Towards Stardom: Spreading Message of Conservation
Ritu Lama, one of the winners of the song competition organized by the Hariyo Ban Program on International Women's Day, smiles as she gets ready to enter the recording studio. "I am very excited to get my song recorded. I want to pursue singing as a career and this is a huge encouragement."
On the 103rd International Women's Day, the USAID funded Hariyo Ban Program organized a campaign on the theme "Amplifying unheard voices of women leadership in conservation and climate change". The campaign focused on messages about best practices and challenges faced by local women active in natural resource management through inspiring songs and poetry.
Competitions were held in 15 districts in the Terai Arc Landscape and Chitwan-Annapurna Landscape where the Hariyo Ban Program works. Winners from the districts participated in the landscape-level semi-finals held in Pokhara and Chitwan. The semi-final winners then participated in the national level grand finale in Kathmandu on 8th March 2013. The winners were Ritu Lama and Uday Nepali in the song category and Basanta Subedi and Jayananda Joshi in the poetry category.
The winners’ songs and poems have been recorded by the Hariyo Ban Program. Their important messages about women’s empowerment in conservation will be aired via national radio and local FMs in various parts of Nepal.
Below are a few glimpses from various stages of the competition.
Participants from Bara, Parsa, Chitwan, Nawalparasi and Rautahat gather in Chitwan for the initial audition.
One of the judges, popular folk singer Mr. Padamraj Dhakal, welcomes the participants in Pokhara with his song on women’s empowerment. (Watch the video below.)
The audience in Pokhara awaits the performances.
A female participant sings her original song to a folk tune.
Visually impaired participant Toya Bishwakarma sings his song, feeling the lyrics on a braille paper.
Basanta Subedi recites his poem in the final competition in Kathmandu. "I hope I performed well," he smiles afterwards.
Reputed personalities from the fields of music, literature, development and media in Nepal judge the final competition.
Ritu Lama receives first prize in the song category for her song "Sisters need to understand".
The winners of the song and poetry competitions receive prizes at the final competition held in Kathmandu.
"I am very excited that I have won. It is a great achievement." Ritu Lama gives an interview after winning the competition.
Ritu Lama performs live in front of a crowd of hundreds of people in Pokhara on the occasion of Earth Hour alongside nationally celebrated singers Nima Rumba and Abhaya. "I sang with all my heart and I am glad the audience liked my performance."
Udaya Nepali practices his song in Kathmandu before the recording. "This is my first time recording in a studio. It has been a long awaited dream and I never believed it would come true."
Jayananda Joshi records his poem in a studio in Katmandu. "I never thought my poem would be the ticket to visit Kathmandu twice and be treated with such honor."
By Pallavi Dhakal, Communications Officer, Hariyo Ban Program, WWF Nepal
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Disclaimer: The Hariyo Ban Program is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of this article are the responsibility of WWF and its consortium partners and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.