Archive for the ‘development aid’ Category

Summary: Nepalese journalist Satis Shroff wrote about a Nepalese mother who waits for her to return from the British Gurkha Army in vain. This story has affected thousands of mothers in Nepal, a poverty-stricken country where the sons join the foreign armies  to eke out a living because they have no chance to educate themselves formally, and life is hard and competitive in Nepal. Satis has written a series of articles on the Gurkhas in the media and it was only recently that the Gurkhas were granted the right to stay in Britain, educate their children and receive the benefits of the NHS. For 200 years the loyal, dedicated Gurkhas were treated as merchandise, discriminated and sent home on a hire-and-fire basis. Many Gurkhas have fought their cases against Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) in courts in London and have won in recently because they have at last broken their silence






(Death of a Precious Jewel)



A Nepalese mother sits in front of her verandah, smokes her crude cigarette looks at the lofty Himalayan peaks and asks:

‘My Nepal, what has become of you?’

Your features have changed with time. The innocent face of the Kumari has changed to that of the blood-thirsty countenance of Kal Bhairab, from development to destruction, from bikas to binas.

‘I have lived to see a crown prince who fell in love, but couldn’t assert himself, in a palace where ancient traditions still prevail. Despite Eton college and a liberal education, he chose guns instead of rhetoric, and ended his young life, as well as those of his parents and other royal members. An aunt from London aptly remarked on Nepal TV: He was like the terminator.’

Another bloodshed in a Gorkha palace, recalling the Kot massacre under Jung Bahadur Rana.

You’re no longer the same. There’s insurrection and turmoil against the government and the police. Your sons and daughters are at war, with the Gurkhas again. Maobadis with revolutionary flair, with ideologies from across the Tibetan Plateau and Peru.Ideologies that have been discredited elsewhere, flourish in the Himalayas.

Demanding a revolutionary-tax from tourists and Nepalis with brazen, bloody attacks, fighting for their own rights and the rights of the bewildered common man.

Well-trained government troops at the orders of politicians safe in Kathmandu. Leaders, who despise talks and compromises, flex their tongues and muscles, and let the imported automatic salves speak their deaths. Ill-armed guerrillas against well-armed Royal Gurkhas in the foothills of the Himalayas. Where will this end?

Nepali children have no chance, but to take sides. To take to arms not knowing the reason and against whom. The child-soldier gets orders from grown-ups and the hapless souls open fire.

Hukum is order, the child-soldier cannot reason why.


Shedding precious human blood, for causes they both hold high.


Ach, this massacre in the shadow of the Himalayas.

We, Nepalis, look out of our ornate windows, in the west, east, north and south Nepal and think: how long will this krieg go on? How much do we have to suffer? How many money-lenders, businessmen, civil servants, khaki-clad policemen and Gurkhas do the Maobadis want to kill. Or be killed?

How many men, women, boys and girls have to be mortally injured till Kal Bhairab is pacified by the Sleeping Vishnu? How many towns and villages in the seventy five districts

Do the Maobadis want to free from capitalism? When the missionaries close their schools,

Must the Hindus and Buddhists shut their temples and shrines? Shall atheism be the order of the day? Not in Nepal.

It breaks my heart, as I hear over the radio: Nepal’s not safe for visitors. Visitors who leave their money behind, in the pockets of travel agencies, rug dealers, currency and drug dealers,

and hordes of ill-paid honest Sherpas, Thakali, Gurung and Tamang porters. Sweat beads trickling from their sun-burnt faces, in the dizzy heights of the Dolpo, Annapurna ranges and the Khumbu glaciers, eking out a living and facing the treacherous icy crevasses, snow-outs, precipices and a thousand deaths.

Beyond the beaten trekking paths live the poorer families of Nepal. No roads, no schools, sans drinking water and sans hospitals.

Where aids and children’s work prevail.

The dynasties of Lichhavis, Thakuris and Mallas have made you eternal. Man Deva inscribed his title on the pillar of Changu, after great victories over neighbouring states. Amshu Verma was a warrior and mastered the Lichhavi Code. He gave his daughter in marriage to Srong Beean Sgam Po, the ruler of Tibet, who also married a Chinese princess.


Jayastathi Malla ruled long and introduced the system of the caste, a system based on the family occupation, that became rigid with the tide of time.


Yaksha Malla the ruler of Kathmandu Valley, divided it into Kathmandu, Patan and Bhadgaon for his three sons.

