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Dambar Chemjong’s efforts to revive TU’s glory – OnlineKhabar English News



Dambar Chemjong is sitting outside his office in the Central Department of Anthropology at Tribhuvan University, the oldest and biggest university in the country, briefing a prospective student about the benefits of studying anthropology. His eyes light up as he talks as that one can clearly see how passionate he is when it comes to it. He shows the prospective student the research conducted by the department. To make things easier for the student, he even calls to ask when admissions for the department would open. To him, this is just a part of his job.

“I want to change things. Make a difference,” says Chemjong, the head of the Central Department of Anthropology at the university. “They say the university is dead and not like it was. But, I beg to differ and want to prove to people that it is alive and doing well.”

Chemjong took office in August 2018 and since then has changed the face of the department. He has added relevance to the course, created a fun learning environment, established an automated library and even constructed a garden to add some aesthetic to an otherwise dull TU compound. 

But now, he wants to do more. Through small efforts like these, he wants his students to produce journals and research on topics not discussed before. He wants to create a learning environment at TU itself and hopes other departments can do the same so that the TU can once again become the students’ first choice if they choose to stay in Nepal.

The garden was constructed with funds from a USAID-funded project. Photo: Aryan Dhimal

Big issues with big institution

“Small things like these go a long way. You need a feel-good factor,” he says. “But, this is just a beginning as a lot more needs to be done for the university to do that.”

The major problem, Chemjong says is the TU’s centralised structure that does not help the departments or the constituent campuses that are spread across Nepal from Taplejung in the east to Darchula in the west. He says that currently, the TU is too big. Currently, the university along with its constituent campuses in all seven provinces has over 600,000 students.

“If you look at top universities in Europe and the US, there are hardly 10,000 students. Only state universities in the US have more than 10,000,” he says.

His solution for this is to scrape all the constituent campuses and set up different universities in each province with not more than 5,000 students in one.

“What is the use of having over half-a-million students when you can’t even conduct exams and release results on time,” he questions.

Chemjong wants this library to become a learning centre for anthropology students. Photo: Aryan Dhimal

Another problem he says is having to ask the central campus at Kirtipur for even minor decisions. From adding a bench to staff for cleaning, everything has to go through the central campus at Kirtipur.

“If you want to make any decisions at a campus in Darchula, you’ll have to ask permission from Kirtipur. This, to me, makes no sense. If we can decentralise it, I’m sure in the next decade, we can see a lot of improvement.”

But, for that to happen, the leg-pulling culture at the university needs to stop, he says. He calls on teachers and officials at the university to understand what the place stands for and be true to its principles.

“As professors and teachers, we need to understand that we have to evolve because today’s age is different. Students are different. If they won’t find value, they’ll go abroad.”

While he says that students going abroad is more to do with it being more accessible, he is aware that not all departments in the university offer attractive education.

“I don’t want to speak about others, but there are some courses which are quite archaic. That needs to change for the TU to become a sought-after destination for students.”

Journals published by the TU Central Department of Anthropology. Photo: Aryan Dhimal

For continuous growth

He gives the example of his own department. When he started out in 2018, there were only nine students. Today, there are nearly 30 as the department is planning on adding PhD courses having recently added MPhil.

“Constantly evolving is important in today’s age. We’ve also been talking about credit transfers and being a part of the Erasmus exchange programmes. These are what make courses attractive for students along with the different research and job opportunities that we have been helping them out with.”

This, he says, will help the individual capacity of both the students and teachers as with better teachers, the place will have better students who will drive each other towards perfection. But, its not as easy and he knows that.

“Good teachers are not appreciated in Nepal. I feel that a good teacher who has the ability to pull students needs to be paid more. It’s simple. But, teachers getting paid more in Nepal is not the norm, which is why many do research work individually with other organisations.”

A classroom at the TU Central Department of Anthropology. Photo: Aryan Dhimal

He says he does not blame them but instead the system that makes it sound bad that teachers work for these organisations. He says, this, instead, should be promoted like it is in the west as it will improve the teachers and be good for the organisation. 

“But, here, they want them to sit in a room and not be open to exploring, which is dumb.”

This is why he says people at the TU need to be vocal as it can create a change through dialogue and conflict. 

