HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: The government and society as a whole have remained oblivious to the grave issue of women substance abuse even when the growing numbers of such substance users in society can no longer be ignored. A ground-breaking research in Nepal on “Women Substance Users” carried out from June 2000 to April 2002 by the Richmond Fellowship Nepal (RFN), Women Research Project (WRP), made way for some alarming revelations about these women substance users (WSUs). The majority of the 200 samples surveyed belonged to the age group of twenty to twenty-nine years – the most productive labour years in a woman’s life. It was found out that 60.5 per cent of the WSUs had first used substance at an early age between 12 to 19 years, indicating that younger girls are gradually falling prey to the menace of substance abuse. Again, 61.5 per cent of them were poly drug users, which could make them vulnerable to diseases transmitted through syringes.
It was found out that 59 per cent of those surveyed were involved in sexwork. While 58.5 per cent of the women were married at some point of time in their life, among them 63.5 per cent were presently living alone. It was revealed that seventy-four per cent of the respondents had not been treated for substance abuse. The survey report of this two year-long participatory research was released on Wednesday.
The findings of the research indicate that these women could be vulnerable
to the risk of HIV/AIDS and other diseases. It was also very clear that support from family and society and gender sensitivity in treatment centres is seriously lacking.
Inner Ring Road to take shape soon
KATHMANDU: The vision of Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) mayor Keshab Sthapit to build an inner Ring Road a few years ago may actually finally be taking concrete shape. Building link roads on the banks of Dhobikhola, Bishnumati and Bagmati corridor will form the inner Ring Road. Upon completion, it is hoped that the inner road will smoothen out traffic congestion in the city and also create shorter routes. The Kathmandu Valley Mapping Programme (KVMP) is conducting preliminary studies as to whether the road can follow the course of Dhobikhola, which will eventually be linked up to a section of the road along Bishnumati, where the initial phase of construction is already underway. According to a KVMP official, demolition of houses in Tahachal, near the banks of Bishnumati river is already being carried out. Dhobikhola and Bishnumati link roads come under KMC, whereas the Bagmati corridor does not fall under KMC.