Aahuti is a writer, Dalit activist, and a political leader. His Nepalma Varnabyabastaa Ra Barga Sangharsha (The Varna System and Class Struggle in Nepal) is considered a significant resource on the caste and class system of Nepal. Also a critical and respected political and social analyst, his works include Tapasika Geetharu, Skhalan, Gahungoro Africa, and Naya Ghar.
Ajapa Sharma is a doctoral student in the Department of History at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she works on ideas of self, family and nation in early twentieth century South Asia. She has been affiliated with the CET-University of Wisconsin Academic Program in India and is deeply invested in teaching in diverse and multicultural environments. She is the co-founding editor of Mithia Review, a journal of international science fiction and fantasy.
A journalist with baahrakhari.com, Akshar Kaka is much praised for his feature writing. He is the author of Deuki, a novel. Currently, he is working on a novel about Maina Sunuwar, a 15-year-old girl from Kavre, who was killed by the Nepali Army during the Maoist insurgency.
A recipient of Nepal’s most acclaimed literary award, Madan Puraskar, for his novel Seto Dharti, Amar Nyaupane is best known as a novelist and short story writer. His first published work, ‘Paaniko Ghaam’, won the Padma Shree Sahitya Samman award; while Seto Dharti also bagged the Ramraja Panta Smriti Puraskar. Nyaupane has the novel ‘Karodaun Kasturi’, and most recently, a young-adult novel, ‘Gulabi Umer’, to his credit.
Editor in chief of setopati.com, Ameet Dhakal has over two decades of experience in journalism. He is known for incisive, long-form political and social analysis.
Writer, editor and publishing professional Amish Mulmi is a Consulting Editor for Writers’ Side Agency, the largest literary agency and consultancy in South Asia. He writes a fortnightly column for The Kathmandu Post, and his writings have appeared in Roads and Kingdom, National Geographic Traveller (India), Mint Lounge, The Wire, Scroll, and Record Nepal. He previously worked for Juggernaut Books and Hachette India.
Amitabha Bagchi is the author of three novels. The first, Above Average, was a bestseller. His second novel, The Householder, was published to critical acclaim and the third, This Place, was shortlisted for the Raymond Crossword Book Award 2014. Bagchi lives in New Delhi with his wife and son. His new book Half the Night is Gone is shortlisted for this year’s DSC Prize
A former president of Ghazal Sandhya Pokhara, Amrit Subedi writes in different genres of literature. He is the Gandaki chief of Onlinekhabar and a senior correspondent at Samadhan Dainik.
Anagha Neelakantan is a writer and editor based in Kathmandu. She was previously Director of the Asia Program at the International Crisis Group, working on political conflict and geopolitics.
A theatre actor and director with over three decades of experience in the field, Anup Baral has a post-graduate degree in dramatic arts with specialization in acting from the National School of Drama, New Delhi, India. He has designed and directed more than two dozen full-length plays, including Court Martial, Mahabhoj, Thangla, and more than a hundred street and village dramas. He has also acted in many major roles (Hamlet in "Hamlet", Lopakhin in " The Cherry Orchard”, Pozzo in “Waiting for Godot”, Jason in “Medea”, Stephan in “The Justice”, Gyan Bhikchhu in "Fire in The Monastery", etc.) He is the artistic director at Actors’ Studio, a theatre organization that he founded in 2006. It runs a three-month interdisciplinary acting course.
Arunava Sinha translates classic, modern and contemporary Bengali fiction and non-fiction into English. Over forty-five of his translations have been published so far. Twice the winner of the Crossword Translation Award, for Sankar’s Chowringhee (2007) and Anita Agnihotri’s Seventeen (2011), he has also won the Muse India Award for translation for When the Time Is Right (2012) and been shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (2009) for his translation of Chowringhee. He was born and grew up in Kolkata and lives and writes in New Delhi. His translation of There’s Gunpowder in the Air is on the shortlist of this year’s DSC prize.
Moderator of the ghazal session at IME Nepal Literature Festival 2019, Babu Tripathi has several ghazal collections to his credit, with each of them going for several reprints. He also edits and publishes ghazal anthologies.
An Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering, Tribhuvan University, Nepal, Dr. Basanta Gautam has a Phd from Chubu University, Japan. In his capacity as an Associate Professor engineering, Dr. Gautam is engaged in pedagogic activities and research of various universities in Nepal with a permanent base at Tribhuvan University. Engineering and university level education is only a part of his life, though. He writes regularly about technology and its effect on society, child care and child education, teaching in mother tongue, etc. He maintains a parenting blog, which is based on his experiences of parenting his daughter. He is also actively involved in SAMAJIK SHIKSHA NEPALIMA (‘Social Education in Nepali’) and other social movements and organizations. He is also a poet and has published an anthology of poems.
Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Expert and Women’s Rights Activist Bhaarati Silawal-Giri is also the Chairperson of the National Network Against Girls' Trafficking. An avid advocate for women in leadership and citizenship rights for children through the mother, Silwal Giri has also authored books and guidelines on gender rights.
An author of children’s books and a former journalist, Bhabasagar Ghimire has worked for different organizations including Antenna Foundation, BBC Media Action Nepal, Search for Common Ground, in creative capacities. Also an independent filmmaker, he is interested in telling stories of the deprived.