“They say I talk a lot. But, I do so because not many here do. I want to make sure that this department does well till I’m here. I don’t like leg-pulling. I want to work with all I have and give all that I have for this department and help both students and teachers reach their goals.”

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Hero Motocorp launches Hero Xtreme 160R and Hero Hunk 150R in Nepal – OnlineKhabar English News



Kathmandu, March 15

Building on its commitment to providing youthful, premium and technologically-advanced products in the Nepali market, Hero MotoCorp, the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles and scooters, on Monday launched two new premium motorcycles in the country – Hero Xtreme 160R and Hero Hunk 150R.

Adding a striking and powerful new chapter to the popular premium brand Xtreme, the Xtreme 160R further strengthens Hero MotoCorp’s presence in the premium motorcycle segment, says the company.

The motorcycle offers an unparalleled mix of performance, sportiness, and features while boasting a muscular stance with an optimum mix of comfort and control.

The Xtreme 160R is accompanied by an all-new Hunk 150R, designed to deliver an unmatched ride experience along with new-age styling.

Both the new motorcycles cater to the aspirations of the youth in Nepal and offer a dynamic combination of performance, styling, and differentiated appeal, the company claims.

The Xtreme 160R and Hunk 150 R will be available at Hero MotoCorp showrooms across the country.

The Xtreme 160R, which comes with a double-disc and a single-channel ABS is priced at Rs339,000 while the Hunk 150R which has the same feature is priced at Rs279,500.

Commenting on the launches, Sanjay Bhan, Head – Global Business, Hero MotoCorp, said, “ The Xtreme 160R has performed well in several global markets and we expect it to do well in Nepal too. We are confident that both the motorcycles will enable us to meet the aspirations of customers here.”


Class leading acceleration

Setting the bar for sportiness and real-world performance, the new Xtreme 160R comes with a 160cc air-cooled BS-VI Compliant engine that is powered by XSens technology and advanced Programmed-Fuel-Injection. The Engine delivers an impressive power output of 15 BHP @ 8500 RPM. Joining the fast lane with a class-leading acceleration – 0-60 km/h in 4.7 seconds, the motorcycle has one of the best power-to-weight ratios in its class, thanks to the low kerb-weight of 138.5 kg.

Exceptional handling

The new Xtreme 160R enjoys a commanding riding position with ergonomics engineered for the streets. The lightweight rigid diamond frame setup offers exceptional handling on the streets while making it a corner happy machine at the same time.

The 37mm telescopic front forks and a 7-step adjustable Rear Mono-shock Suspension setup is tuned for urban agility, providing precise handling and a smooth ride. Brakes with 276mm front petal disc and 220mm rear petal disc ensure that the rider is always in full control and confident of the stopping power. The 165 mm ground clearance ensures the ride is hurdle free.

First-in-segment features

The new Xtreme 160R is paired with a first-in-segmental LED package, from a sculpted full LED headlamp with LED DRLs in front, to LED indicators with hazard switch and down to the rear H signature LED tail lamp. The inverted fully digital LCD display together with the first-in-segment side-stand engine cut ff ensures the motorcycle is both technologically advanced and safe.

The head-turner is available in three vibrant colour combinations of pearl silver white, vibrant blue, and sports red.


Superior ride and handling

Equipped with a 149cc air-cooled engine, the core of Hunk 150R delivers an impressive 14.2 BHP of power and 12.6 Nm of torque.

Aimed at providing real-world performance, the all-new Hunk 150R features a lightweight yet rigid diamond tubular frame offering precise handling and stability in corners and straight roads. Paired with 130/70MM radial rear tyre, the Hunk 150R ensures a superior road grip is provided in all types of road and riding conditions.

The riding triangle has been tuned to provide the perfect balance of agility, stability, and comfort. The motorcycle also boasts of a first in category 7 step adjustable mono-shock suspension for best in class handling ensuring a sporty ride. The broad 37mm beefy front forks also ensure a stable and plush ride.

Best-in-class features

The motorcycle boasts many safety features and is equipped with the first in category optional single-channel ABS ensuring safe braking. Sporting a new alloy wheel design, the 276mm front, and 220mm rear disc brakes come as a standard feature for efficient and immediate power stopping in all riding conditions. 