It was Prithvi Narayan Shah of Gorkha, who brought you together, as a melting pot of ethnic diversities, with Gorkha conquests that cost the motherland thousands of ears, noses and Nepali blood. The spoils of that war can be seen even today at the temple in Kirtipur.

The Ranas usurped the royal throne and put a prime minister after the other for 104 years.

104 years of a country in poverty and medieval existence. It was King Tribhuvan’s proclamation and the blood of the Nepalis, who fought against the Gorkhas under the command of the Ranas, that ended the Rana autocracy.

His son King Mahendra saw to it that he held the septre when Nepal entered the UNO. The multiparty system along with the Congress party was banned. Then came thirty years of Panchayat promises of a Hindu rule with a system based on the five village elders, like the proverbial five fingers in one’s hand, that are not alike and yet functioned in harmony.

The Panchayat government was indeed an old system, from the holy days of the Vedas, packed and sold as a new and traditional one.

A system is just as good as the people who run it. And Nepal didn’t run. It revived the age-old chakary, feudalism  with its countless spies and yes-men, middle-men who held out their hands for bribes, perks and amenities.

Poverty, caste-system with its divisions and conflicts, discrimination, injustice, bad governance became the nature of the day.

A big chasm appeared between the haves-and-have-nots. The social inequality, frustrated expectations of the poor led to a search for an alternative pole. The farmers were ignored, the forests and land confiscated, corruption, bad-governance and inefficiency became the rule of the day.

Even His Majesty’s servants went so far as to say: Raja ko kam, kahiley jahla gham.

This birthplace of the holy and enlightened Buddha and the Land of Pashupati, a land which King Birendra declared a Zone of Peace, through signatures of the world’s leaders was at war a decade long.

Bush’s government paid 24 million dollars for development aid, another 14 million dollars for insurgency relevant spendings, 5,000 M-16 rifles from the USA, 5,500 machine guns from Belgium.

Guns that were aimed at Nepali men, women and children in the mountains of Nepal. Alas, under the shade of the Himalayas, this corner of the world became volatile again.

People I knew changed sides, from Mandalay to Congress, from Congress to the Maobadis.

From Hinduism to Communism. Even Nepal’s bahuns vied with each other to become the first communists for there were important political positions to be given away to party-members. Ah, Dolpo and Silgadi, made unforgettable by Peter Mathiessen in his quest for his inner self, and his friend George Schaller’s search for the snow leopard, was where Nepali students wrote Marxist verses and acquired volumes from the embassies in Kathmandu: Kim Il Sung’s writings, Mao’s red booklet, Marx’s Das Kapital and Lenin’s works. They defended socialist ideas at His Majesty’s Central Hostel in Tahachal and elsewhere. This was the fruit of the scholarships given to Nepalese students by the Soviet government to later create a Russian-speaking elite in developing and least-developed countries, just the way the Brits had done with the Indians, Burmese, Malays and Africans in their former colonies.

I see their earnest faces, then with books in their arms, later with guns. Trigger-happy, boisterous and ready to fight to the end for a cause they cherish in their frustrated and fiery hearts: to do away with poverty, royalty, corruption, nepotism and capitalism and feudalism.

But weren’t these sons of Nepal misguided and blinded by the initially sweeping victories of socialism?

Even Gorbachov, the baldy man with a red forehead, pleaded for Peristroika, and Putin had shown his admiration for Germany, its culture and commerce.

Look at the old Soviet Union, and other East Bloc nations. They have all swapped sides and are EU and Nato members.

Globalisation has changed the world fast, but in Nepal time stands still. The blind beggar at the New Road gate sings: lata ko desh ma, gaddha tantheri. In a land where the tongue-tied live, the deaf desire to rule.


Oh my Nepal, quo vadis?

The only way to peace and harmony  is by laying aside the arms forever. Let there be no more bloodshed among the Nepalese and Gurkhas, and let no Gurkha raise his khukri against another’s throat. I know it’s wishful thinking in this Kali Yuga, this Age of  Darkness. I wanted my son to be an educated person with the pension earned by my husband, but he went his own way, following others like him in their youthful, capricious manners. He became a school dropout, joined the British Gurkhas in Dharan and away he was out in the wide world, across the Black Waters, as we call the Oceans. He wrote beautiful cards from Hong Kong, the Rhine towns and London. I felt so proud to have a son who wrote such lovely cards, I a Gurkha widow, withering in the foothills of the Himalayas.