Dr. Bhimarjun Acharya is a leading constitutional expert. He has a Phd on the System of Judicial Review. Founding president of Constitutional Lawyers Forum, Dr. Acharya is affiliated with Alliance Law Firm. He is also a lyricist, music composer and singer. He has 22 books to his credit on constitution, law & politics related issues. His major publications includes Law & Politics (2014), Comparative Systems of Judicial Review (2012), My Essays in Law, Media Freedom and Politics (2012), Civilian Control Mechanisms of Security Forces in Nepal: A Comparative Perspective (2011); Dynamics of Fundamental Rights (2009); Fundamental Rights in the World Constitutions (2008), Constituent Assembly: Processes and Experiences (2006); Making Constitution through Constituent Assembly (2006), etc.
Bhupendra Khadka is a writer, lyricist, and editor. The publisher and founder of Book Hill Publication, Khadka is also a program producer and presenter at Radio Kantipur. He is an Assistant Professor of Linguistics and Literature.
Bimal Acharya coordinates the ‘Fursad’ literary supplement of the national daily Annapurna Post. He is also an avid writer and critic.
Bimal Gayak is a social activist. She had started rebelling against caste discrimination when she was in school. She is the first woman from the Gandarva community to have passed SLC. She had played an instrumental role in persuading the Paswan community of Sarlahi to give up thievery that they were traditionally involved in, providing technical education to 50 Madeshi Dalits and helping around 600 Dalit women to earn a livelihood.
A poet and short story writer, Bina Theeng Tamang is the winner of the nation-wide Baahrakhari Short Story Writing Competition. She writes for different newspapers as well.
Bina Theeng Tamang
Hon. Dr. Binda Pandey, a Member of the Parliament, is also the chairperson of the Fundamental Rights & Directive Principle Committee of the Constituent Assembly of Nepal. Her book, ‘Women in Nepali Politics’, was launched early this year, and the Nepali version is set to be released soon. Active in Nepal’s trade union movement for over a decade, Pandey was a driving force in General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions (GEFONT), one of the largest confederations of Nepalese trade unions. Hon. Pandey is better known as a champion of gender equality. Hon. Pandey has worked as a program coordinator for the Committee for Asian Women – Regional Labor, an NGO based in Hong Kong, and has gained considerable knowledge and experience of the challenges faced by working women throughout Asia. She has worked for the National Women’s Commission formed by the Government of Nepal, and was also an active member of the All Nepal Women Association.
Binod Chaudhary is a Nepali businessman, and the only Nepali to be listed as a billionaire by Forbes magazine. He is the current chairman of Chaudhary Group (CG), a conglomerate that consists of nearly 80 companies. He was appointed a member of the constituent assembly and parliament of Nepal from April 2008 to May 2012. Chaudhary’s biography Binod Chaudhary has been translated into English as Binod Chaudhary: My Story.
Bipin Karki is one of the most popular actors and theatre artists, with versatile acting skills. He is best known for his roles in films like Jatra, Pashupati Prasad, etc.
Bishwa Prakash Lamichhane is the former chair of the City Development Committee of Pokhara. He currently heads the Commission on Fewa Lake issues.
Bishwa Prakash Lamichhane
Carmen Wickramagamage is Professor in English and Head of the Department of English at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Hawaii, USA, for her work on exploring the uneasy alliances between postcolonial theory, feminism and ‘Third World’ women writers, focusing on the works of two South Asian women writers. She counts among her publications essays and articles on literature produced in postcolonial spaces and on themes relating to these spaces. In addition to writing on literature in English, she also translates from Sinhala into English. Her translation of a Sinhala novel into English, Sunethra Rajakarunanayake’s Podu Purushaya translated into English as Metta: A Story about Love, won the State Literary Award for the Best Translation of a Work of Fiction into English. She is a jury member of DSC prize 2019.
A Professor Emeritus of Gender Studies, Tribhuvan University, Nepal, Dr. Bhadra has a Phd from Oregon State University, USA. In her capacity as a Professor of Gender Studies, Dr. Bhadra engaged in pedagogic activities of various universities in Nepal with a permanent base at Tribhuvan University. In the last past forty years, she has extended her academic and professional expertise in the field of Women in Development and Gender and Development to the government of Nepal, universities, SAARC, UN agencies, bilateral development partners and various national and international NGOs. She is the author of Three Decades of Academic Advocacy for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women in Nepal and Gender Studies.
Chandra Prasad Dhakal is the Co-Founder and Chairman of the IME Group. He has been serving as the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Indonesia in Nepal since 2010. He is the Vice-President of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry. He is also the President of the Nepal-Indonesia Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Vice-President of the Nepal-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He is an invitee member of the Investment Board of Nepal, which is chaired by the country’s Prime Minister. He is a first-generation serial entrepreneur of Nepal and strongly adheres to the ethics of professional financial conduct and governance.
Chandra Prasad Dhakal
Chuden Kabimo is an important emerging voice in Nepali literature coming out from Darjeeling. He has published 1986, a collection of short stories and Faatsung, a novel which was awarded the prestigious Yuwa Sahitya Academy Award 2018. Faatsung has been critically acclaimed as a “rallying cry for the Gorkhaland movement of the 80s.”
The head of Department of Geography at Prithvi Narayan Campus, Dr. Debendra Bahadur Lamichhane has a phd in Settlement and Environmental Appraisal of Phewa Lake Watershed.
