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Orthopedic treatment getting easier-Indian surgeon Sharma

Published Date : February 25, 2024

            Yekraj Pathak/RSS

            Kathmandu, Feb 25: Chairperson of Indian Orthopedic Association, senior orthopedic surgeon Prof Dr Rajeeb K. Sharma said the treatment of orthopedic disease was getting easier and simpler.

            Prof Dr Sharma who has already worked as a faculty and surgeon at the New Delhi-based All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AAIMS) and Apollo Hospital, among others has recently arrived in Kathmandu for a conference of surgeons.

            In course of a conversation with him on the occasion, he said, “The human orthopedic treatment has not been as complicated as it was. It is gradually getting easier. Whether that be bodily organs and joints or knee; transplant or replant is made possible through the adoption of high-tech medical process. The medical research and technology has made it possible”, Sharma said.

            Sharing his recent experience in transplanting hip on a 94-year-old person, joint replacement surgeon Dr Sharma said, “We have been fairly undertaking joint replacement among children and ageing people. Primarily, there was a dilemma whether or not such complicated surgery should be performed on the elderly people. But, the patient was willing for replacement. I did the replacement which went successful. There was no issue in the replaced organ, he was happy. It gave me immense pleasure”.

            In the past, such orthopedic issues used to be treated through surgical measures. The ‘replacement’ method has turned advanced these days which made it convenient.

            With this, joint transplant has become possible and general for the patients ranging from minors to elders, he mentioned. The medical technology is feasible if the people are ready for transplant. Merely needed is perfect hand of the doctor.

            Veteran doctor Sharma said he found people were still showing hesitation to transplant organs. “People are still critical of the success in transplant cases. They are not even ready for this in the beginning”, Prof Sharma recounted.

            “Normally people are fearful of possible infection or subsequent complications. But now, the medical genre has gained much success. I have seen wider public awareness on the advancement taking place in the sector”.

            He went on saying that people were not generally ready for transplant measure due to fear of immoderate pain, durability of the replaced organ and frequent transplants.

            With the advancement of the technology now, any competent doctor can smoothly carry out joint transplant without rendering pain to the patient, he noted.

            Dr Sharma, who is now working as a joint replacement expert at Mulchandra Hospital New Delhi, further claimed that any orthopedic patient visiting him has not returned without recovery.

            On a query why people are getting fragile bone these days, he replied, “Primary thing is food. Our body has become a house of disease due to the pursuit of comfort life or the habit of eating for taste. It is also applicable in the case of bone. The worsening eating habit has made our bones fragile”. 

            Over intake of junk and fast food has significant implications for bone health. Obesity is one the leading causes of fragile bones. The excess weight places an undue load on the bones, contributing to their fragility.

            The diminishing culture of physical exercise, with increasing ‘table work culture’ has posed further challenges for bone health. Reduced physical mobility translates to less exercise for the bones, gradually weakening them over time. Nutrition deficiency, particularly a lack of calcium, coupled with the trend of indoor lifestyles due to hectic schedules, further contributes to low bone density.

            Smoking is a major factor in bone fragility, and the growing popularity of “Gym” culture is not advisable for bone health. In contrast, alternatives such as cycling or swimming are recommended for maintaining healthy bones and joints.

            Dr. Sharma, a distinguished orthopedic expert with over 30 years of experience and a Gold medalist in Ortho in MS, sees the need of ensuring widely accessible treatment facilities. He advocates for healthcare coverage through insurance schemes to ensure that medical interventions are within reach for everyone. Civic awareness and education play a vital role in preventing orthopedic issues, according to Dr. Sharma.

            He has so far performed over 15,000 joint replacements, including a hip replacement for Nepal’s former President, Bidya Devi Bhandari.

            He has been a frequent visitor to Nepal and observes transplant literacy is increasing in the Himalayan country.

            Few years ago he was awarded by the Janasewa Shree Padak by the Government of India.

