Like most Nepalis, Sriram Das, Tika Bahadur Khadka and Niroj Pradhan were directly affected by the war. But because all three had a positive mental attitude, they have been able to rescue themselves from the memories of the war's trauma and presented themselves as model citizens at a program organized by Radio Sagarmatha in Hetauda this weekend. "If I had carried a feeling of revenge, perhaps I'd have joined a militant group by now," says Das who is now a teacher and whose father was murdered by the Maoists during the war. Says Das: "My family decided to turn the loss into an opportunity to work for the upliftment of our community."
Khadka's family fled Maoist excesses in its native Dolakha during the war to settle down in Hetauda. Internally displaced Khadka started a business and is taking care of his family. "We felt it was better to make a living than to live like a refugee and be dependent on others," Khadka says.
Pradhan's fields in Palung Valley were washed away by floods in 1995, and during the war it was difficult to be a farmer selling produce in the market. But Pradhan persevered and set up a cooperative that now send up to 10 trucks of vegetabes a day to Kathmandu. "The farmers now have an opportunity to earn in the village and don't have to migrate to work," he says. "Even those who had gone abroad have now returned."