Festival begins

LALITPUR: The chariot pulling festival of the Rato Machhindranath, one of the oldest festival of the Kathmandu Valley, began on Friday from Pulchowk in Lalitpur. According to Guthi Sansthan, the organiser of the festival, the chariot reached Gabahal on Friday evening and the pulling would continue for about a month. The Rato Machchhindra is regarded as the god of rain and good harvest. The festival concludes after it reaches Jawalakhel and a traditional bhoto is shown to the public on the auspicious day. — HNS

NC for free press

LALITPUR: Acting president of the Nepali Congress Sushil Koirala has said his party is committed to full-fledged press freedom. At a programme organised here on Friday by Nepali Congress to welcome newly-elected office-bearers of the Federation of Nepali Journalists, Koirala said media persons should play their role for drafting a democratic constitution. Senior NC leader Sher Bahadur Deuba said his party is ready to move ahead with media persons for the institutionalisation of democracy and press freedom. FNJ president Dharmendra Jha demanded that pledge to uphold press freedom be included in the preamble of the new statute. — RSS

Freeship for students

KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare has been providing scholarship to 10 students of Padma Kanya Multiple Campus, Bagbazaar, to study issues related to women. Joint-secretary at the ministry Ritu Raj Bhandari said the freeship had been granted to promote gender equality. — RSS