Stoning the calm waters  
Rape is punishable by law, but again, there are many formalities to be fulfilled.

She never wore clothes that bared her midriff or showed off her cleavage. Her skirts never revealed her thighs and her glances spoke of innocence rather than seduction. Yet she was raped, again and again. And it was not some stranger who did it to her in the dead of the night. It was her own father who sexually abused her for two years under their own roof. Eight years old Sunita* recalls those long years of torture with vacant eyes when she was forced to stay home all day with her alcoholic father since her mother did not earn enough to send her to school.

“This is the first time I attended school. I want to take this opportunity to study well,” says Sunita who is currently living in Maiti Nepal’s shelter. Her father is in custody and her mother works as a laborer.

  A crime obscured within honor  
People often take a young girl’s revealing clothes as a triggering factor for rape. But how do you justify raping old women and children?

Everyday, we hear or read about some child, young woman or old lady being raped by strangers and family members. In 2070/71 alone, until the month of Jyestha, the Women and Children Service Directorate of Police Headquarters has recorded 810 cases of rape, 356 cases of rape attempts and 14 cases of unnatural rape.

Advocate Rama Shrestha is the Legal Officer at Children-Women in Social Service and Human Rights (CWISH) and Advocate Uma Tamang is the Legal Officer at Maiti Nepal.

  Have your say  
The two-week-long General Convention of the Second largest party in the Constituent Assembly--CPN-UML--concluded on Thursday electing a 200-member Central Committee under the chairmanship of KP Sharma Oli. Following the ending of the vote count to elect the new UML leadership through the general convention, there are mixed reactions from multiple quarters. There is criticism from the intelligentsia stating that the UML’s recently-elected office bearer’s team is lacking representation from the marginalized communities such as; Madhesis and Dalits. Here are some excerpts:

  THE MARGINALIZED Mess in Muwgu  
  BY Suman Malla  
Health workers playing truant erode public trust

In the first week of July, when a team of government officials visited Kimri health post of Mugu district, they were greeted by a locked door. Let alone health workers, even peons were not around. It seemed as if the health post had been abandoned forever.

However, within a few minutes after the monitoring team, led by Dr Ran Bahadur Bogati, medical officer of the District Public Health Office, Mugu, arrived, the in-charge of Kimri health post, Birendra Bahadur Shahi, turned up. Still gasping, Shahi unlocked the health post.

  Intangible Transactions  
It’s common for informal businesses to sprout up around busy places.
         Most official locations witness a fair number of them.

You go to the Department of Transport Management to fill the form to obtain a driving license. You don’t even have to reach the office, for outside there are rows and rows of makeshift stalls – a table, a chair, and a large umbrella over the open sky—where forms are sold. Not just that, but the people at the stalls also help you fill the forms: for Rs. 50 each.

The assistance continues as you work through the process of getting a license. After you give your written examination, the results are pasted on the walls of the premises, but only after several hours. For a small fee of Rs. 30, helpers will be ready to look up the number for you and give you a call. “You may pay us Rs.30, but you save petrol worth Rs. 60,” says Maya Chhetri*, 30, who has a stall outside the premises and often provides this service.

  Momolicious Kathmandu  
Two friends went out to eat in a restaurant once. Both of them were presented menus which they scouted thoroughly. And in the end, after a long consideration, they handed the menu back to the waiter and ordered what they always ordered: Two plates of momo.

Momos are probably one of the most ubiquitous foods in Kathmandu at present. Everywhere in the city, outside bigger or smaller restaurants, one can find giant multilayered aluminum steamers with around a hundred momos being cooked in each layer. And everyone in the restaurant is eagerly waiting for their plates of momos.

  The costs of life in the capital  
With bright streets, big hospitals, good colleges, proper telephone or swift Internet facilities, what does Kathmandu mean to us?
The capital city, the most vibrant, highly facilitated, the well-equipped land of opportunities, perhaps.

But for some, living in the same glimmering city, life is all about bargaining over vegetable prices, arguing endlessly over the bus fare that seems to increase every week, conceding eternally to landlords so that one can have a roof over one’s head, and juggling jobs to cover the costs of living that only seems to increase every single day.

  TECH TALK Cellphone Wars  
The Chinese have arrived!

We’ve always been skeptical about products from China and always complain about shoddy Chinese workmanship when its products break down. But it’s no surprise that almost all electronic products are made in China, even American products, like the devices from Apple. China has been producing a lot of products designed in other countries but had been infamous for products conceptualized in the country itself. Times have changed now, and China is home to some of the most beautiful smartphones out on the market today. But because of their limitation to Chinese and Asian markets, they seem to be relatively unknown.

But unlike in the past, China has come up with solid performance-heavy smartphones that are competing well with other well-known brands and cellphones akin to Samsung or Apple. The Chinese phone sell for much cheaper prices and yet deliver performances that rival their high-end cellphones marketed by well-known companies. Much like Indian cellphone makers like Micromax or Karbonn, who have managed to market good-performance goods at cheaper costs, Chinese cellphone producers are taking on the same idea.

  Upcoming events  
The Butterfly  Home Project

The City Museum Kathmandu is hosting a two-day fundraising event this weekend which will include an exhibition, and sale of arts and crafts by the children of Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC).

ECDC, a kindergarten and home for children of jail inmates, was founded by Pushpa Basnet, CNN Hero 2012, in 2005. ECDC rescues children from jail cells throughout Nepal by coordinating with prison administrators to help children break the cycle of crime and poverty. It also provides the rescued children with opportunities for education, healthy development, and stability in life.

  READER'S CORNER Wealth of knowledge  
My books are like my children, I can’t choose among them.

Eighty-one years old Gyanmani Nepal is a noted historian with more than 20 books to his credit. After his house was recently ravaged by fire, he is on a mission to publish all his manuscripts.

Sewa Bhattarai
met him to talk about his continued drive to study even at this advanced age.

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