A Mixed Bag of 2015

January 2, 2016 , by Reetu Joshi, Leave your thoughts
A Mixed Bag of 2015 » My Dreams Mag
Ordinary it seemed when we ushered 2015 on our door steps but the events that unfolded with every passing day were not. Life is a curve of ups and downs, but if it weren't for despairing downs to joyous ups how would we know we are alive. As earth trembled, Nepalese were thrown into a cauldron of chaos. As Nepalese are still nursing the wound left by earthquake further salt was rubbed when Madheshis – a majority of population in the Southern plains whose representation has been undermined in the new constitution – staged a prolonged protest. As problems were refusing to wane, the crisis dug deeper by the 'unofficial' blockade from India forcing us to wonder if hope is still alive. Hope hid in the corner of gullies with unsung heroes emerging from the earthquake, it silently told us a story of helping hands coming together during a crisis and brought out empowered voices of the voiceless. Hope was within all of us for a better day, month and another glorious year. Happy New Year!

"Mo:Mo: Pakdai Chha Hai!" Nepalese are always known to work with whatever they have.
Despite watching his shop reduced to rubbles due to earthquake,
a man prepares to lay the table with Nepal’s popular food Mo:Mo: in an open sky.
Photo: Bikkil Sthapit
The earth roared with vicious ferocity as we stood helpless on the fateful day of April 25, 2015. Snatching close to 9000 lives, the earthquake destroyed numerous buildings sending a huge population in trauma. International response was rampant with communities coming together to help one another.
The then president of Nepal, Dr Ram Baran Yadav, promulgated the consitution of Nepal
on 20th September 2015.
Photo: AP
The year saw Nepal getting its new constitution written by the representatives of people. But the celebration of its enactment had to be held back as sporadic protest, which still continues, by Madheshis in the Southern plains of the country demanding their appropriate representation in the draft has also resulted in political crisis.
Unofficial blockade by India, as claimed by Nepal government, resulting in supplies being stuck at the Nepal-India border. Photo: BBC
Subsequently, an unofficial blockade imposed by India created further humanitarian crisis as it not only affected the reconstruction work after earthquake but also made Nepalese struggle for basic goods, fuel crisis has largely gripped the country. Import of fuel, cooking gas, life saving medicines came to a steady halt with images of serpentine queues for fuel and gas becoming familiar.
Humanitarian alert: Fuel crisis affecting the lives of Nepali people. Photo: The Guardian

Citizen’s responsiveness took a turn for the good when groups like Carpool Nepal and Medication for Nepal emerged. Carpool Nepal, became a huge hit within a few days with people loosening cultural barriers by asking and giving lifts.

With the blockade in full swing, lack of life saving drugs in the market was imminent. Citing such a chaos, Medication for Nepal was formed which now includes doctors, pharmacists, nurses helping hospitals, patients with medicines. The shortage in budget for winter clothes as announced by the government and death toll rising everyday has started several winter clothes distribution program.

A Year of Women
Nepal’s first lady president Vidhya Bhandari (left) Photo: Reuters
and Nepal’s first lady speaker Onsari Gharti Magar (right) Photo: RSS

Women in Nepali politics took a leap forward this year. A momentous step has been taken towards woman empowerment with the appointment of the first ever lady President of Nepal Vidhya Bhandari. Starting a political career at an early age, her rise as an activist in Youth League of Nepal (ML) to the first woman to hold the office has shown her determination and perseverance in politics. Likewise, Onsari Gharti Magar was unanimously elected as the first female Speaker of the Parliament.

Maggie Doyne with a child from her school Kopila Valley. Image source: Maggie Doyne

Maggie Doyne, an American philanthropist won the CNN Hero of the Year award in November 2015 for her ongoing work in Kopila Orphanage, Women’s Centre and School in Kopila Valley. Not only has her journey inspired many but her relentless effort has been successful in changing lives. More about Maggie can be read here.

Nepal’s Mira Rai winning her first big European race and breaking the record
at the Mont-Blanc 80K, second Skyrunner® Ultra Series.
Photo: Kirsten Kortebein

Mira Rai, the former Maoist child soldier is winning international races in one of the world’s toughest sports – ultra races run for over 50 to 100km over mountains – and may be on her way to global stardom.

Game put to shame
Members of Nepali football team under arrest on Thursday, October 15, 2015.

In a shocking turn of events that brought Nepali football to disrepute, five Nepali footballers, including then-current skipper Sagar Thapa, was held for their involvement in international match-fixing.

Apart from Sagar, his deputy Sandip Rai, goalkeeper Ritesh Thapa along with former Nepali internationals, Anjan KC – also a coach and Bikash Singh Chhetri were found to be involved in manipulating results in exchange of huge sum from international bookies. The Asian Football Confederation has slapped all five with life ban ending their football career.

In what many believed as destiny for the devil, the All Nepal Football Association President Ganesh Thapa was banned for 10 years for bribery and corruption charges. Thapa was among many football officials around the world who were investigated by the Ethics Committee of the supreme body of world football – FIFA.


Ojha does wonders

Nepali-American scientist Lujendra Ojha. Photo: BBC

A young Nepali-American scientist Lujendra Ojha stirred the world with the news of possibility of water in Mars. Ojha first discovered evidence of water on Mars in 2011 when he was an undergraduate at the University of Arizona working with Professor Alfred McEwen.


Words and Photos by Reetu Joshi.

To read more by Reetu Joshi on DREAMS, click here.
Follow Reetu on Twitter @reetuzoshy.


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