Debendra Bahadur Lamichhane
Deepak Adhikari is a freelance journalist based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He has covered Nepal for dozens of international outlets including New York Times, Time magazine, Al Jazeera English, The Guardian.
Deepak Raj Joshi is the Chief Executive Officer of Nepal Tourism Board, the country’s national tourism organization, since December 2016. He brings over 16+ years of work experience in destination management, tourism promotion and Public Private Partnership to his role. He was awarded the IIPT ‘Champions in Challenge’ award by the International Institute for Peace Through Travel and Tourism for his role in reviving Nepal’s tourism sector after the 2015 earthquakes.
Deepak Raj Joshi
Dr. Devendra Raj Panday has a Ph. D. in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh, USA. He has been a finance secretary and a finance minister in the government of Nepal. Since the beginning of the 1980s he is better known for his intellectual pursuits in development and civil society engagements to promote democracy, human rights, probity in public life and people-centred development. He is currently associated with several civic organisations in Nepal and abroad. He has been a member of the international Board of Directors of Transparency International, Berlin, a position to which he was elected twice. He is also a founding Bureau Member of South Asians for Human Rights based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. A leading civil society leader, he has published many books, including Looking at Development and Donors: Essays from Nepal; Nepal's Failed Development: Reflections on the Mission and Maladies; The Idea of Integrity and the Universe of Corruption and Anticorruption, among others.
Devendra Raj Panday
Devendra Subedi is a retired AIGP.
Dharma Raj Bishwokarma is a business person and runs vegetable and poultry farms. He developed a habit of reading books while serving his time and read more than a hundred books by the time he completed his sentence.
Dharma Raj Bishwokarma
Writer, translator and researcher Dinesh Kafle has a doctorate in English Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. His research focuses on the representation of home, belonging, and alienation in contemporary South Asian fiction. His reviews and writings have been published in Indian Literature, Himalaya, and Wasafiri among others. He has translated Benyamin’s novel Goat Days into Nepali and Nayan Raj Pandey’s Nepali novella Ulaar into English.
A long time journalist and popular radio host, Dipendra Shrestha is a media specialist at Radio Annapurna. He is also the president of the Kaski Chapter of Federation of Nepalese Journalists.
Hon. Gagan Thapa is a Nepali politician and youth leader who served as the Minister of Health and Population of Nepal from 2016 to 2017. He is currently serving as a Member of Parliament in the House of Representatives, Nepal from Kathmandu since 2008, and is in its Parliamentary Committee on Education and Health. He is a Central Committee Member of the Nepal Congress Party. Famed for his oratory and eloquence, Thapa is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum. He has contributed to - and is also the subject of - many articles in publications including The New York Times, The Lancet, World Economic Forum, Harvard Politics, China Dialogue, Kathmandu Post, The Himalayan Times, and Nepali Times.
Ganes Paudel is the founder of the Random Readers' Society of Pokhara, which has been doing much to promote reading in Pokhara for more than a decade now. A voracious reader, he is the author of the novel Paitala. He is currently working on another book.
Leading tourism entrepreneur Ganesh Bahadur Bhattarai owns the popular restaurant ‘Boomerang.’ He was also the Pokhara Tourism Revival Committee Coordinator.
Ganesh Bahadur Bhattarai
A poet, lyricist, essayist and critic, Ms. Tripathi teaches literature at Tribhuvan University. A writer of repute, she has several books to her credit. She is also known for her writing on literary theory and criticism.
A writer and literary critic, Gurung Sushant currently coordinates the literary section of the weekly magazine Nepal.
Chief editor of Annapurna Post, Hari Bahadur Thapa has been a passionate journalist reporting chiefly in the political and economic beat since the last 25 years. Thapa is best known for his writings and advocacy against corruption in Nepal. He is the author of Bhrastachaarko Shalyakriya and Rajgaj.
Hari Bahadur Thapa
A beloved folk singer and lyricist, Hari Devi Koirala has sung and written songs that capture the socio-cultural realities of Nepal. A resident of Pokhara, Koirala has recorded over 80 albums in over 35 years of her career. Her songs inspire other women by spreading the message of self-reliance and independence.
Hari Devi Koirala
Harish Nambiar is the author of a narrative non-fiction book Defragmenting India: Riding a Bullet through the Gathering Storm about a 3-week motorcycle journey through seven states during the Gujarat riots of 2002. He has been a columnist with The Economic Times for three and a half years before he joined as a staffer. He has worked with Reuters and various national Indian mastheads, a TV channel and an internet portal. He also taught literature for an academic semester as a replacement lecturer to final year BA students.
Harish Trivedi, former Professor of English at the University of Delhi, was visiting professor at the universities of Chicago and London. He has lectured at various universities in the USA, Canada, South America, the UK, Europe, China, Japan, South-East Asia and Australia. He is the author of Colonial Transactions: English Literature and India (Calcutta 1993; Manchester 1995), and has co-edited Interdisciplinary Alter-natives in Comparative Literature (New Delhi 2013); Literature and Nation: Britain and India 1800-1990 (London 2000); Post-colonial Translation: Theory and Practice (London 1999); and Interrogating Post-colonialism: Theory, Text and Context (Shimla 1996; rpt. 2000 and 2006). He has contributed to the Cambridge Companion volumes on Gandhi and Kipling (both published 2011) as well as Tagore (forthcoming). He also writes in Hindi and translates from Hindi, Urdu and Sanskrit. A jury member of this year’s DSC prize, he currently works as a contributing editor of an international project based in Stockholm for writing a history of World Literature.