Sometimes I ask myself, can Nepal afford to be the bastion of a movement and a government

that rides rough-shod over the lives and rights of fellow Nepalis? Can’t we learn from the lessons of Afghanistan and Iraq? The people in the Hindukush must be suffering since centuries. The Pathans and Pashtoon chieftains fought even in the times of Queen Victoria and even before that. The British took their Gurkha troops to fight against the Afghans. A British captain wrote home to his parents: ‘You have no idea what fine little fellows the Goorkhas are. They actually do not know what fear is.’

Yes, this fearless attitude has been a boon to the Gurkhas but also the cause of death, which has made thousands of Gurkha mothers weep dearly. I dare not think about the mothers of the soldiers slain by our Gurkhas. The Gurkhas were our sons and when they were in battle they also had fear like any other soldiers. Piles of letters written by the Gurkhas in the battlefields were confiscated, censored and not sent to families and relatives in Nepal. The Gurkhas love their legends but behind these legends there’s also another story. The story of a soldier who was discriminated by his officers, cheated by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). When a British Gurkha became an invalid or developed illness, he was shipped to Nepal as soon as possible, and didn’t enjoy the benefits of the NHS. Healthy Gurkhas were and are always good Gurkhas. The Royal Palace and the former Nepalese governments did little to assist the Gurkhas in their demands for equal pay in the British Army. In the Falkland War the Argentinians protested at the UNO that the Brits were using mercenaries to fight under the Union Jack. The British MoD replied that the Gurkhas were a part of the British Army. If they were a part of the British Army when had they been given only half the pay that a British Tommy got? Why weren’t the children of the Gurkhas given the right to learn and sit for the GCE examinations? Why were Gurkhas just sacked and sent home on the hire-and-fire principle? Perhaps because we Nepalese or Gurkhas haven’t put much emphasis on education and there are only a few Nepalese who are solicitors who can put the case of the Gurkhas forwards in the British, European or International courts.

Meanwhile, the Maobadis, as Maoists are called in Nepal, have been given a chance at the polls, like all other democratic parties, for the Maobadis are bahuns and chettris, be they Prachanda or Baburam Bhattrai, leaders who fought against monarchy and later even preferred to retain it in Nepal.

After the massacre of the Royals in the Narayanhiti Palace by Prince Dipendra, Birendra’s brother Gyanendra Shah ascended the throne in a blitz ceremony. What better chance for a constitutional monarch, a re-incarnated Vishnu, who held the executive, judiciary, legislative, spiritual and temporal powers in the shadow of the Himalayas to flourish again? The people thought otherwise, and the Nepalese Maoists marched into Kathmandu and the Valley became a scarlet sea.


* * *



The Gurkha with a khukri but no enemy, works not for his country but for the Queen of England since the times of Queen Victoria. Yet gets shot at in missions he doesn’t comprehend. Order is hukum, hukum is life and Johnny Gurkha still dies under foreign skies.

He never asks why, politics isn’t his style. He’s fought against all and sundry: Turks, Tibetans, Italians and Indians, Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Argentinians and Vietnamese, Indonesians and Iraqis.

Loyalty to the utmost and never fearing a loss. The loss of a mother’s son from the mountains of Nepal.

My grandpa died in Burma for the glory of the British. My husband in Mesopotemia, I honestly do not know against whom for no one did tell me. My brother fell in France, against the Teutonic hordes.

I pray everyday to Shiva of the Snows for peace and my son’s safety. My joy and my hope, as I do farming on a terraced slope. A son who helped wipe my tears and ease the pain in my mother-heart. I’m his frugal mother, who lives by the seasons and peers down to the valleys, year in and year out in expectation of my dear soldier son.

One fine day, two smart Gurkhas are underway, heard from across the hill with a shout, as is the communication-custom in our hilly country:

‘It’s an officer from his battalion and an orderly.’

A letter with a scarlet seal and two poker-faces.

‘Your son died on duty,’ said the blue-eyed and red-headed British officer, ‘keeping peace for the country and Her Majesty the Queen of England.’ The Gurkha orderly near him translated into Nepali.

A world crumbled down. I couldn’t bring myself to utter even a word. Gone was my son, my precious jewel. My only insurance and sunshine in the craggy hills of Nepal. And with him my dreams. A spartan life that kills.

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Creative Writing Critique (Satis Shroff): Fire in the Blood

Creative Writing Critique (Satis Shroff): FIRE IN THE BLOOD

Review: Irene Nemirovsky Fire in the Blood, Vintage Books, London 2008,

153 pages, 7,99 Sterling Pounds (ISBN: 978-0-099-51609-5)

Denise Epstein was 13 when her mother Irene Nemirovsky was deported to Auschwitz, where she eventually died in 1942. The daughter is now an octogenarian and was instrumental in helping her mother attain her place in the world literature. Irene Nemirovsky was a writer who could look into the souls of humans and make music with words. Her masterpiece Suite francaise was published in France in 2004 and was immediately awarded the Prix Renaudot.

