes were focused on her. Only her”

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“I borrowed 10 rupees for a taxi, called him through a public phone , gathered my friends to demand myself back.”

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That evening at the galli,she left him. He didn’t say a word. He was giving himself away too.

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Then, one fine Falgun evening, he wrapped an American Cross ballpoint pen in a shiny paper, put on his ironed white shirt, black pants, polished shoes and walked through the same galli to get to the place where her wedding band played.

( This is my first try to write something Post Modern though it is very small. It was written for a Project called Galli Galli and published in the Kathmandu Post)