A writer and known name in children's literature, Hemlata Rai published her first book in 2017. Her most recent book, Changa Chait, is being released at the IME Nepal Literature Festival 2019.
Imtiyaz Wafa is the President of Urdu Academy Nepal (UAN), that holds regular interactions and events to honor the Urdu language. Most popular among these is the ‘mushaira’, an evening social gathering at which Urdu poetry is read, typically taking the form of a contest. Wafa has also penned numerous couplets, poems and songs.
Hon. Ishwar Pokhrel is the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense of the Government of Nepal. He is also a current Secretariat member of Nepal Communist Party.
Ishwor Dahal is a well-known poet, proficient in the art of gazals and mehfils.
Itisha Giri is a Nepali poet and editor based in Madrid. While her poetry privileges social engagement, it also tries to make sense of her identities and how they are related to a sense of place and belonging. Giri’s poems have appeared in literary magazines and anthologies such as La.Lit, The House of Snow, and Poesia de la Mediterrània. She has been a visiting poet at the International Festival of Poetry in Mallorca and was recently invited to participate in the International Poetry Translation Residency in Galicia. She is the editor of These Fine Lines, an anthology of poems written by women who explore their female experiences within the spectrum of abandon and restraint. She is also the co-creator and producer of Boju Bajai, a monthly feminist podcast that works towards facilitating a wider dialogue around the portrayal and representation of women in Nepal’s public space.
Jamil Jan Kochai was born in Pakistan and grew up in the United States. He has a master's in English from UC Davis and is a Truman Capote Fellow at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His fiction has appeared, or is forthcoming, in A Public Space, Ploughshares, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. His debut novel 99 Nights in Logar is shortlisted for DSC prize 2019.
Jamil Jan Kochai
Janak Raj Sapkota is a journalist and social researcher with Nepal's largest daily Kantipur. His academic and journalistic interests are focused on sustained research and coverage of issues pertaining to labour migration and mobility. His book Kahar: A Society Disoriented by Labour Migration looks at the social impacts of labour migration and remittances. He co-authored Social Impact of Remittance in Terai, a book based on qualitative research. His latest book is Nepali Upanyasma Basainsarai: Dukhadekhi Dukhasamma.
Janak Raj Sapkota
Jeremy Tambling (BA York, M.Phil Nottingham, PhD, Essex) was Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Hong Kong, where he spent eighteen years, and was then until retirement Professor of Literature at the University of Manchester, and is now, on a part-time appointment, Professor at the Warsaw University of Social Sciences and Humanities (SWPS). Author of many monographs, from Dante, to Dickens, and to Lu Xun; and of many articles in journals, he edited The Palgrave Handbook of Literature and the City (2017) and is interested in present and past literatures; in critical theory, and in film, and is currently writing on literature and psychoanalysis, and on literature and the death-penalty. He is a jury member of DSC prize 2019.
Trained in classical and musical traditions, Jhuma Limbu is passionate about researching the folk music of Nepal, particularly of the Limbu Tribes. Her work aims to transfer her knowledge of Nepali folk music to a new generation. Her most recent album is Mundhum, which contains solo and ensemble performances. The album is the output of her research on the singing tradition of the Limbu Vedic chants and repartee between boys and girls, which form an important part of the Limbu musical culture.
A poet, lyricist and short story writer, Jyoti Jungle is the author of two books—Mukta Samay and Chhanya.
Jyoti Shrestha began her career as a Senior Presenter and Producer at Image Television in 2003. After a ten-year stint as TV host and a program presenter in Image Channel (Radio), Jyoti joined WWF as a Communications Associate in 2013. Currently, she is Communications Specialist at Mercy Corps. A professional emcee, model, scriptwriter and video maker, Jyoti has compèred over a hundred events in Nepal and abroad.
Leading Nepali Actor and Producer Karishma Manandhar began her career in the movie industry at the age of 16, in the movie ‘Santaan.’ She reigned for nearly three decades as an actor, appearing in over 70 movies. She also turned producer with movies like ‘Dhukdhuki’ and ‘Babu Saheb.’ She was honored as ‘Popular Actress of the Decade’ and also awarded the prestigious Gorkha Dakshin Bahu Fourth, a government recognition. Having had to discontinue her formal studies for her acting career, she rejoined school a couple of years ago, successfully clearing the school leaving examinations and inspiring many others in the process.
A psychologist, Karuna Kunwar Bista has been helping resolve personal issues through her counseling for over 12 years now. An MA in clinical psychology from Tribhuvan University, she has specialized in providing counseling to families and couples.
Karuna Kunwar Bista
Writer and Translator Khagendra Sangraula has several books to his credit – and he is best known for his satirical writings. Some of his popular books are Balyakalkaa Padchapharu, Samjhanaka Kuinetaharu, Junkiriko Sangeet, Aama Ra Yamadutharu, Bais Thunga Phool, Samjhanako Ainaka Tasbirharu and Jan-Andolanka Charraharu.