02-       Narayangadh-Muglin road not to remain closed from today afternoon

Bharatpur, Feb 25: The Narayangadh-Muglin road, which was being closed for four hours every day in the afternoon, will not be closed from today.

Information Officer of Naghdhunga-Muglin Road Project West Section (Narayangadh-Muglin) Engineer Krishna Prasad Acharya said that since the work on cutting off the cliff for a bridge is almost complete it has been decided not to close the road from today.

The road was closed every day for four hours for the construction of a bridge over the Tuin River, since December 22 last year.

Engineer Acharya said that a 60-meter long bridge will be built over the Tuin river. Four of the 19 bridges on this section of the road were constructed four years ago. The remaining 15 bridges were contracted simultaneously, of which eight bridges have been completed and are under operation.

 While six bridges are nearing completion, the construction of the bridge over the Tuin River has faced a problem due to the hard rocks in the adjoining hill. The construction of the bridge started three years ago. The cost of the bridge is estimated to be 1.28 billion rupees.

With the widening of the road, this road section has become 9 to 11 meters wide. It is the main road connecting the Tarai with the federal capital, which sees thousands of vehicles pass through it every day.

03-       Dairy Association welcomes ban on import of dairy products

Damak (Jhapa), Feb 25: The Dairy Industry Association of Koshi Province has welcomed the ban imposed by the government on the import of dairy products. The meeting of proprietors of eight major dairy industries affiliated to the association held in Damak on Saturday welcomed the decision, saying that the ban imposed by the government on the import of dairy products will bring relief to the domestic dairy industry.

Due to free import local products were not being sold and hence we are happy with the recent decision of the government to stop imports, said

Coordinator of the Association, Ramchandra Upreti.

Meanwhile, the Association has decided to regularize the payment of the milk it is buying from the dairy farmers. The meeting decided to give first priority to local products for internal consumption.

The meeting was attended by the owners of NMC Dairy Industry, Sagarmatha Dairy Association, Kamdhenu Dairy Cooperatives, Ritika Dairy Industry, Shivam Dairy Industries, Gorus Dairy Pvt. Ltd, Jeevan Bikas Dairy and Madani Milk House.

04-       Chand honoured with Outstanding Service in Prevention of Blindness Award

Kathmandu, Feb 25: General Secretary of Nepal Netra Jyoti Sangh, Bharat Bahadur Chand, has been honored with the Outstanding Service in Prevention of Blindness Awards. The Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) presented him with the award at the annual congress of ophthalmologists held in Bali, Indonesia.

The 39th APAO Congress taking place in Bali from February 22 is concluding today.

The award is presented annually to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the prevention and eradication of blindness in the Asia-Pacific region. Chand has been active in the expansion of eye care services and prevention of blindness in Nepal for a long time. He initiated a campaign to declare cataract-free district, when he was the chair of the NNJS in Gulmi.

Founded in 1960, the APAO has been working to prevent blindness in the region through education, eye care services and research. In addition, it is also working to develop close relations between ophthalmologists and organizations working in the field of eye care health in the Asia-Pacific region to fight against blindness.

05-       World Cup League 2: Nepal to bat first against Netherlands

Kathmandu, Feb 25: Nepal will bat first against the Netherlands in the match being played today between the two teams under the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup League 2 series.

In the match being played at the TU Cricket Ground, the Netherlands decided to field first after winning the toss.

This is the second time that Nepal is facing the Netherlands in the series also featuring Namibia. In the first match held on February 17, Nepal defeated the Netherlands by 9 wickets.

With just one win in three matches, Nepal stands in the second position behind Namibia in the points table. Namibia is ranked first after three wins in four matches so far. Nepal lost both its matches against Namibia. With equal points, the Netherlands stands in third position after trailing Nepal in net run rate.

06-       About 5.7 million children to be vaccinated against measles

Kathmandu, Feb 25: A nationwide vaccination campaign against measles-rubella is starting from today. The vaccination campaign targeted on all children between nine months to 15 years of age will continue till March 20.

