The remnants of the decade long conflict still remain in one form or the other. Although Nepal is still in the midst of the peace process, the story of those that lost their lives has not become ancient history because their families continue to suffer a terrible mental trauma.
It is the duty of a civilized nation to make sure that widows, orphans and other closest relatives of the victims are treated well in the society.
However, the tragedy of Nepal is that as soon as the Maoist insurgency ended, Nepal has had a series of governments coming in and going out. No government has had time to mull over the imperative to begin a psychological healing process for the little orphans who at times witnessed first-hand brutal killing of their parents either in the hands of the Maoists or the state security forces.
SAF-Nepal ever since 2010 started giving scholarships for 20 orphans to receive music training at the Naad Music School run by well known musician Sarita Mishra. These orphans all of whom are children of victims of Nepal’s conflict (1996-2006) although coming from differing backgrounds sit together everyday and get training in violin, sitar and tabla. They are already quite trained in these instruments and even ready to stage a concert in Kathmandu.
The SAF founded by UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Madanjeet Singh has given scholarships in various disciplines for South Asian students to study fine arts, journalism, and international relations at various UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Institutions of Excellence such as the BNU, Lahore and ACJ, Chennai.
Through the medium of young people, these scholarships have promoted regional cooperation in South Asia. According to SAF-Nepal Chairperson Nishchal N. Pandey who is a well known academic, “some financial assistance was given to the Naad Music School so that these little children could get on in their lives and forget the terrible past.”
Ambassador Singh is author of many classics including the Himalayan Art which was one of the first illustrated books depicting the artifacts of Nepal. This book immensely helped in promoting Nepal’s unique cultural heritage while we were still at the nascent stage of attracting tourists in the country in the 60s.
The Naad School running in a small house in Gaurighat area of Kathmandu is also having about 60 regular students who get training in additional music instruments such as the flute and guitar.