Danuwar youths present radio show in mother tongue

Dhulikhel, December 27:

Two youths belonging to the Danuwar community who run a weekly programme in their own language have come a long way ahead. Earlier, people of this highly-marginalised indigenous community feared interacting with members of other communities.

Ram Chandra Danuwar and Kamala Danuwar are now radio programme presenters on a local FM station — Radio Namobuddha 106.7 — stationed at Devisthan, Dhilukhel of VDC 7 of Kavre District. Radio Namobuddha is run by a group of young media practitioners, most of whom belong to indigenous groups.

A bachelor-level student at a Banepa college, Ram Chandra, and Kamala, a +2 student, had to outdo five other competitors to be selected to present this programme, which is aired for half-an-hour each week.

“We were very excited about getting this chance to promote our language and culture,” said Kamala adding the job is rather challenging as it requires a lot of research.

“We were scared during the first few episodes but now we are gradually gaining confidence,” she said.

“Our parents used to be afraid when outsiders visited our homes,” said Ram Chandra adding, the Danuwar language has already disappeared from many settlements due to the popularity of other rich languages.

“Currently we are focussing on promoting our language and culture through the radio programme,” he said.

Bhakta Syangtan, Programme Coordinator of Radio Namobuddha, said the programme is the most popular one being aired by the station.

He said the FM has also provided free time to a few other indigenous languages from Kavre district and its surroundings — Majhi, Hyalmo, Newari and Tamang languages.

Surya Maya Majhi, board member of the Jugal Association Nepal that runs the station, said the management is preparing to introduce programmes in Magar, Thami, Pahari, Jirel, Hayu and Gurung languages in the near future.

Danuwars are mainly settled in Sindhuli district. According to the 2001 census, the Danuwars’ population is 53,229.