Book Talk with Radha Paudel
Nurse, humanitarian, activist, and author, Ms. Radha Paudel delivered one of the most stimulating talks on her book, 'Jumla: A Nurse's Story,' at a book talk session organized by Thames International College on May 30th, 2017. The talk took place at the David J. Rusk Library within the Thames premises.
Though Ms. Paudel is a nurse with a specialization in anesthesiology, she is engaged in a range of humanitarian work. She is particularly engaged in peace building, advocating for women's rights, and rural transformation. She strongly opposes 'Chhaupadi' and other social practices that limit women's activities during menstruation. In 2012, she received the N-Peace Award as a role model for peace. In 2014, she received the Madan Literature Prize for her book 'Khalanga ma Hamala,' which was later translated into English and titled, 'Jumla: A Nurse's Story.'
In introducing 'Jumla: A Nurse's Story, 'Ms. Paudel recollected her dreadful experiences in Khalanga during the Maoist insurgency. "What was the meaning of peace and justice for people at the time?" She questioned. Post-war, Ms. Paudel had begun to document the atrocities of the war, which later grew to become 'Jumla: A Nurse's Story.' Ms. Paudel talked about how the definition of people means different things to different people, and how the end of a war doesn't signify peace. There are people in the mid-west and far-west regions of Nepal, she said, to whom peace is defined by food on the table.
"Until and unless we re-define the lifestyles in far-west and mid-west Nepal, we cannot change the definition of Nepal. The country can only prosper if rural areas are developed," she said. She ended the book talk by requesting the audience to take an initiation to end poverty, inequality, and discrimination, helping Nepal in the peace building process.
"I am indebted to all the readers for accepting my book with such love and appreciation," she said. "With this English edition, I hope the story of Karnali will reach more readers beyond the Nepali readership."