The first phase will cover 24 districts including 21 highly infected districts bordering India and three districts of Kathmandu Valley. Similarly, children from nine months to five years of age in the remaining 53 districts will also be vaccinated. Vaccination will take place in schools and vaccination centers from 10 am to 4 pm every day.

Around 2.1 million children between nine months to five years and 3.6 million between five years and 15 years will be vaccinated, said Chief of Department of Health Services, Child Health and Immunization Section, Dr Abhiyan Gautam.

A total of 48,798 vaccination centers have been set up across the country for the campaign. Similarly, 49,937 health workers and 59,906 volunteers are being mobilized.

The vaccination campaign is being carried out with the goal of eliminating measles-rubella by 2026.

07-       DOI issues trekking Route Permit online

Kathmandu, Feb 25: The Department of Immigration has started issuing route permits for domestic and foreign tourists going to restricted zone through online system.

Prior to this, the DOI was providing permits to tourists going to restricted zone only physically after completing the due procedures and paper work. But since last week, arrangements have been made to issue route permits through electronic means.

With the provision of route permits online, now it will be easy for tourists to go to the upper Mustang, upper Dolpa, Tsum and Nuvri Valley of Manaslu region of Gorkha, Simkot, Changkheli and Namkha of Humla district as well as Kanchenjunga region of Taplejung, said Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) General Secretary, Binod Sapkota.

Likewise, TAAN President Neelhari Bastola said the more tourists can be facilitated the more they will come to visit Nepal. I believe that this online service will help promote the trekking industry, he said.

Meanwhile, Acting Director General Department of Immigration Krishna Bahadur Katwal said with the new system in place tourists can now easily get permits online by making ‘QR payment’ from a trekking company or their personal accounts.

08-       HoR session begins

            Kathmandu, Feb 25: A session of the House of Representatives has commenced. Once the meeting convened, the main opposition party, CPN (UML), again drew the government attention towards the issues it raised earlier. The party accused the government of overlooking the issues it raised.

            Party Chief Whip Padam Giri demanded the government take action against all those responsible for the Balkumari accident occurred on last December 29, resulting in the casualties of two.

            It may be noted that in course of the agitation launched by EPS Korea programme students, an official vehicle of Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport, Prakash Jwala was torched.

            Similarly, the main opposition objected to an agreement to lease out the Ramgram area in Lumbini. It has sought the replies from the government in regard to the Kathmandu-centric protest of usury victims. Chief Whip Giri also took time to call on the government for compensating the farmers for the deaths of livestock due to lumpy skin.

            After hearing the voices of main opposition, Speaker Devraj Ghimire said the parliament has already issued a ruling to the government for addressing the issues raised by the opposition in the previous meetings.

            “Line ministers are present in the meeting and will respond to the maters. It is not advisable to issue a ruling over the same matter frequently. The attention of the parliament has been drawn to the demands that the Prime Minister should present in the parliament to give replies to the issues,” he said.

            Similarly, the Speaker is scheduled to present a notice of protest for decision in regard to a proposal seeking permission to table the ‘Political Parties Act (second amendment) Bill, 2080 BS’, it is said.

09-       Japan, Nepal’s partner for reliable development: President Paudel

            Kathmandu, Feb 25: President Ramchandra Paudel has said Japan is very indeed a good friend of Nepal and a reliable partner for fostering sustainable development.  

            In his address to the opening ceremony of the golden jubilee of Nepal JICA Alumni Association (JAAN) here today, the President said Nepal always highly acknowledged Japan’s contributions to the production of technical workforce and the development of hydropower, education, health, communications, road connectivity, agricultural and infrastructure sectors in Nepal. 

            “There has been progresses in country’s socio-economic, cultural and other sectors of development in the aftermath of political transformations in the country.  In this connection, the support and cooperation from the Government of Japan will remain significant in the future as in the past,” he said. 

