The book is journalist Damodar Neupaneâ€™s second book and has been hailed as a important marker that will initiate conversation about children in need
Kathmandu, October 2, 2016:Â Journalist Damodar Neupaneâ€™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 autismâ€”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.
â€œKarma is one of those very rare books–perhaps the only one–that revolves solely around, and champions, the welfare of differently-abled Nepali children,â€ noted critic Subedi, speaking at the event. He mentioned that the authorâ€™s unique journalistic acumen and diligence, and the enthusiasm to embrace an issue seldom written about in Nepal, accentuates his love for the nation. â€œThe 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,â€ he added.
Meanwhile, social worker Sabita Uprety thanked the author for shedding light on an issue that remains on the fringes of mainstream conversation. â€œThe book, among other things, lays bare how autistic children, if given enough opportunities, can thrive,â€ she said. â€œI 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.â€
Speaking at the event, Dr Mahendra Bista spoke about how the book is a unique piece of journalistic work. â€œJournalism 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.â€
â€œI hope the book will go on to inspire the State to come up with concrete policies to enhance the current condition of these children,â€ Bista added.
Author Neupane had never thought about writing a book on children. â€œBut,â€ he said, â€œmy involvement with these issues concerning children as a coordinator of Kopilaâ€”the weekly supplement of Kantipur daily that focuses on childrenâ€”inspired me to write the bookâ€¦What actually made me think deeply about the issue concerning differently-abled children is the articles we receive from them, which are very touching.â€
Moreover, he added, â€œI wrote the pieces only after reaching a certain depth and made sure that I had done ample research before putting pen to paper.â€
â€œThis is a very sensitive issue; children are the future, after all,â€ author Neupane concluded.
Karma has been published by Swadesh Prakashan.