The Economic Affairs and Planning Minister of Gandaki Province, Kiran Gurung is a standing committee member of the Nepal Communist Party. He is also a former Minister of Forest and Land Conservation.
An architect engineer and former secretary, Kishore Thapa has a master’s degree in Urban Planning and has had leading roles in the road widening drive in Kathmandu and expediting the Melamchi Drinking Water project. He was involved in drafting the 20-year energy development plan and preparing the Outer Ring Road Project, among others. He is with the Sajha party.
Krishna Khanal was Professor of Political Science at Tribhuvan University from 1979 to 2010. He also served as Executive Director of the Centre for Nepal and Asian Studies, Tribhuvan University (1994–95) and as adviser to Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala (1999). He is largely engaged in contemporary political studies, serves as an expert on constitutional discourse, and regularly contributes research-based articles focusing on Nepali politics. He is also known as a civil society activist for peace and democracy.
Kuldeep Kumar is a Hindi poet and a freelance journalist who writes on politics and culture in Hindi and English. He worked in various capacities with United News of India, The Sunday Observer, Sunday, The Sunday Times of India and The Pioneer. He wrote a weekly column for two years for Dubai-based English daily Gulf News. He also reviewed concerts of Hindustani classical music for The Hindu for five years. Presently, he writes a fortnightly column each for The Hindu and Outlook Hindi. He was given the International Foundation for Fine Arts' Media Excellency Award for 2011 by ITC-Music Forum, Mumbai. Recently, Vani Prakashan published a collection of his poems titled Bin Jiya Jeevan.
Kulman Ghising is the Managing Director of Nepal Electricity Authority. He is credited with liberating the country from nearly a decade-long acute power crisis and is associated with the state power utility for over two decades. He has served as the Project Chief of Rahughat Hydroelectricity Project and the Managing Director of Chilime Hydropower Company Ltd under NEA. He was also the Division Chief of Rural Electrification Distribution System Reinforcement Project at NEA. Ghising has decades of experience in power generation, transmission, distribution, and trading business, which includes contract management and dispute settlement in hydropower companies. Ghising has an Executive MBA degree from ACE Institute of Management, a Master’s in Power System Engineering from the Institute of Engineering and a BSC degree in Engineering (Electrical) from the Regional Institute of Technology, Jamshedpur.
Kumari Lama is an avid reader, critic, essayist and teacher. She has published a collection of essays titled Ujyalo Andhakar.
Kunda Dixit is the Editor and Co-Publisher of the Nepali Times newspaper in Kathmandu. He is a graduate of Columbia University, and started out his career as a reporter for the BBC in New York and was the Asia-Pacific Editor for Inter Press Service. He returned to Nepal in 1997 and is the author of several books including the A People War Trilogy and Dateline Earth: Journalism As If the Planet Mattered. He teaches media studies at Kathmandu University and is visiting faculty at New York University's Abu Dhabi Campus. He is a jury member of DSC prize 2019.
Mahesh Bikram Shah is a Madan Puraskar winning writer with several collections of short stories to his credit, including Chhapamakro Chhoro, Sipanhiki Swasni, and his most recent, Bhuinkhat.
Mahesh Bikram Shah
Man Bahadur GC has been in politics for over decades. He was elected as the Mayor of Pokhara Metropolitan City in 2017 local elections.
Man Bahadur GC
Mani Kaphley is a poet who has written over 100 poems. He is also the founder of Himalayan English School, Sindhuli.
He was born in the mid-fifties in Barishal, Bangladesh. His family migrated to West Bengal when he was three. They were first resettled in Bankura at the Shiromanipur Refugee camp. Later, they were forced to shift to the Gholadoltala Refugee Camp, 24 Parganas, and lived there till 1969. However, Byapari had to leave home at the age of fourteen to do odd jobs. At age twenty-four, he came into contact with the Naxals and with the famous labour activist Shankar Guha Niyogi, founder of the Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha at the Dalli Rajhara Mines. He was sent to jail during this time, where he taught himself to read and write. Later, while working as a rickshaw puller in Kolkata, Byapari had a chance meeting with Mahasweta Devi, who urged him to write for her journal Bartika. He has published ten novels and over fifty short stories since. Until recently he was working as a cook with the Hellen Keller Institute for the Deaf and Blind in West Bengal. His novel There’s Gunpowder in the Air is shortlisted for this year’s DSC prize.
Menuka Dhunga is the Achham Correspondent for Kantipur Media Group, and also a radio journalist. She writes extensively on women's issues in the region, particularly Chaupadi (menstrual segregation), the cause of the deaths of many young girls and women.
Mira Rai is a trail runner and sky runner. She has participated in many international competitions and has won numerous awards. She was the winner of 2017 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year.
A commissioner of the National Human Rights Commission, Mohna Ansari is a well-known rights activist and Nepal’s only female attorney from the Muslim community. She was also a commissioner at the National Women Commission from 2010 and 2014. She has worked as Senior Advisor at International IDEA.
Muna Chaudhary is a teacher and writer from Siraha. She is the author of two novels, Jayabardhan Salhesh and Dulaari.
Nanita Maharjan is the first female Nepali body builder. She won the silver and bronze medal in the 8th and 9th World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championship respectively.
