Stories written by Sudeshna Sarkar
Sudeshna Sarkar is a Kathmandu-based journalist covering Mt. Everest, politics, and issues related to women, crime and religion in Nepal, and partially India and Bhutan. She works for Indo-Asian News Service and The Times of India and also contributes to Ecumenical News International.

Flying Above the Impoverished in the Name of Mao

In Nepal, where a quarter of the population is steeped in poverty, a man who once led a 10-year Maoist insurgency before joining the political mainstream has been splurging on helicopters for his election campaign.

Killers Roam Free in Nepal

When the police finally arrested a man this month in the Nepali capital for the murder of a teenager nine years ago, it became a matter of life and death for Nanda Prasad Adhikari and his wife Ganga Maya.

Pink Dollars Emerge as New Currency

Naomi Fontanos is seeing a change from when she went holidaying in 2002. Then she had run into ignorance about transgender people or worse at hotels, restaurants and other business establishments in Boracay, the popular tourist destination south of Manila.

Widows Celebrate a Little At Last

Namuna Gautam was among millions of Indian women who celebrated Rakshabandhan this year, but one thing set her apart. It was the first time the 80-year-old took part in the festival, in which sisters pray for the long life, health and happiness of their brothers.

Linking Fair and SQUAR in Myanmar

What’s less than two months old, has hit the headlines globally, and has more than 79,000 ‘likes’ and over 16,000 people talking about it?

India and China Oil Palms Dangerously

When there is feasting in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, there could just be a connection between the celebrations and the fires on Indonesia’s Sumatra Island that trigger frequent transboundary smog.

NEPAL: Peace Brings More Violence Against Women

Four months after her murder, you can see Rosy Maharjan flashing the two- finger victory sign - from a Facebook page. With police arresting the 21-year- old’s boyfriend and the people he hired to kill her due to jealousy, agitated civil society members have opened accounts on social networking sites, demanding justice for the slain college student.

Rama Thakuri (left) now plans to seek voluntary retirement and open a shop to look after her five-month-old daughter.  Credit: Gopal Gartoula/IPS.

NEPAL: Giving Up Guns for Motherhood

Sonikumari Jha puts on her green camouflage fatigues, deftly laces up her boots and is ready to step out and announce her decision to embrace a new life. Her four-year-old son, who has been watching the same rote for years, is puzzled by an important omission. "Mama, you have forgotten your gun," he calls out.

NEPAL: Protests Fail to Stop Climate Loans

Nepal will implement five projects with 110 million dollars sanctioned by the controversial Climate Investment Funds (CIFs), ignoring protestors who say this least developed country merits grants rather than climate loans.

Mountain magic turning tragic

A mountainous country that boasts of eight of the 14 highest peaks in the world, including Mt Everest, Nepal is threatened by both deluge and drought with climate change shrinking its glaciers by 21 percent in 30 years. As rising temperature disturbs the balance of snow, ice and water in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region where it is located, millions of mountain people and 1.3 billion people living downstream in Asia's major river basins face the loss of livelihood, homes and lives due to flash floods and droughts.

NEPAL: Praying Against Climate Change

There are gasps from the audience as a series of shocking images flash across the screen: human hands eaten away by arsenic, the carcass of a cow so emaciated that it looks two-dimensional, a starved child with matchstick legs grasping at the udder of an animal for sustenance.

CLIMATE CHANGE: Himalayan Nations Yet to Break the Ice

Chungda Sherpa, a former herder from eastern Nepal, has a warning tale ahead of the United Nations climate change conference in Durban.

Women in Nepal

ENVIRONMENT: Nepali Women Live With Climate Terror

Suntali Shrestha wrings her hands in tension and despair as she recounts how she has been spending sleepless nights fearing that the flood alarm in her village would go off while she slept and she would be submerged.

NEPAL: Quake Strategy Needs a Jolt

Though Nepal was relatively unscathed by the earthquake that wreaked havoc in the adjacent areas of India this week, it showed up this Himalayan country’s inadequate disaster preparedness.

Charimaya Tamang (holding certificate), who received the U.S. government

NEPAL: No Brakes on Sex Trafficking

While a Nepalese campaign to stop human trafficking gains recognition by the White House and Hollywood, Nepal continues to be a prime source for sex trafficking, thanks to unsettled conditions created by a protracted political crisis.

Chandrakumari Paneru, (fifth from right), at the Bhorle Community Seed Bank. Credit: Sudeshna Sarkar/IPS

CLIMATE CHANGE: Nepali Women Sow a Secure Future

Learning a lesson from crop failures attributed to climate change, Nepal’s women farmers are discarding imported hybrid seeds and husbanding hardier local varieties in cooperative seed banks.

Former legislators and ministers on a relay hunger strike in Kathmandu. Credit: Sudeshna Sarkar/IPS

NEPAL: Fasting Against Corruption Spreads

Inspired by Indian socialist leader Anna Hazare’s celebrated public fast against corruption in the Indian capital of New Delhi, starvation protests have sprung up in Nepal to press for a timely new constitution.

Shantimaya Dong Tamang's bid to earn money as a domestic worker in Kuwait ended with her becoming a quadriplegic.  Credit: Sudeshna Sarkar/IPS

NEPAL: Peace Fails to Stop Female Workers’ Exodus

Six years ago Shantimaya Dong Tamang went to Kuwait to work as an illegal domestic worker, falling for brokers’ tales of how she could earn good money and stand on her own feet.

Women in Nepal's plains make improved cooking stoves as a means of livelihood.  Credit: Hari Gopal Gorkhali/IPS

NEPAL: Improved Wood Stoves Save Health, Environment

When Binita Lamichhane got married she was troubled by her husband's bloodshot eyes. "What happened to your eyes?" the 18-year-old bride asked. "Smoke," came the answer.

NEPAL: Religious Practices Oppress Women

The recent gang-rape of a Buddhist nun and her expulsion from her sect have sparked a debate about the deep-rooted religious traditions and biases that foster discrimination and violence, especially against women, in this South Asian state.

Mulkharka's women cleaning up the trekking trail that is an economic lifeline for the village. Credit: Arun Shrestha/IPS

Trekking Trails Lead Nepal Women to Empowerment

Dawa Gyalmo Sherpa’s three sons went to look for blue-collar jobs in Malaysia, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, saying Mulkharka, their tiny village in Kathmandu valley, had no livelihood prospects.

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