            Stating that Nepal and Japan have enjoyed cordial relations since the tradition, the President commended the achievements of Japan, a prosperous democratic nation of Asia continent, in science and technology, socio-economic and the entire human development. Such developments are exemplary, the President added.

            He also acknowledged the contributions of the Association in expanding the Nepal-Japan relations to the people’s level and bringing Japanese skills, knowledge and technology to the country.

            Government Chief Secretary Dr Baikuntha Aryal, Japan’s ambassador to Nepal, Yutaka Kikuta, JICA Nepal’s Chief Akimitsu Okubo, Japan Nepal Society President Mitsuaki Kozima  and JAAN President Dr Ram Chandra Bhusal highltiehd the dimensions of Nepal-Japan relations.

10-       HoR session: government attention drawn to contemporary problems

            Kathmandu, Feb 25: In a meeting of the House of Representatives today, lawmakers drew the government’s attention to the urgency of addressing the issues realting to development sectors and usury victims.

            Airing their views in a zero hour of the lower house session, they demanded the government promptly address and implement issues raised in the parliament.

            Bina Lama apprised the government that problems of usury victims are yet to be resolved while Bidya Bhattarai said most of cooperatives in her home district Kaski are troubled and the victims of Surya Darshan Cooperative are highly suffered. The lawmaker demanded action against those responsible for mismanagements in cooperatives. 

            Binita Kumari Singh expressed her concern over the lowest literacy rates in the Madesh while Biraj Bhakta Shrestha sought the guarantee of minimum wages for working journalists.

            Santosh Pariyar drew the government’s attention to the need of bringing a bill aiming to upgrade the Khwopa College in Bhaktapur into a university. 

            Gyanendra Bahadur Karki urged the government to come with solutions to monkey menace in Nepal.

11-       Tiger found buried

Madhyabindu (Nawalparasi), Feb 25: A tiger has found dead and buried in Madhyabindu Municipality of Nawalparasi (Bardghat Susta East).

The male tiger was found dead in the Nawadurga Community Forest located in Madhyabindu Municipality-15 on Saturday, said Forest Officer at Chormara Range Post, Durgadatta Kandel. “An adult male Royal Bengal tiger was found buried in the forest 500 meters south of the East-West Highway”, he said.

This is the second wild tiger found dead in a span of a week in Madhyabindu municipality. Earlier on February 16, a male tiger was found dead in Arunkhola forest area located in ward no 10 of the same Municipality.

12-       Orthopedic treatment getting easier-Indian surgeon Sharma

            Yekraj Pathak/RSS

            Kathmandu, Feb 25: Chairperson of Indian Orthopedic Association, senior orthopedic surgeon Prof Dr Rajeev K. Sharma said the treatment of orthopedic disease was getting easier and simpler.

            Prof Dr Sharma who has already worked as a faculty and surgeon at the New Delhi-based All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AAIMS) and Apollo Hospital, among others has recently arrived in Kathmandu for a conference of surgeons.

            In course of a conversation with him on the occasion, he said, “The human orthopedic treatment has not been as complicated as it was. It is gradually getting easier. Whether that be bodily organs and joints or knee; transplant or replant is made possible through the adoption of high-tech medical process. The medical research and technology has made it possible”, Sharma said.

            Sharing his recent experience in transplanting hip on a 94-year-old person, joint replacement surgeon Dr Sharma said, “We have been fairly undertaking joint replacement among children and ageing people. Primarily, there was a dilemma whether or not such complicated surgery should be performed on the elderly people. But, the patient was willing for replacement. I did the replacement which went successful. There was no issue in the replaced organ, he was happy. It gave me immense pleasure”.

            In the past, such orthopedic issues used to be treated through surgical measures. The ‘replacement’ method has turned advanced these days which made it convenient.

            With this, joint transplant has become possible and general for the patients ranging from minors to elders, he mentioned. The medical technology is feasible if the people are ready for transplant. Merely needed is perfect hand of the doctor.

