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  OPINION
Exposed
REPUBLICA
Like it or not, we Nepalis are obsessed with everything Indian. Many of us love to hate the Indian cricket team, the swaggering reigning World Champions now the biggest emblem of the Big Brother next door. At the other extreme we also have die-hard fans of Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni. Similarly, the need for a ‘new force’ in Nepal is felt as soon as AAP rises in Delhi.

 Bollywood movies sell like hot MoMos: Dhoom 3 was so successful many Nepali producers had to delay the release of their films to escape the long shadow of the Aamir Khan starrer. India is currently in the grip of a swine flu epidemic, with death toll crossing 1,000. Nepalis, invariably, were starting to feel a little jittery. So when the news emerged that Bollywood heartthrob Sonam Kapoor was down with swine flu, the potency of the latest outbreak hit home with Nepalis, with ironic images of the simpering Black beauty hugging news pages of our broadsheets. If someone with Kapoor’s cosseted existence could contract the flu, why, folks here are saying, anyone could have it! It didn’t help Nepal reported its first swine-flu death on the same day that the virus was confirmed in Kapoor.
Unfair Criticism
Bimal Gautam
CIAA’s role

On governance front, two issues are at the center of discourse for the past couple of weeks. The first is big fishes versus small fries issue and the second is about Social Practices (Reform) Act 1976 and its unprecedented implementation by the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) Chief Commissioner Lokman Singh Karki.

Let’s discuss CIAA’s possible action against big fishes first. This author, with about 15 years of experience on anti-corruption reporting, believes that an investigation has to be initiated and cases should filed against big fishes if CIAA substantiates the charge sheets. However, one should not forget that substantiating cases where big fishes are allegedly involved is not as easy as expected, discussed and analyzed at public forums, tea shops, and in media and other platforms.
Spare The Rod
George W Holden, Umesh Raj Regmi
In most countries children are hit for “misbehaving”. According to a 2014 United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report, 80 percent of children are subject to one or the other form of violent discipline. The rate, of course, varies based on the country, the child’s age and other considerations. Nevertheless, most children are being hit. Hitting comes in many forms such as slaps, spanks, and even beatings.

Corporal (also called physical) discipline is the traditional form of punishment found in many families and in many schools. Some children are spanked on occasions but many others receive painful and humiliating punishment almost every day. However, increasingly it has been recognized that hitting children, in whatever form or frequency, is inappropriate, counter-productive, and even dangerous. Currently, Nepal is observing the anti-corporal punishment year. What better time but now for the country to take a strong stand against corporal punishment to children?
The Big Picture
Dipesh Kumar Ghimire
Food scarcity

“How can an empty stomach study?” Ramesh Karki asked in desperation as he put down his big basket. The groove of rope on his head appeared like a headband. His face showed grief, sorrow and scarcity. Fading dreams could be clearly read on his face. Karki hails from Punma VDC in Jajarkot district and is yet to cross 18. The whole family depends on him. He has to earn his living by carrying loads from Rukum to various villages in Jajarkot. There is a school in his village but he has no time to attend. The village is not cultivated, thus it is not possible to live without carrying load.

In fact, almost everyone in Karnali zone’s districts like Jajarkot and Bajura suffer starvation. It has affected parents and their children are deprived of education. Not just Ramesh, many children like him, along with mules and other carriers, ferry rice to different villages of Jajarkot via Chaurjahari of Rukum and Sallibazaar of Salyan. But the problem of food scarcity has not been controlled; rather it is increasing.
Editorial: DOTS And Doníts
REPUBLICA
Anti-microbial resistance
“A post-antibiotic era,” a 2014 World Health Organization (WHO) report warned, “in which common infections and minor injuries can kill… is a very real possibility for the 21st century.” Consider Nepal’s Direct Observation and Treatment Short-course (DOTS) program against tuberculosis, which once served as a model for other parts of the developing world. But according to National Tuberculosis Center, more and more TB patients in Nepal are not responding to the once foolproof DOTS program. Multi-drug resistant TB (MDRTB) is now seen in 2.2 percent of all new cases and in 18 percent of relapse cases in Nepal; and one in four patients with drug resistant TB dies. Likewise, half the new cases of acute respiratory infections and almost all cases of bacterial diarrhea are now resistant to first-line antibiotics. Self-medication, over-prescription and lax poultry farmers are to be blamed.

Because of high antibiotic use antibiotic-susceptible bacteria are dying out and resistant bacteria are taking their place. It is common for people to visit their nearest pharmacy and ask for the ‘cure-all’ antibiotics even for common problems like sore throat and fever. If these patients had been a little patient, for most of them the symptoms would have gone without any medication. But sufferers, pressed for time, want immediate results, often to dire long-term health consequences.
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