Designed to provide ease of access, the motorcycle features a sporty digi-analogue instrument cluster with a side stand indicator, trip metre, and a service reminder. The self-start button comes as standard and the engine kill switch is for added convenience. 

Dynamic design and style 

The Hunk 150R flaunts a muscular fuel tank with aggressive shrouds that make a statement while riding. Adding to the striking appeal is a chiselled rear cowl, sporty headlight with wolf-eyed LED position lamps, LED taillight with LED light guides making it easier to get recognised even in dark. The sport-dynamic graphics actuate the design lines offering an unmistakable style.

Colours with expression

The Hunk 150R is available in three colours – NH1 black, sports red, and techno blue.  

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Yam Lal Rasaily cycles to prove his independence as a single-leg amputee – OnlineKhabar English News



In 1997, Yam Lal Rasaily was on a bus returning home to Chaumala from Dhangadhi via Geta, in the Kailali district of Sudurpaschim. As he had left a few belongings in Geta, he requested the bus driver to stop for a bit longer as he wanted to pick them up before he went home. With a crutch in one hand and a bag in the other, he was getting on the bus when suddenly it started to move. As the bus moved, the conductor threw away his possession which was inside the bus and left Rasaily, a single-leg amputee, on the floor. 

Rasaily, a Dalit, had always faced discrimination from an early age, but this, he says, was a tipping point. This is why he decided on that day he would give his all and learn how to ride a bicycle and travel independently.

“That is the day I will never forget,” he says. “It  taught me a lesson that even if you’re an amputee, you need to be strong because, in this world, no one will speak on your behalf.”

A lot has happened since then. Rasaily has learnt how to ride a cycle and has toured all over Nepal. He has participated in various events in India which includes MTB Arunachal and a rally on India’s Independence day where he rode over 250 kilometres. In 2018, he even reached Rara lake on his bike pedalling through horrendous terrains spreading a message that even differently-abled people like him could live life to the fullest.

Having done all that, now, Rasaily wants to do more as he hopes to represent Nepal at an international para-cycling event. But for that, a lot of things has to go his way, he says.

A day that changed everything

Rasaily was born in the Parbat district in a marginalised community in 1978. By the time he was two, his family relocated to Bhairahawa after facing constant nagging from society for being a Dalit.

“I don’t recall things, but my father says we were treated poorly,” he says.

At Bhairahawa, things were not that different. His father left for India soon after and landed a job in the Indian Army. But, soon his father was back in Nepal because Rasaily suffered from a mysterious leg injury.

It was Laxmi Puja in 1982 and a four-year-old Rasaily was playing deusibhailo with his sibling around the village. He had been out for a few hours and after he passed out, his elder brother took him home around midnight.

“I started to develop an odd pain in my right leg. It started to get unbearable from the hip downwards,” he says. 

He was first taken to a shaman who could do nothing and blamed Rasaily for going out and being possessed by an evil spirit. Then, he was taken to a local vaidya (an Ayurvedic chemist) who put a cast over his leg. But, nothing changed.

The leg did not heal. The cast, as a matter of fact, made the pain worse. When he was finally taken to Lumbini Zonal Hospital, his parents were told their son’s right leg had to be amputated as the cast had created an infection.

“When they removed the cast, a part of my skin and the muscle was coming out. I don’t remember much, but the pain was quite unbearable. It is quite sad that I don’t remember standing on two feet.”

He was then taken to Palpa where he got his leg amputated.

“It was a sad day for my parents.”

Costs of amputation and self-found solace

Rasaily losing his feet affected his parents more as everyone started to blame them for his state. His parents were told how their sin in their past life was the reason for Rasaily’s current state.

In school, it was the same. He got teased for being both a Dalit and an amputee. He got hit by his crutches and was asked to sit separately while eating lunch and at times was even refused water when he wanted it.

Tired of this social discrimination, his father decided to relocate again as the family moved to Kailali in 1985. Similar things followed in Kailali too. But, his solace came when he first got on a bike.

His elder brother, who worked as a mechanic, commuted on a cycle. Sometimes, he took Rasaily along with him.

I used to pedal with my left leg, while my brother pedalled with his right,” he says. “I enjoyed it quite a lot. I felt free.”