The characters of Fire in Blood are  drawn from a rural French town in Burgundy, a wine-growing area where people are simple and stick together, want to retain their ‘peace’ and don’t like the police and the authorities. A place where all people show conformity and keep their mouths shut. Peace is a synonym for not wanting to be involved in the affairs of other people. The author’s attitude towards the characters has a universal appeal, for it could happen anywhere in the world in a closed-circuit society where outsiders are shunned and not generally accepted. Nemirovsky shows not only what people do to others but also what the passage of time does to us all. The characters aren’t flat and every character bounds into life and you an imagine the world that she creates in her 153 page novel still goes on with its own pace without much changes. The community itself shows a predatory behaviour of extreme cunning.

The major theme of Fire in Blood is love, poverty, arranged marriages and extra-marital affairs that lead to complications and new story developments. The protagonist Sylvestre also called Silvio tells the story in the first person singular and recalls stories in front of the fireplace about his beautiful, graceful cousin Helene and her daughter Colette, Brigitte Delos and Francoise, their marriages, happiness and boredom and the seasonal changes of the Burgundy countryside. Silvio speaks about impatient young people and the perfectly balanced older people at peace with themselves and the world, despite the creeping fear of death. The book is replete with the truths, deaths, marriages, children, houses, mills, dowry, haves and have-nots, stinginess, love-affairs, hatred, deception and betrayal.  Nemirovsky is an excellent story-teller and reveals her tale of flaws and cruelties of the human heart in an intricately woven story. She builds up suspense and you feel the catharsis when an innocent-looking protagonist tells her version of how a man was murdered.

The theme is traditional and familiar and is psychologically and socially interesting in intent.

Silvio tells about his childhood and about children asking their parents how they met, fell in love and married. He also mentions past loves, former grudges, inheritances, law suits and who-married-whom and why in the French provincial setting. The story plot is slow at the beginning but gathers momentum, and the climax is not the murder but how the author unfurls the story of the confession. In the end Silvio confides to the reader how much he still loves his dear cousin Helene, who’s married to Francoise.

The intellectual qualities of writing of Nemirovsky are her cheerfulness, sudden twists and power of observation which flow into the story making it a delightful read. She gives you the impression that her tale is linear, only to show you that there’s a twist that takes narration in another direction. Silvio, the Ich-Erzähler, says to Colette, who wants to involve him in her family drama: ‘Tell them you have a lover and that he killed your husband.. What exactly did happen?’

wit and humour and there’s rhythm in the tale.

Nemirovsky employs the stylistic device of symbolism to characterise the farmers and their hypocritical nature, how they mob people they don’t prefer to have around them and how they indulge in backbiting. A stingy 60 year old farmer marries  a lovely 20 year old woman and the gossips begin. Silvio remembers how Colette had once told him he resembled a faun: ‘an old faun, now, who has stopped chasing nymphs and who huddles near the fireplace.’

This is the confession of a man who had once fire in blood, and a meditation on the various stages of life, the passing of time, in which youth and age are at odds. A recurring theme is the seed from which problems grow: ‘Imagine a field being saved and all the promise that’s contained in a grain of wheat, all the future harvests…well, it’s exactly the same in life.’

Nemirovsky’s use of dialogue is very effective and takes the story forward.

Her literary oeuvre ranges from an extraordinary collection of papers,  Fire in the Blood, Suite francaise, David Golder, Le Bal, the Courilof Affair, All Our Worldly Goods.

The Germany titles are: Die Hunde und die Wölfe, Feuer im Herbst, Herbstfliege, Leidenschaft, Die Familie Hardelot, Der Fall Kurilow and Irene Nemirovsky: Die Biographie.

* * *

Irene Nemirovsky: COLD BLOOD (Satis Shroff)

Subtitle: Moaning in All Eternity

Six decades ago,

My life came to an end,

In Auschwitz.

I, Irene Nemirovsky, a writer

Of Jewish-Russian descent,

Died in Auschwitz.

I live now in my books,

In my daughter’s memories,

Who’s already an octogenarian,

Still full of love and fighting spirit:

For she fights against

The injustice of those gruesome days.

I was thirty-nine,

Had asthma,

Died shortly after I landed in Auschwitz.

I died of inflammation of my lungs,

In the month of October.