            Veteran doctor Sharma said he found people were still showing hesitation to transplant organs. “People are still critical of the success in transplant cases. They are not even ready for this in the beginning”, Prof Sharma recounted.

            “Normally people are fearful of possible infection or subsequent complications. But now, the medical genre has gained much success. I have seen wider public awareness on the advancement taking place in the sector”.

            He went on saying that people were not generally ready for transplant measure due to fear of immoderate pain, durability of the replaced organ and frequent transplants.

            With the advancement of the technology now, any competent doctor can smoothly carry out joint transplant without rendering pain to the patient, he noted.

            Dr Sharma, who is now working as a joint replacement expert at Mulchandra Hospital New Delhi, further claimed that any orthopedic patient visiting him has not returned without recovery.

            On a query why people are getting fragile bone these days, he replied, “Primary thing is food. Our body has become a house of disease due to the pursuit of comfort life or the habit of eating for taste. It is also applicable in the case of bone. The worsening eating habit has made our bones fragile”. 

            Over intake of junk and fast food has significant implications for bone health. Obesity is one the leading causes of fragile bones. The excess weight places an undue load on the bones, contributing to their fragility.

            The diminishing culture of physical exercise, with increasing ‘table work culture’ has posed further challenges for bone health. Reduced physical mobility translates to less exercise for the bones, gradually weakening them over time. Nutrition deficiency, particularly a lack of calcium, coupled with the trend of indoor lifestyles due to hectic schedules, further contributes to low bone density.

            Smoking is a major factor in bone fragility, and the growing popularity of “Gym” culture is not advisable for bone health. In contrast, alternatives such as cycling or swimming are recommended for maintaining healthy bones and joints.

            Dr. Sharma, a distinguished orthopedic expert with over 30 years of experience and a Gold medalist in Ortho in MS, sees the need of ensuring widely accessible treatment facilities. He advocates for healthcare coverage through insurance schemes to ensure that medical interventions are within reach for everyone. Civic awareness and education play a vital role in preventing orthopedic issues, according to Dr. Sharma.

            He has so far performed over 15,000 total joint replacements, including a hip replacement for Nepal’s former President, Bidya Devi Bhandari. The former President had to undergo her hip replacement due to cancer.

            Dr Sharma who is considered a pioneer and opinion leader in the field of Orthopedics and joint replacement has been a frequent visitor to Nepal and observes transplant literacy is increasing in the Himalayan country.

            Few years ago he was honoured with the Janasewa Shree Padak (towards foreign national category) by the Government of Nepal in recognition of his contributions to the medical sector in Nepal.

            Dr Sharma has been a contributor to the treatment of orthopedic issues in Nepal.  Medical Director at Jorpati-based Nepal Orthopedic Hospital Dr Kailash Bhandari said the hospital has been repeatedly receiving support and cooperation from Dr Sharma.

            Dr Bhandari further informed the orthopedic surgeon has been engaged in sharing the advanced technology and treatment methods in the field of orthopedics with medical professionals in Nepal.

— 

13-       Bill to amend Political Parties Act presented

            Kathmandu, Feb 25: In a meeting of the House of Representatives (HoR) today, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs, Narayan Kaji Shrestha, presented the Political Parties (second amendment) Bill, 208o BS’.

            Some provisions in the Act-2073 BS (2017) were amended through an ordnance and the Bill aims to endorse existing provisions when the ordinance has been already scrapped.

            Prior to this, Speaker Devraj Ghimire tabled a notice of protest received against the proposal seeking permission to present the Bill and a majority had disapproved the proposal. The lower house shall meet again at 11:00 am on Monday, February 26.

— 

14-       Ministry suspends 70 institutes’ medical test services for foreign employment

            Kathmandu, Feb 25:The Ministry of Labour, Employment, and Social Security has taken the decision to temporarily suspend medical testing services provided by 70 health institutes for individuals seeking foreign employment. The Ministry had issued a notice on January 26, instructing these medical facilities to comply with certain criteria. However, as they failed to adhere to the instructions, their services were discontinued.