Nanita Maharjan Bajracharya
Editor of the news portal nepallive.com and health-based publication Swasthya Khabar, Narayan Amrit has been a professional journalist for close to two decades, with stints at Nepal magazine, Naya Patrika, and Annapurna Post. He has dabbled extensively in literary journalism and editing, besides political and current news beats. He was awarded the International Nepalese Academy Award 2014 amidst a ceremony in London, for his contribution to Nepali journalism and literature.
A doctor by profession, Poet Niraj Bhattarai has the popular anthology ‘Dhuwanko Dhago’ (The Threads of Smoke) to his credit. He debuted in the literary with a collection of gazals and also has another poetry collection.
Paavan Mathema is a journalist, currently working as the Nepal correspondent with the Kathmandu bureau of AFP. She focuses on writing but loves to experiment with photos and videos. She has worked for Nepali Times, CNN International (Hong Kong) and Himal SouthAsian.
Leader, thinker and political analyst Pradeep Giri is a politician and central committee member of the Nepali Congress. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2017 from Siraha 1. He is a polymath and an acclaimed orator with wide ranging knowledge of socialism, Marxism, capitalism, puranas, religion and myths, etc.
Known for his modern folk songs, most recently the hugely popular ‘Galbandi’, Prakash Saput is an artist of many talents – singer, composer, song writer, and producer. In the music field since the last one and half decades, he is most famed for his ‘Dohori Battles’, a modern rendition of the traditional ‘Dohori’ songs where one party sings and the other indulges in witty ripostes and repartees.
Editor-in-chief of the online portal Baahrakhari.com, Prateek Pradhan was previously the editor of Nagarik Daily. He was also the Group Editor of Nagarik and Republica during their establishment in 2009. Pradhan is a Fulbright scholar with over two decades of experience in journalism, half of them as editor in different publications. He worked as the Press Advisor of the Prime Minister of Nepal for a brief period. Throughout his career, he has championed the cause of press freedom, freedom of expression, right to information, democracy, and the rule of law.
Hon. Prithvi Subba Gurung is the current Chief Minister of Gandaki Pradesh, a province in western Nepal. He was member of the 1st Constituent Assembly of Nepal, and also served Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Nepal. He was unanimously selected Parliamentary Party leader of CPN (UML) for Gandaki Pradesh on 11 February, 2018.
Prithvi Subba Gurung
Dr. Priyantha Wijayatunga is currently the Director, South Asia Energy Division of the Asian Development Bank. He was a Senior Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Moratuwa and the founder Director General of the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka. He was also an Academic Visitor at Imperial College London during the period 1993-1998 and has extensively contributed to research involving costing the use of electricity transmission network services of the United Kingdom and Chile. He has contributed extensively in energy sector policy and regulatory activities and has co-authored over 75 publications. Dr. WIjayatunga is currently an Advisory Board member of the Melbourne Energy Institute at the University of Melbourne. He is a Chartered Electrical Engineer, a Member of the Institute of Engineering Technology, UK, Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka. He is a Past President of the Sri Lanka Energy Managers Association.
Rabat or Rambahadur Tamang is a poet and ghazal writer. His first anthology of ghazals, Yesto Belama, received wide acclaim
Rabi Lamichhane is a television presenter, who set the world record for hosting the longest-ever television talk show broadcast. He hosts an immensely popular television show, Sidha Kura Janatasangha.
Rabindra Mishra is the coordinator of the Sajha Party, poet and founder of global charity, Help Nepal Network. He is the former editor-in-chief of BBC Nepali Service. He left the BBC to start the new Sajha Party. He has three books to his credit: Bhumadhyarekha; Khana Pugos, Dina Pugos; and Rabindra Mishraka Kawita.
Raj Kamal Jha is Chief Editor of The Indian Express. The newspaper has won the Vienna-based International Press Institute's India Award for Excellence in Journalism four times. For the newspaper's achievement in investigative journalism, Jha was awarded Journalist of the Year at the Red Ink Awards by the Mumbai Press Club in 2017. He got the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, for his 'journalism and fiction that tell stories of a changing India with honesty and courage.' His fiction has been translated into more than a dozen languages. His fifth novel, The City and the Sea is shortlisted for this year’s DSC prize.
Raj Kamal Jha
Raj Sargam is the author of Chhaughar, a novel that centers around chhaupadi pratha—a tradition that banishes women from their house during their menstruation. Currently, he is with Naya Patrika Daily as a feature writer.
Rajneesh Bhandari is an independent multimedia journalist, investigative reporter, and filmmaker currently based in Kathmandu and South Asia. His multimedia work on different issues have appeared in The New York Times, National Geographic, Aljazeera, AJ+, BBC Reel, Contrast VR, NPR, Fusion, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times and other outlets.
Managing Director of Pokhara Canyoning, Ram Gurung spent many years overseas before he returned to Nepal with a determination to do something in the country.
Ramesh Sayan is a poet and essayist. He has authored two books: Bhagera Bhugolbhari, a collection of poems and Chhuteka Anuhar, an anthology of personal essays, for which he won the Padmashri Sahitya Puraskar.
Reshu Aryal Dhungana is currently the interim Executive Director of USEF-Nepal/Fulbright Commission. She is also a Director at Habeli Outdoor Learning Center. She worked at Ullens Education Foundation from 2009 to 2013, where she also served as Director of Program and Communications. Previously, Ms. Aryal Dhungana was Coordinator at Film South Asia - Festival of South Asian Documentary. She graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1999 with a Bachelors in Anthropology and has completed her joint Masters in Leadership and Educational Change from the National Institute of Education, NTU, Singapore and Teachers College, Columbia University.