That very year the Nazis deported

Michael Epstein, dear my husband,

Who’d pleaded to have me,

His wife, freed from the clutches

Of the Gestapo.

They also killed him.

My daughters Denise 13,

And Elizabeth 5,

Were saved by friends

Of the French Resistance,

Tucked away in a cloister for nuns,

Hidden in damp cellars.

They had  my suitcase with them,

Where ever they hid,

Guarding it like the Crown Jewels.

To them it was not only a book,

But my last words,

That I’d penned in Issy-l’Eveque.

I wanted to put together five manuscripts

In one: Suite Francaise,

That was my writer’s dream.

I could put only

‘Storm in July’ and ‚Dolche’


I passed away early in August 1942.

Too early.

In my two books I’ve written

About the flight of the Parisians

From the victorious Germans,

The awful situation in an occupied hamlet.

Small people and collaborators,

Who’d go to extremes

To save their skins,

Like ants in a destroyed ant-hill.

It’s sixty years hence,

But my work hasn’t lost its glow,

Like the lava from an erupting volcano.

You can feel its intensity,

When an entire nation

Was humiliated and had to capitulate,

Losing its grace, dignity and life.

I was born in Kiew,

Fled to Paris via Finnland and Sweden,

After the Russian Revolution.

I was a maniac,

When it came to reading,

Had a French governess,

Went often to the Cote d’ Azure and Biarritz.

I studied literature in Sorbonne in 1919.

Shortly thereafter,

I began to write:

About my Russian past,

My wandering years.

The colour of the literature I wrote

Is blood from an old wound.

From this wound I’ve drawn

The maladies of the society,

Human folley.

I was influenced by writers,

From Leo Tolstoi to Henrik Ibsen.

An unhappy childhood,

Is like when your soul has died,

Without a funeral:

Moaning in all eternity.

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“Entwicklungshilfe ist, wenn die armen Leute eines reichen Landes für die reichen Leute eines armen Landes Geld spenden.” Denis Healey, one-time British Defence Minister.

Culture Specific Self-help in Nepal (Satis Shroff)

Das Prinzip der Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe hat eine emanzipatorische und eine restriktive Seite. Es unterstreicht die anthropologische Annahme, daß Menschen in der Lage sind, ihr Leben in eigener Bestimmung und Verantwortung zu gestalten. Die Betonung von Selbsthilfe (Selbstorganisation) kann einerseits als Warnung vor staatlicher Bevormundung verstanden werden, andererseits kann sie als Rechtfertigung staatlicher Untätigkeit in strukturellen Krisensituationen benutzt werden. Selbsthilfegruppen in Nepal sind kulturspezifisch. Messerschmidt1 schreibt: „Die Idee von kleinen Gruppen von Verbrauchern, die als Nachbarfamilien zusammenarbeiten, produktive Aktivitäten gestalten, gemeinsames Landmanagement oder öffentliche Arbeitsentwicklungen sind eine gut etablitierte Tradition in Nepal“.

Der Entwicklungswerker könnte auch hier tätig werden mit ergänzender Schuldner- bzw. vernünftiger Finanzberatung und sozialen, psychosozialen Beratungs- und Betreuungsangeboten. Solche ergänzende Hilfen sind sehr wichtig für die einfachen, ungebildeten ländlichen Einwohner Nepals. Eines der Prinzipien der Entwicklungshilfe sagt, man solle „dort anfangen, wo der Klient steht“. In den beratenden und helfenden Angeboten kann der Entwicklungswerker nicht über die Geisteshaltung des Klienten hinwegsehen. Die Nichtachtung oder Mißachtung einer soziokulturellen Gegebenheit kann von vornherein die Kommunikation zwischen Sozialarbeiter (NGO-Experte, Ärzte, Schwestern, Pflegepersonal) verkümmern lassen. Auf die erkannte Fähigkeit des Klienten zu vertrauen, sein Selbstwertgefühl zu stärken und ihn ein Weg zur Selbsthilfe sein, ist die Aufgabe des Entwicklungshelfers.

Es wäre wichtig, solche traditionellen2 Organisationsformen zu unterstützen und zu fördern, damit die Ethnien in Nepal davon lernen und profitieren können. Denn es ist höchste Zeit, daß den ländlichen Armen,3 die seit Jahrhunderten von den höheren Kastenangehörigen sozial,-, kulturell, politisch und wirtschaftlich dominiert, unterdrückt und benachteiligt worden sind, endlich geholfen wird, auf eigenen Füßen zu stehen. Dieses Ziel wäre durch die Re-vitalisierung der induzierten Selbsthilfegruppen in den verschiedenen Ethnien zu erreichen.

Die GTZ RRD4 Projekte haben in der Vergangenheit gezeigt, daß die induzierten Selbsthilfe organisationen durchaus funktionieren. Hinzu kommen die einheimischen intraethnischen Selbsthilfeorganisationsformen, die jahrzehntelang erfolgreich eingeführt worden sind. Die ländlichen Bewohner Nepals sind familiär mit kurzfristigen oder wenig permanenten Selbsthilfegruppen, die für verschiedene Zwecke zusammengestellt werden. Zum Beispiel:

Landwirtschaftliche Selbsthilfegruppen wie kulobanaune (irrigation channel maintenance Gruppe), mal bokne (Düngeträger), khetala (Feldarbeitern), ropahar (Pflanzer von Getreiden), hali (Pflüger/Bauer), parma (Gruppenarbeitsaustausch Gemeinschaft) und gothalo (Schäfer).

Forstwirtschaftselbsthilfegruppen wie bana djane (Waldarbeiter), ghas katne (Grassschneider), pat tipne (Futtersammler), und daura tipne (Feuerholzsammler).

Soziokulturelle Selbsthilfegruppen wie guthi (bei den Newars vom Katmandutal), rodi (Kommunale Gruppe von den Gurungs) und bheja (kommunale Gemeinschaft).

Religiöse Selbsthilfegruppe wie kirtan-bhajan mandali (Hymne bzw. Gesangsgruppe).

Politische Selbsthilfegruppe wie die pancha bhaladmi (Fünf ehrenhafte Gentlemen) und dharma panchayat (örtlicher Rat).

Andere, auf der kommunalen Ebene auch wichtige Organisationsformen in Nepal sind: die dhikuri vom Thakalistamm, wobei es um freiwillige Rotations-Kredit-Gemeinschaften geht; die Guthisysteme von den Newars (hier handelt es sich um kommunale Tempel und Land „tenure“ Gemeinschaften; die parma/nogar/pareli/porima (Gruppenarbeitstauschkooperativen); Baglungs Hängebrücke (suspension bridge) Baubewegung; chhatis maudja Kommunale Irrigation Organisation. Manche Organisationen scheinen formell zu sein, aber strukturell sind sie informell. Manche sind kasten- bzw. ethnien-bezogen, und andere sind weit verbreitet in ganz Nepal. Bhattachan5 meint, daß „obwohl die dhikuri, parma und guthi in der Natur ad hoc sind, sind sie dennoch sehr beständig, produktiv und lohnend für die Mitglieder“.

Des weiteren stellen verschiedene Projekte und Initiativen in eigener Trägerschaft ein Beratungsfeld für Entwicklungshelfer dar, wie die Straßenkinder von Katmandu und die Slumarbeit im Sinne von Mutter Theresas Orden in Kalkutta. Solche NGOs suchen auch die Zusammenarbeit mit Entwicklungshilfeinstitutionen (wie UNDP, GTZ, DED, Helvetas, OXFAM etc.) damit gute Kooperation entstehen kann.

Deutsche Regierungsorganisationen (GOs und NGOs6) in Nepal: Dem Gesundheitssektor Nepals wird allgemein bei der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit ein hoher Stellenwert eingeräumt. Dies drückt sich nicht zuletzt darin aus, daß viele Organisationen und Einrichtungen sich in diesem Sektor engagieren. Neben den multilateralen Organisationen wie Weltbank, WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA etc. ist vor allem das britische DFID (Department for International Development) stark in Nepal vertreten.

Der Gesundheitssektor stellt einen Schwerpunktsektor der deutschen7 Entwicklungszusammenarbeit mit Nepal dar. Gegenwärtig werden folgende Vorhaben in Nepal gefördert:

Primary Health Care8 Project (PHC): Dieses Vorhaben hat die Stärkung der zentralen Programm-Planung und -Steuerung im Gesundheitsministerium, Verbesserungen der Aus- und Weiterbildung des Gesundheitspersonals sowie die Entwicklung von dezentralisierten Gesundheits- und Familienplanungssystemen zum Gegenstand. Das Projekt existiert seit 1994, und die Planung reicht bis weit in das nächste Jahrhundert.

Im Frühjahr 1998 werden zwei weitere durch die GTZ geförderte Projekte beginnen. Zum einen das Vorhaben Reproduktive Gesundheit, welches darauf abzielt, daß Frauen, Männer und Jugendliche verstärkt die Möglichkeit nutzen, vorbeugende, gesundheitsfördernde und kurative Praktiken im Bereich reproduktiver Gesundheitsförderung anzuwenden. Desweiteren ist das Projekt Instandhaltung im Gesundheitswesen geplant, das eine Verbesserung des administrativen Instandhaltungssystems sowie die Verbesserung des Zustandes medizinischer Geräte und Ausrüstungsgegenstände in Gesundheitseinrichtungen zum Inhalt hat.

Bis neulich hatten 93% von Nepals Einwohner keine Möglichkeit Gesundheitsfürsorge zu erhalten. Im Jahre 1991 hat die nepalesische Regierung eine „New Health Policy“ verabschiedet, wobei 4000 Sub Health Posts (SHPs) eingeführt werden sollen, um eine primäre Gesundheitsfürsorge zu fördern. Dieses Programm wird von GTZ (beratende Funktion) und KfW (zuständig für die Ausrüstung und Medikamente mit 10 Mio DM Kapital) unterstützt. Die Idee ist, ein neues und landesweites Netzwerk von Sub Health Posts zu errichten. Die Dörfer sollen die SHPs selbst unterstützen. Seit 1991 sind viele Nepalis im Gesundheitsbereich trainiert worden und jedes Jahr werden 500 SHPs eröffnet. Die Träger dieses Projektes sind: Die japanische Regierung, UNICEF, Nippon Foundation und die deutsche Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW).

NGOs: Als Konkurrenz zu Nepals Ministerien oder als Ergänzung? „Es gibt zu viel Konkurrenzdenken unter den Geldgeber-Nationen und somit ist jede Kooperation gescheitert“ schreibt einst Toni Hagen (Schweiz9). Der Nepali-Publizist Kanak Mani Dixit fragt: „Die zentrale Frage bei der Vergabe von Entwicklungsgeldern ist, ob die Geber etwas für ihr Geld sehen. Hat die ausländische Finanzhilfe als Katalysator gewirkt, um den Lebensstandard der Bevölkerung zu erhöhen? Hat das Land ein Ziel erreicht, das Nepal auf anderem Weg nicht hätte erreichen können? Die Antwort lautet nein.“

Harka Gurung10 war der Meinung, dass „For environment, population control, women’s development, NGO11 is the latest fag. Home governments don’t like the NGOs because there is too much of paper processing by the immigration department. But the NGOs are the creation of the donor agencies as an alternative mechanism. They say your normal administrative channel never reaches the poor which the NGOs can do. So this is also an imposed idea. But the problem is: How do you coordinate 480 projects and 900 NGOs?“

Das Geld ausländischer Steuerzahler ist in Nepal verschwendet worden und das, obwohl es zugleich die Energie zur Eigeninitiative für Nepali untergrub“. Dixit ist der Meinung, dass die ausländische Hilfe die in Katmandu ansässigen Eliten des Landes vergiftete und das gesamte Land wie von einer Droge abhängig machte. Hier muß man erwähnen, daß es auch außergewöhnliche Programme seitens der Deutschen oder Schweizer12 gibt, die bescheiden und effektiv darum bemüht sind, das nepalesische Leben zu verbessern. Die meisten Geber konzentrieren ihre Gelder kaum auf die wirklichen Probleme. Die auswärtige Entwicklungshilfe hat die Macht und die Privilegien im Katmandutal zentralisiert. Sie hat die alten Reichen hofiert und unterstützend dazu beigetragen, daß eine Gruppe Neureicher entstand. Die Entwicklungshilfe hat somit ein Abhängigkeitssyndrom13 geschaffen, das sich von der Regierungsebene bis hinunter auf das Dorfniveau erstreckt. Daher erwartet jedermann in Nepal ein Entwicklungshilfeteam, gleichgültig, ob dieses eine Fernstraße bauen oder nur ein paar Setzlinge einpflanzen soll.

In Nepal bildet ein weitverzweigtes Fußwegnetz das Rückgrat jeglicher Kommunikation und Entwicklung. Ab Ende der 50er Jahre setzte Helvetas die ersten Schweizer Ingenieure für Hängebrückenprojekte ein. Nepal verfügt über eine jahrhundertealte Tradition im Bau von Brücken, welche die zahllosen Gewässer überquerten. Wo einfache Holzstege nicht mehr genügten, bauten die nepalesischen Fachleute Hängebrücken mit handgeschmiedeten Ketten. Dennoch konnten breitere Flüsse auf diese Weise nicht überbrückt werden. Die Regierung beauftragte zuerst eine schottische Firma, an verschiedenen Flussübergängen Brücken mittels Kabel zu bauen. Abgestützt auf die von dem Schweizer einstigen Geologen Toni Hagen erarbeiteten Grundlagen entstanden Ende der 50er Jahre unter der Leitung der ersten Helvetas-Fachleute im Marsyandi-Tal, einer wichtigen alten Handelsroute , vier Hängebrücken. Ab 1987 entstand das Konzept des „Brückenbaus auf lokaler Ebene“. Es geht davon aus, daß vielerorts Wissen über die Brückenbau vorhanden ist, daß die Nepalesen im Stande sind, ihre Bedürfnisse zu artikulieren und daß sie wissen, wo sie ihre Brücke haben wollen, und auch daß sie bereit sind; die Verantwortung für die Durchführung eines solches Projektes zu übernehmen und, soweit möglich, eigene Ressourcen zu mobilisieren.


Satis Shroff versteht sich als ein Vermittler zwischen westlicher und östlicher Kultur im schriftstellerischen und poetischen Sinne.

1 Messerschmidt, Donald A.: Dhikur: Rotating Credit Associations in Nepal, In: James F.Fischer (ed.), Himalayan Anthropology, Mouton Publishers Hague 1978

2 Weitere traditionelle Initiativen sind: „Mankah Khala“ of the Newars of Katmandu, „Fikkal Lepcha Gumba of Ilam“ or the ubiquitous labor exchange groups called „Parma“ but also a large assortment of more modern initiatives such as „Sano Kalpana cooperative society of the Magars of Madhuvasa, or the multi-caste „Social Service Association“ of Bhote Bahal, Katmandu or the „Janajyoti Secondary School“ of Rolpa in Rapti Zone.

3 Die Armen Nepals gehören meistens zu den ethnisch benachteiligten Bergstämme und niederen Kasten.

4 GTZ: RRD Concept and Guideline, Eschborn 1988.

5 Bhattachan, Krishna Bahadur: A Case Study of the GTZ Supported Self-Help Promotion Programs in Nepal, In: Social Economy and National Development, Nepal Foundation for Advanced Studies Katmandu 1996.

6 GO=Government Organisations; NGO: Non-Governmental Organisations

7 Deutsche Entwicklungsdienst (DED): German Volunteer Service has 32 specialists in Nepal, where it has been active for 30 years. It was the first German organisation to operate in Nepal.The DED seconds young, qualified specialists as volunteers who support local projects without any commercial motive.

8The PHC approach has been tested by the GTZ project in the hill district of Chading and the Terai district of Sihara since 1994. According to Team Leader Dr. Steinmann, it is too much for the inexperienced villagers to set up and run a SHP without any assistance. The success of the PHC depends to a large degree on the capacity of the district health administration“.Girrbach, Bernd: Health Everywhere, In: Akzente Focus: Nepal, Eschborn S. 17

9Hagen,Toni: In Himal, Himal Publications, Patan Nov/Dec 1989, S. 22.

10 Harka Gurung : Foreign Aid and the Role of NGOs in the Development Process of Nepal, Nepal Foundation for Advanced Studies (in Zusammenarbeit mit Friedrich Ebert Stiftung), Katmandu 1994 S. 78

11 NGO: The PACT Report (1987: 26-39) categorizes four kinds of NGOs consisting of international NGOs, National NGOs, Primary Groups, and Larger Organisations.In the 1991 edition of the Directory of NGOs in Nepal published by the Social Service national Coordination Council (SSNCC), there were 412 NGOs registered with the Council, of which 408 have been classified based on specific districts. The list includes 32 hill districts, 17 Tarai districts, and the three districts of Katmandu Valley which make up altogether 52 districts of the country. (Quelle:“ Foreign Aid & the Role of NGOs“, S.88)

12 Helvetas: Fest in Schweizer Hand waren die ersten Hängebrückenprojekte in den 60er Jahren von Helvetas in Nepal. Partner war die nepalesische Regierung.

13 Abhängigkeitssysdrom: Another fact of life for most NGOs in Nepal is their dependence on foreign resources. SSNCC reported in its fiscal report in 2045/46 Bikram Sambat (1988/89) such dependence was to the tune of 74%, which grew to 84% in the following fiscal year and to 86.86 % in 2047/48 (1990/91). Quelle: Foreign Aid and the Role of NGOs in the Development Process of Nepal, Nepal Foundation for Advanced Studies (in Zusammenarbeit mit Friedrich Ebert Stiftung), Katmandu 1994 S. 92


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