            The Ministry initiated monitoring on August 29, covering a total of 213 health institutes both inside and outside the Kathmandu Valley. During the monitoring process, it was found that 70 health institutes did not meet the specified criteria, leading to the suspension of their services.

            Due to issues regarding the listed health facilities in Nepal, host countries including Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and South Korea have independently selected health institutes here to conduct these medical tests while Qatar has ensured all medical tests within the Qatar Visa Centre.

15-       World Cup League 2: Nepal lost to the Netherlands by eight wickets

Kathmandu, Feb 25 : Nepal lost by eight wickets in the match against the Netherlands under the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup League 2 series held on Sunday.

The Netherlands achieved the target of 173 runs at 37.5 overs by losing just two wickets. For the victory of the Netherlands, Bikram Jeet Singh contributed the highest 58 runs. Nepal’s Lalit Rajbanshi and Dipendra Singh Airi took one wicket each of the Netherlands. 

Earlier, Nepal batted first against the Netherlands in the match played at the TU Cricket Ground. Nepal made 172 runs by losing all wickets in 49.3 overs. For Nepal, Kushal Bhurtel made 66 runs while Karan KC contributed 26 runs and Arif Shekh 22.

This is the second time that Nepal is faced the Netherlands in the series also featuring Namibia. In the first match held on February 17, Nepal defeated the Netherlands by 9 wickets.

After the victory today, the Netherlands has garnered four points while Namibia has six points and Nepal is ranked third out of the three team with 2 points.

16-       PM vows to take private sector on board for economic reforms

Kathmandu, Feb 25: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has said that the government would take initiative to implement the recommendations offered by the private sector for country’s economic reforms.

The PM said so during a meeting with the chiefs of Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI), Confederation of Nepalis Industries (CNI) and Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC) on Sunday.

Issuing a joint statement, the three umbrella organizations of the private sector stated that the PM shared about the government’s moves taken for economic reforms while expressing his seriousness to the country’s economic status.

During the meeting, PM Prachanda said that the government was working to create enabling environment for business community and added that he was accepting the suggestions offered from the private sector to scale up economic activities.

The chiefs of the three leading organizations of the private sector urged the PM to create favourable environment   for business community and suggested that the government should be serious for bringing about economic reforms in the country.

As stated in the press statement, the private sectors’ leaders stated that the country’s market sector was still not vibrant though the external sector has improved and the factories are running less than 40 per cent of their capacity in an average. 

President of FNCCI Chandra Dhakal told the PM that the demand side was slow and the perspective to look at the private sector is unfavorable while the projects are not run unhindered. “The government should get ready to troubleshoot the issues,” Dhakal added. 

Likewise, CNI President Rajesh Kumar Agrawal said that the business community should get an environment to work freely.  Similarly, NCC Chairman Rajendra Malla the provision of risk weight of real estate and share lending should be reduced to 100 per cent from existing provision of 125 per cent.

17-       National measles-rubella vaccination drive launched

Bhaktapur, Feb 25: The national measles-rubella vaccination campaign 2080-81 commenced today.

Minister for Health and Population, Mohan Bahadur Basnet, inaugurated the campaign by handing vaccines and related logistics to Health Office Bhaktapur’s Chief, Asmita Ojha, amidst a programme at the Sanothimi-based Adarsha Secondary School. It was announced on the occasion that the drive was inaugurated nationwide simultaneously.

Speaking at an inaugural session, Minister Basnet urged one and all, including health professionals, volunteers, local levels and stakeholders concerned to contribute from the respective sides for making the drive a success.  The government aims to eliminate measles-rubella from the country by 2026.

During the campaign to run till March 20, vaccines will be administered to over 5.7 million children including those four percent who were excluded in the previous campaigns.

Children from nine months to 15 years of age from 21 districts of Terai region, dubbed vulnerable zone, will be administered the vaccine, while in case of remaining 51 districts, the children from nine months to five years will be jabbed.

— 

18-       CJ recommended relieving judges Thapaliya and Niraula from post

Kathmandu, Feb 25: The meeting of the Judicial Council recommended Chief Justice Bishwambhar Prasad Shrestha to sack High Court judge Nawaraj Thapaliya and District Court judge Ambika Prasad Niraula.

The meeting of the Council presided over by its Chairman and CJ Shrestha made the recommendation to relieve judge duo Thapaliya and Niraula from the post, according to Joint Spokesperson at Supreme Court, Govinda Ghimire.

The Council has already transferred Kathmandu District Court judge Raj Kumar Koirala to Mahottari district with warning.  Similarly, district judge Dr Parshuram Bhattarai has already resigned from post.

As per constitution, the Judicial Council is mandated to look after the issues as appointment and transfer of, and disciplinary action on judges. It also provides consultation regarding the judicial administration. The Council studies the complaints relating to judges and forward action accordingly.

— 

19-       Govt urges usury victims to sit for talks

Kathmandu, Feb 25: Although the government had claimed that it addressed the problems of usury victims, the usury victims have been gathering in the federal capital yet again to exert pressure on the government so that their problems would be resolved sustainably.

In response, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) has invited the protesting victims of usury for talks. The MoHA sent a letter to the Struggle Committee formed by the victims of extortionate money-lending and called for the discussion on Sunday.

A talk team coordinated by Joint-Secretary of the MoHA, Rudra Prasad Pandit, will have two more Under-Secretaries, informed Ek Dev Adhikari, Under-Secretary of the MoHA. The team has asked the protesting loan-shark victims to form a five-member talk team at maximum and hold dialogue, added Adhikari.

“Informal talks are being held with the loan-shark victims at present. We have urged them to sit for talk today itself if possible. They are in touch with us and undergoing internal discussions.” Adhikari said, sharing an insight into the matter.

The MoHA said that its attention was drawn towards callouts, sit-ins and demonstrations of those suffering from extortionate money-lending. The Ministry appraised that efforts were underway for reconciliation between the victims and loan sharks through various means such as amendment in the related laws and formation of a high-powered commission.

Similarly, the Ministry was considering formulation of procedures in the wake of dissolution of the same Commission upon expiry of its tenure to address usury related complaints, he added.

According to the Ministry, Nepal Police has been entrusted with the responsibility of registering the cases that eluded consensus between the two parties in accordance with the prevailing laws, while the Chief District Officers will monitor the process.

The usury victims, however, have not agreed the Ministry’s statement.

They arrived and gathered in the federal capital after marching for 23 days from various places across the country, last Friday. Although laws were put in place to address their problems, the law, as they felt, was lax in implementation and delayed justice. It may be noted that a Bill on usury was endorsed by the parliament through an ordinance seeking an amendment to the Criminal Code which defined usury as a criminal offence last July.

Victims claim that the legislation fell flat to address their demands. They are for formation of a high-powered commission and an amendment to prevailing legislation.

20-       Commander Aquilino calls on PM Dahal

Kathmandu, Feb 25: Visiting Commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, John Aquilino, paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ on Sunday.

In the meeting held at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers in Singha Durbar, they discussed a wide range of matters related to bilateral relations between Nepal and the USA.

PM Dahal, on the occasion, asserted that he had been attaching high importance to Nepal-USA relations. Stating that America’s support to Nepal’s economic development was significant, the PM extended his gratitude towards the American support to Nepal.

Similarly, Commander Aquilino congratulated Nepal for being the largest troops contributing country to the UN peacekeeping missions.

He lauded the role played by Nepal in peacekeeping efforts through the peacekeeping troop. The American Commander is currently in Nepal since February 20 to observe the multinational peacekeeping exercise-Shanti Prayas IV.

Present in the meeting were PM Dahal’s Foreign Affairs Advisor, Dr Rupak Sapkota, American Ambassador to Nepal, Dean R Thompson, and high-ranking officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

21-       Former President, former minister honoured with Mahendra Narayan Nidhi Award

Kathmandu, Feb 25: President Ram Chandra Paudel has conferred the ‘Mahendra Narayan Nidhi National Award and Honour, 2080’ on former President Dr Ram Baran Yadav.