Reshu Aryal Dhungana
Rifat Munim is a bilingual writer, essayist, and translator. He is the literary editor of Dhaka Tribune, a leading English daily in Bangladesh. His books include a Bengali translation of Doris Lessing’s The Grass is Singing (Oitijjo, 2010) and Bangladesh in Wikileaks (Daily Star Books, 2013), a book on the US embassy's cables about Bangladesh's politics released by Wikileaks. His essays and articles on different aspects of Bangla literature and South Asian English writing have appeared in Dhaka Tribune, The Daily Star, New Age, Bengal Lights, World Literature Today, English PEN and Scroll. Currently, he is translating Akhteruzzaman Elias’s short stories and Al Mahmud’s poems. Munim, a jury member of this year’s DSC prize, is also working on his first novel about life in Bagerhat, a southern district in Bangladesh.
Literary journalist Rochak Ghimire, original name Ghana Nath Sharma, has spent nearly sixty years of his life writing, compiling and documenting literary anecdotes and trends. For long, he also edited the much-respected literary magazine Rachana (Creation). He is the Founding Member of the Bhairab Puraskar Guthi, a foundation dedicated to one of the most prominent humorists in the country. He was awarded the Uttam Shanti Puraskar in 1999, Padmashri Samman in 2017, and the Mahakavi Devkota Puraskar as well as Jagadish Ghimire Smriti Puraskar in 2018.
An acclaimed essayist from Nepal, Roshan Sherchan has two popular collections of essays, Champaran Blues and Dhobighat Express, to his credit. He also channels his expertise as a biodiversity conservation specialist into his works, which are close to nature and its gifts.
Rupak D. Sharma is Deputy Editor at The Himalayan Times. Prior to this, he has been the Business Bureau Chief at the Himalayan Times and The Kathmandu Post, with over 10 years of experience in business journalism. He writes on Nepalese economy, remittance, energy, trade and transport.
Rupak D. Sharma
Born in Bajura district, the 32 year old Dr. Rupchandra Bishwokarma is the head of District Health Office of Bajura. After completing his MBBS on a scholarship, he returned to his district to serve the villagers. He has been running regular health camps in the villages. It was in his tenure that the District Hospital of Bajura started providing surgery and x-ray services.
An influential voice especially among youth in Nepal, Sabeena Karki began her career as a radio jockey in Kantipur FM in 2000. After a 16-year stint during which her program ‘Maya Bhanne Cheej Yastai Ho’ catapulted her to fame, Karki introduced her own channel, SabsCast, through which she produces podcasts on a variety of issues. She is also a media trainer and lecturer.
Dr. Sanduk Ruit is an award-winning Nepali eye surgeon whose small-incision cataract surgery, which utilizes inexpensive intraocular lenses, has enabled hundreds of thousands of poor cataract patients in Nepal and other countries to regain their sight. Over the last three decades, he has successfully treated over 100,000 people across the developing world, and has been feted all around the world for this astonishing accomplishment. In 2018, the Government of India awarded him the Padma Shri, its fourth highest civilian award. He has previously been awarded Ramon Magsaysay and Nepal’s Prime Minister’s National Talent Award. His biography The Barefoot Surgeon, authored by Australian writer Ali Gripper, was published in June 2018. Its Nepali translation, Sanduk Ruit was published by Fine Print in September 2019.
Sangita Thapa is much-loved for her beautifully penned poems and gazals in Nepali and Hindi. She has held forth in several 'Gazal Sandhyas.'
Sanjeev Uprety taught at the Central Department of English, Tribhuvan University for the more than two decades. He holds a PhD from Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, with a focus on masculinity studies. He has done post-doctoral research on South Asian masculinities at Harvard and UC-Berkeley universities. He is also the author of the Nepali novels Ghanachakkar and Hansa, and the non-fiction Siddhantaka Kura, an interpretation on contemporary western theories in relation to Nepali literary texts and socio-political contexts of Nepal. Dr. Uprety has also dabbled as a theatre artist.
Saraswati Pratikshya is a Pokhara-based poet and novelist. She has published two collections of poetry, including the very well received Bagi Sarangi. Her debut novel Nathiya was shortlisted for the prestigious Madan Puraskar.
An actor and producer, Saugat Malla started out in theatre before joining movies in 2010. He rose to fame for this leading role ‘Haku Kale’ in the movie Loot. Acclaimed as a versatile actor, some of his notable performances include Mukhauta (2014), Soongava: Dance of the Orchids (2012), Lappan Chhappan (2017), Kabaddi Kabaddi (2015) and Fateko Jutta (2017).
Writer, columnist and commentator Saurav is an intriguing public intellectual, with his unique perspective on history, culture, and the workings of society.
Shanta Chaudhary is a social reformer and Member of Parliament. She was forced into child laborer when she was eight and remained a servant till she was eighteen. She then started to become active in politics and became a member of the first constituent assembly under the proportional representation system in 2007. As a member of the CA, she was chosen to lead the Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Means. She is the author of Kamalari Dekhi Sabhasad Samma.
