Saujan Gyawali

Saujan is currently in his gap year, and is involved with Human Computer Interaction Institution of Nepal (HCIIN) for research.

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Published On: March 3, 2018 09:40 AM NPT By: Saujan Gyawali

Don’t abuse in name of festivals

Don’t abuse in name of festivals

Holi, a festival of colors, was celebrated on Thursday in various parts of Nepal’s hilly region, including in Kathmandu, and in tarai region on Friday. This festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the end of winter and exchanging the happiness among people. Holi calls for hopes of joys, meet and greet with loved ones, forgiving and forgetting, also repairing broken relationships. 

In Nepal, this festival seems to be popular among the all age groups. Smearing colors on each other’s faces, throwing colourful water on each other, dancing and singing for the entire day are some of the ways Holi is celebrated. Young people are full of energy on this day and celebrate the festival prudently. Nepal is rich in culture and diversification. Such occasions of festivity always helps to keep unified and we must be proud of this.

Holi, as one of my favourite festivals I decided to celebrate it just by walking to through famous spots of Kathmandu. As I reached Basantapur, I could see thousands of young people had gathered here like earlier in years. It was much difficult to walk through narrow and jam-packed alleys, to which the ongoing reconstruction of cultural heritages added the bane. 

Basantapur, a famous gathering and celebrating spots and one of the UNESCO’s heritage site was completely damaged by the 2015 April 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Currently, different AID’s like US Embassy, China AID and Nepal Government itself are working to rebuild this heritage. Most of the areas are filled with dust and construction materials.

It was a pleasant sight to see thousands of people gathered at a culturally significant site and celebrate Holi as one. In the same way, this year’s many young girls, epically teenagers were sexually abused by different boys and men. It is a pathetic situation. Forcing girls to play Holi and coloring them without consent were some common scenes at Basantapur. 

Every year, many young girls in Nepal are sexually abused in the name of festivals. There is no any such long-term action taken against the perpetrators. The victims are rather forced to keep quiet citing social stigmas and family emotional drama. Such practice must be eradicated immediately, and persons involved in such abuses must be sent out the jail without giving any warning. There are so many NGOs and other bodies working to reduce sexual crimes, but many girls are forced to be victims in the capital itself. We have seen many voices are raised in the name of girls’ welfare, but still things remain the same. 

To sum up, it’s the best time that we young people raise our voices against such behavior and issues. We should talk about such issues in public and with government bodies because they are related to human rights. If we failed to raise our voices, that means we have failed to get our own rights and freedom. And we will be left with no other choice besides reading the news of such activities. So, no any gender should be victimized in the name of festivals.

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