Home Books Karma: A book on differently-abled children launched

Karma: A book on differently-abled children launched

The book is journalist Damodar Neupane’s second book and has been hailed as a important marker that will initiate conversation about children in need

Kathmandu, October 2, 2016: Journalist Damodar Neupane’s second book, Karma: Sikaai ma Gahiriyeko Khaadal, an anthology of reflective essays revolving around the condition of differently-abled children in Nepal, was launched amid a function held at Mandala Theatre Nepal in the Capital on Saturday.

The book saw its launch from the hands of the subjects the book revolves around; it was launched jointly by Aadesh Kaphle, a child suffering from autism—a condition about which the book deals with in its opening chapter; Sabita Uprety, a teacher and social worker working with autistic children; Sanjeev Neupane, the chairperson of District Children Association, Kavre district; Dr Mahendra Bista, chairperson of Federation of Nepali Journalists; and eminent critic Dr Devi Subedi.

“Karma is one of those very rare books–perhaps the only one–that revolves solely around, and champions, the welfare of differently-abled Nepali children,” noted critic Subedi, speaking at the event. He mentioned that the author’s unique journalistic acumen and diligence, and the enthusiasm to embrace an issue seldom written about in Nepal, accentuates his love for the nation. “The book touches upon a host of issues concerning present-day Nepali society; but at the heart of every essay lies the issue of differently-abled children,” he added.

Meanwhile, social worker Sabita Uprety thanked the author for shedding light on an issue that remains on the fringes of mainstream conversation. “The book, among other things, lays bare how autistic children, if given enough opportunities, can thrive,” she said. “I also liked how the book abstains from high-brow academic language and makes its case through lucid prose, which makes it readable even for children.”

Speaking at the event, Dr Mahendra Bista spoke about how the book is a unique piece of journalistic work. “Journalism is about unearthing the real truth and presenting the ground reality as it is. Blending reflective musings with his reportage, journalist Neupane has put out a very authentic portrait of differently-abled children in Nepal.”

“I hope the book will go on to inspire the State to come up with concrete policies to enhance the current condition of these children,” Bista added.

Author Neupane had never thought about writing a book on children. “But,” he said, “my involvement with these issues concerning children as a coordinator of Kopila—the weekly supplement of Kantipur daily that focuses on children—inspired me to write the book…What actually made me think deeply about the issue concerning differently-abled children is the articles we receive from them, which are very touching.”

Moreover, he added, “I wrote the pieces only after reaching a certain depth and made sure that I had done ample research before putting pen to paper.”

“This is a very sensitive issue; children are the future, after all,” author Neupane concluded.

Karma has been published by Swadesh Prakashan.