Former President Yadav was honoured in recognition to his coordinating role on promulgation of constitution from the constituent assembly. He is the first president of Federal Democratic Republic Nepal.

President Paudel conferred the award on the occasion of the 103rd birth anniversary of leader Mahendra Narayan Nidhi amidst a programme organized at the former’s office, Shitalniwas. The function was organized by the Mahendra Narayan Nidhi Foundation on Sunday.

At the same function, President Paudel handed over the same award for the last year to a noted democracy fighter Yog Prasad Upadhyay. Upadhyay was a former minister.

Similarly, the Premsagari Devi Nidhi National Award and Honour, 2080 has been given to social activist Durga Ghimire, while the Premsagari Devi Nidhi Award and Honour, 2079 to musician Sarita Mishra.

On the occasion, President Paudel reminded that late Nidhi had paid attention to poor and backward people while involving in politics. Country, people and society were in the centre of his politics, Paudel added.

The President viewed the late leader Nidhi was a towering personality of Nepal’s democratic movements since that of 2007BS. He was a Gandhian leader. “I pay tribute to him. Nidhi’s works for democracy, harmony and social justice are inspiration,” Paudel mentioned.

The Head of the State pointed out the urgency of effective enforcement of constitution so that people’s disenchantment would be assuaged and addressed. He made aware the concerned stakeholders against the misinterpretation of present system. “I think political honesty and integrity can outdo the grudges,” he underlined.

The honoured personality, the first President of Nepal, remembered the late Nidhi as a person of integrity. His commitment to democracy inspired us to involve in democratic movement, Dr Yadav shared.

Similarly, another recipient of the award, Durga Ghimire, thanked the Foundation for honour and shared her memory of being kept behind bar for her involvement in the campaign of democracy.

The honour had inspired and emboldened her to work more for economic empowerment of women.

22-       By-election in Ilam and Bajhang on April 27

Kathmandu, Feb 25: The Election Commission said the by-election in Ilam and Bajhang district for the vacant seat of House of Representatives and Province Assembly member would be held coming April 27.

The by-election will be held in constituency no 2 of Ilam and Province Assembly member (A) in Bajhang district, according to the statement issued by the Commission’s Assistant Spokesperson Thaneshwor Bhusal on Sunday.

A seat in HoR has been vacant following the demise of Subash Chandra Nembang, while a seat of Province Assembly member is lying vacant after the demise of Province Assembly member Prithivi Bahadur Singh.

Assistant Spokesperson Bhusal said in the statement that date for the by-election in both constituencies was decided in accordance with the election law.

With the date set for the by-election, the Commission has postponed the registration of voter list at present.

23-       Art exhibition props up tourism development: former President

Kathmandu, Feb 25: Former President Dr Ram Baran Yadav has viewed the art exhibition helps to prop up tourism. The creation depicting nature, heritage and indigenous community has a role to promote tourism at national and international levels, according to him.

The first President of the Federal Republic Nepal, Dr Yadav, made such observation after visiting the ongoing Mundhum International Art Exhibition at Nepal Art Council, Kathmandu on Sunday.

Earlier, Chairman of Socialist Party Nepal, Upendra Yadav, and Nepali Congress leader Prakash Man Singh observed the exhibition.

24-       Rhino found dead

Bharatpur, Feb 25: A rhino was found dead in the Chitwan National Park on Sunday. The rhino of around 12 years old was found dead inside the Belsar Buffer Zone Community Forest at Jarnelighat on the bank of Rapti river of Bharatpur Metropolitan City-13, Chitwan. Information Officer of the Chitwan National Park, Ganesh Prasad Adhikari, told RSS that rhino horn and hooves are safe. The Park officials have assumed that the rhino died following a fight with another rhino.

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