Shashwat has more than 30 years of experience as a creator specializing in reading materials for Nepali children. Children's favorite author Shashwat has also edited several books and magazines. He has authored five dozen products of children's literature, which include pictorial stories and poems. He is currently involved in creating educational materials for students in early grades i.e. one to three. Additionally, Shashwat also facilitated workshops for emerging writers with interest in children's literature. He has received many awards and honors in this field. He believes that children's literature should lead a child into the world of fantasy, and writers should create content based on the interests of today's children of Nepal.
Noted poet Sheetal Kadambini is especially famed for her lyrics like ‘Jhumkawali’ and ‘Kahan Thiyau Timi.’ Her soulful and sensuous gazals are much appreciated.
Shiva Hari Gyawali is a campaigner for social justice and Human Rights, especially interested in the rights of Dalits and marginalized communities. He has published half a dozen research articles on Dalit issues. He writes regularly in national newspapers. He was formerly with Asian Human Rights Commission, Hong Kong.
A former television host of the very popular program Mero Geet, Mero Sandesh, Shivani Singh Tharu is the author of a serious work of fiction, Kathmanduma Ek Din. She has worked for the BBC Media Action as producer and director of radio dramas like Katha Mitho Sarangiko and Kathamala.
Shivani Singh Tharu
Shrinkhala Khatiwada was crowned the 24th Miss Nepal in 2018, following which she went on to win the Multimedia Challenge and the ‘Beauty with A Purpose’ title in Miss World 2018. She has a degree in architecture and is currently working as an architect. She is also the National Chancellor for the International Association of Educators for World Peace and President of The One Home Foundation. She is highly influential with Nepali youth, and is a strong activist for social issues and causes, most recently against ‘chaupadi’ or the practice of banishing menstruating girls and women to cowsheds.
Soma Dutta works on cross-cutting issues of gender, poverty and development in the context of energy access. In the area of energy access, Soma has supported policy makers, practitioners, governments, NGOs and international organizations in project planning; socio-economic, institutional and policy analysis; and capacity building. She has more than 20 years of experience working with policymakers, program practitioners, governments, NGOs and international organizations in Asia and Africa. Experience in project design and planning; socio-economic and institutional analysis; and policy analysis and research. She currently works as a freelance consultant, while also leading an energy access program at ENERGIA (on a part-time basis).
Subhash has worked as Policy, Strategy, and Research Manager with the Governance Facility, a joint initiative of the Governments of Denmark, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland to support the principles of good governance in Nepal, from 2017 to 2018. He served UN Women Nepal Country Office implementing the programmes on economic empowerment of women in Nepal, from 2016 and 2017. He worked as Tax Specialist with the World Bank Group in Washington, DC, the USA in 2015. He served as Development Coordination Analyst at the UNRCHCO Nepal, from 2010 and 2013. He has also worked with UNHCR, JICA, and national level non-governmental organizations in Nepal. Subhash holds a master's degree in International Economics from the Georgetown University in the USA. He has also received master’s degrees in Economic Sociology and English Studies from Tribhuvan University in Nepal. He is deeply motivated by a sense of the need for equal opportunity, equitable redistribution of resources, and giving “voice” for those living in lesser developed areas from all sections of society.
Author of one of the highest selling books in Nepal, Prayogshala, Sudheer Sharma is the chief editor of Kantipur daily. He has edited a book on the Nepalese Army, Nepali Sena : Nagarik Niyantranka Chunauti and contributed many articles to anthologies.
Sumnima Udas is the founder of Museum of Buddhism in Lumbini, her dream project that made her return to Nepal after a successful stint abroad. Previously she worked as a journalist for CNN International based out of New Delhi, Hong Kong and New York. As CNN International’s South Asia correspondent, she covered key political, economic, social, environmental and general interest stories from the region and beyond. She also anchored the CNN International’s flagship show CNN Silk Road—Past Present Future. She received her Master’s Degree from Oxford University’s Modern History faculty.
Mamata, Manita, Anita and Melina Sundas have created history in Nepal by chanting the ancient Vedas, for two reasons: they have broken both traditional gender and ethnic stereotypes to take over this task which was limited to Brahmin males.
Surakshya Panta is an actress and model. She started her film career with Alok Nembang's Ajhai Pani and rose to fame with Dhanapati.
A journalist with Pahilo Post, Swechcha Raut is well regarded for her deeply insightful human interest stories as well as writings on art and culture.
The chief editor of AP1 Television, Tikaram Yatri hosts a popular television program called Tamasoma Jotirgamaya.
Tirtha Shrestha is a poet and culture expert. He is the author of seven collections of poems, mutak, and lyrics. His latest book is Dharsai Dharsako Chakrabyu.
Umesh Chauhan is the editor of Naya Patrika Daily, who is known for his strongly-worded pieces on social and political issues. Also an independent filmmaker, Chauhan has directed the movie ‘Picture’ that sheds light on the illegal organ trade.
Yadab Devkota is a phd candidate at Tribhuwan University. A regular contributor to Nepali newspapers, he is deeply interested in history, culture and archeology.
A popular youth leader, Bhattarai is the former president of ANNFSU, the student wing of CPN-UML (Communist Party of Nepal, Unified Marxist-Leninist). He was elected to the House of Representative from constituency 1, Taplejung district in the 2017 general elections. Currently, he is the Minister of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation.