I am Tara Bhattarai. I’ve worked with GPI since 2007. Born in a very remote village, Manglebung, situated in the most northeastern district of Panchthar of Nepal, I was raised at the house of my maternal parent's, ordinary traditional farmers.
Up to the age of almost 10 years old, I was deprived of the opportunities of education and the facilities of basic health services and transportation, as if the lofty mountains all around had obstructed them all.
Female education was overlooked at that time. A few years later, however, girls started going to school to study. I passed the fifth class at the primary level. Following primary level, there was a more advanced school located two hours away, accessible by walking along precipitous tracks. During sixth grade, I worked hard in my studies and in my domestic chores, including cutting the grass for the cattle and fetching the water pitchers from afar.
My determination to pursue studies prevailed, and I became a high school graduate – the only one among the girls in my village. Following this, I participated actively in the local programs related to female health, sanitation and family planning sponsored by the nongovernmental organizations.
I came down to Jhapa in the plains to live with my eldest maternal uncle, solely to pursue college studies. In my spare time, I coached and tutored the girls, as well as the adult females, of the neighborhood in reading and writing. I was already trained for that by the District Education Office.
After finishing intermediate-level studies, I came to Kathmandu to live with my other uncle. I learned many things, including computer operation.
In 2007, I responded to a public notice in the local daily offering journalism training by a new organization. On selection, I was extensively trained by the amazingly inspiring woman Cristi Hegranes, executive director and founder of Global Press Institute. I have been greatly stimulated to pursue journalism since then.
I have reported so far on more than three dozen various subjects, which have been duly appreciated by the viewers all over the world, for which I am highly indebted to GPI and Cristi in particular for providing me motivation and skill in such achievement.
GPI is very close to my heart because it has greatly motivated me to dig deep into both the good and the bad aspects of the Nepalese society and to expose them to an international arena through modern mass media, which I believe will help the world to understand us better. I am confident that the messages conveyed by the articles published by GPI will prick the conscience of the concerned policymakers, both nationally and internationally. Additionally, GPI has given me meaningful purpose in the journalistic career of my life.
Cristi has been a constant source of inspiration right from the start. I have learned a great deal through her regular advice, suggestions and moral-boosting expressions. I have also been very influenced by her intelligent approach toward issues and dynamism, which I try to incorporate into my own daily life, and I am sure it will continue to encourage me in my pursuit.