Nepal steps up security at all Buddhist shrines

Security in major Buddhist shrines across Nepal has been beefed up since a series of bombs went off on the Indian holy site of Bodh Gaya, Sunday July 7th.

Although local police have not received any concrete intelligence report that pilgrimage centers may be targeted in Nepal, they are keeping most of the sites under tight control including Lumbini the birthplace of Buddha, while a predictably tense national election campaign nears.


iPad Books Will Reshape Multimedia

Finally, my iPad book, Living With Autism, a multi-touch book has been published on iTunes. The iPad, for me, is a good platform to tell multimedia stories. But I faced many challenges publishing from Nepal.

For seven years as a journalist, I worked on a television station in Nepal; I also wrote for print, online, blogs, and on social media. No platform has been as effective in telling a simple story than the iPad. It’s quite interesting with the flexibility it provides – one can include photo galleries, video, interactive diagrams, 3D objects, and more. The iBooks Author app, which allows users to create books on the iPad, is an easy-to-use software that has helped me design, layout and publish the book. Living with Autism, free to download for iPad, is divided into five sections and is supplemented by infographics, photos, video, text and social media elements.

Autism is a life-long neuro-developmental disorder. The United Nations has said that autism is growing as a global health crisis. But many people in Nepal don’t know about autism because we lack awareness programs.
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Youth Unemployment a Global Crisis

By Rajneesh Bhandari

As I am reporting the ILO’s first ever Youth Employment Forum at their headquarter in Geneva, Switzerland, the statistics released on youth unemployment is quite shocking. The reported titled “Global Employment Trends for Youth 2012” was released this week and it gives a very alarming picture that every youth should think and prepare about.

The report provides a clear picture on the trend of youth unemployment from 1991 to 2012. The report says 12.7 percent of people aged 15 to 24 are unemployed. Last year 12.6 percent of young people were unemployed and in 2007 the rate of youths unemployed was recorded at 11.6 percent. Figures from North Africa shows that a whopping 27.9 percent of youths remained unemployed last year. 26.5 percent of youths were unemployed in the Middle East, 17.6 percent in central and South-Eastern Europe, 14.3 percent in Latin America and the Caribbean, 11.5 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa and 13.5 percent in south-east Asia and the Pacific.

Another shocking information that the report predicts which is that the youth employment rate will remain at the same high level for the coming four years.

ILO says, youth employment also poses a threat to political stability and social cohesion.  To cope with the crisis ILO suggests that governments in the world should create more jobs. Not only more but better education and training is needed for the purpose.  The report also suggest promotion of youth entrepreneurship, making youth employment a priority, promoting economic diversification, linking education and training to the world of work among others to foster  youth employment.

I am among the five young journalists selected from across the globe to cover the YE Forum. I am actually digging out stories from the youth participants of Asia and some unique stories. And trying to learn and share how every youth in the world could get decent work.

If you want to take part in the discussion how could youth employment be improved you can take part on twitter using #YEF.

Silent sufferers

Autism TKP

My story ‘Silent sufferers’ published in The Kathmandu Post on Saturday, March 31, 2012. Here is a link to the pdf version: and for web version:

Four-year-old Binu Dangol enters the room with her mother and father, dressed daintily in a blue t-shirt and trousers, her hair done neatly, but I can see that she’s scared. She leans away at the sight of me and my camera, ready to take flight, and I have very little idea of how to comfort her.

It was an International Reportage Workshop with photojournalist Philip Blenkinsop, jointly organised by, Pathshala South Asian Media Academy and Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, that had triggered a desire within me to shed light upon stories that are yet untold. Among many such issues that exist within our country, it was the silent sufferers of autism—a lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder—that particularly caught my attention. And Binu is one of them.
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Should mobile phones be the primary reporting tool in a converged newsroom?

Certainly it’s the mobile phone that I believe will do more wonders as a reporting tool in a converged newsroom. With the latest I-phones and android phones mobiles are already doing wonders in the newsroom.

According to Nepal Telecommunication Authority 50 percent of Nepal’s population are now using mobile phones. There are 13,354,477 mobile users in Nepal out of which 12,498,243 are GSM users and 856,234 are CDMA users.
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Why Citizen Journalism?

OhMyNews says, “every citizen is a reporter”. This site, established in 2000, runs by the content generated
from South Koreans and citizens of other nations and only 20 percent of the content comes from its employed staff. Citizen journalism has become really popular in the 21st century and with social media and social network citizen journalism is rocking. And in Nepal it’s progressing.
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