Eighteen-year old ‘Tarkariwali’ goes viral on social networking sites

Chitwan, November 3

Kusum Shrestha, 18, from Bhumlichowk VDC, Gorkha, said she had mixed feelings about the overnight fame she was subjected to after photographs of her carrying vegetables to a market went viral on Facebook.

Shrestha said that while she was happy about the fame, she was worried that her photo may be misused, and was facing undue pressure due to the excessive publicity.

The viral photos are of Shrestha carrying a load of vegetables on her back while crossing a bridge over the Trishuli River.

Nepali tourism entrepreneur Rup Chandra Maharjan had taken the photos and uploaded them on Facebook. Shrestha said she did not know that she was being photographed at the moment, or who took her photo.

An only child to parents who are both farmers, Shrestha helps her parents when she is free. “When I have the time, I take the produce from my parents’ farm to the market and sell them,” Shrestha shared.

Shrestha has to walk for an hour-and-a-half from Bhumlichowk to reach the Trishuli River bridge and arrive at Fishling Bazaar, where she sells the vegetables. She is one the many locals of Bagling village who brings vegetables to the market for sale. Farmers are forced to carry their produce on their backs due to exorbitant transportation charges.

Shrestha is an eleventh grade management student  at Chitwan’s Ratnanagar-based Quest Model College. When asked about her future plans, she replied, “I have not thought anything about my future. I guess time will tell.”

She lives in a rented apartment in Ratnanagar, Chitwan.

Though many have suggested her to consider a career in modeling, Shrestha said she has no interest.