But, he could not ask his brother to take him every time he wanted to commute somewhere. So, he started to see if he could ride it alone. A stubborn teenager, he dragged the bicycle up a small incline and rode it down. Sometimes, he did well, but most of the times, he fell.

“But, one day, I accidentally figured out something which changed the way I cycled,” he says.

When he was 19, he inadvertently kicked the pedal out of its place. But, that came as a boon as he realised that with one side heavier than the other, the pedal which was lighter would always come up and that made cycling easy for him. And since that day, he never looked back.

Proving self with pedals

That was around the late 90s. Soon, he started to dream about doing more than just commuting with a cycle. He wanted more. Having read about Pushkar Shah’s world tour, he then started to dream about doing a Nepal tour so that people could know that even differently-abled people, when given the chance, could overcome adversaries. 

“It was an opportunity I received thanks to Save the Children and Pushkar Ojha, the then lawmaker. I travelled to 31 districts in under three months.”

He continued to travel around with his cycle. As he did, the perception of people who ridiculed or demeaned him started to change. Many started to praise his hard work and determination while most of his haters kept their opinions to themselves.

Rasaily started to become a source of inspiration for many. A tailor by profession, he was either at his shop or on the road pedalling. Wanting to prove people wrong and spread a message to fellow differently-abled people, he kept taking part in various events in Nepal and India. He has been part of Tour de Lumbini, Tour de Pokhara and in 2017, he even went to India for events in Delhi and Arunachal Pradesh.

That gave him the confidence to travel alone to Rara on his bicycle in 2018. The journey was not easy, but slowly and one pedal at a time, he reached Rara.

“It was a dream come true,” he says. “The feeling of reaching the lake travelling through the wilderness was a moment that will forever stay with me.”

A long road ahead

But, now, he wants to do more. One of his aims is to travel to places like Badimalika and the various religious places in the far west. He wants to do so to break age-old stereotypes which state a Dalit will go crazy if s/he goes to places like these.

Apart from that, he wants to become a motivational speaker and aims to reach out to more people like him. However, he knows he needs to work hard on this because he wants to relate to people more.

“I have been to hospitals and various places to speak. But, I am still not that great. I need to work on it more so that I can reach out to more.”

For that to happen, he says, he needs the help of the Para Athletics Association Nepal (PAAN). He has been dreaming of taking part in a paralympic event for a long time, but circumstances have not let him do that. He says that the Para-cycling Association Nepal does not let him take part. He says that the association is there on paper only and apart from a few exhibition events, it hardly does anything to facilitate or support athletes.

“It’s fueled with nepotism and bais,” he says. “When I tell them I want to take part they say there are no events. But, when they are asked by others, they say that there are no athletes in Nepal. This is a sad state.”

He says that being from a marginalised community, he does not even have the influence to get into these teams, and with him ageing, his hopes of taking part are depleting.

“I would have loved to do this. But, sometimes, I feel, having given so much time, it feels useless,” he says. “Maybe I might make it. But, at this point, I feel that like many wannabe para-athletes in Nepal, I will also disappear.”

Photos: Yam Lal Rasaily/Facebook

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Chitwan reports Nepal’s first liver transplant outside Kathmandu – OnlineKhabar English News



Chitwan, March 25

The Chitwan district of southern Nepal has reported the first case of a successful liver transplant on Thursday morning. This is the first time that a liver transplant has been made possible outside the country’s capital, Kathmandu.

Likewise, this is the eighth successful liver transplant case in Nepal.

Organising a press conference this morning, the Chitwan Medical College Hospital said the transplant operation had been done on Dhan Kumari Lama, a 54-year-old woman of Bharatpur metropolitan city-10. The patient’s 34-year-old daughter Usha had donated the liver for her.

A team of expert doctors, nurses, and biomedical engineers had done the operation on March 21. A few doctors from the Apollo Hospitals of India had also assisted the team.

The hospital says the mother-daughter duo are gradually recovering following the operation.

Dr Harish Chandra Neupane, the chairman and managing director of the hospital, said the success showed patients in the region would not have any compulsion to go to the capital for a transplant. “This is also the beginning of our effort to make Chitwan a liver transplant hub,” he said, “We believe this will give new rays of hope at the national level.”

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