The young journalist Umita Basnet

umita basnet

Umita Basnet is a changemaker in the field of journalism and a source of inspiration for myriad women in Nepal. 

Could you tell us briefly who you are?

My name is Umita Basnet. I am actively working as a Senior Producer/Presenter on Himalaya Television along side with NTV plus and News 24 TV. I have been in Broadcasting for the past four years.

What motivated you to be immersed in Journalism?

It has always be my dream to be a journalist. In fact, I have a passion for the filed and my former state up brought me to flow into this field. Before I used to be a counselor in favor of my College. My principal, Samita Rana was the Newscaster of Nepal Television and she was the person who inspired me to take a grand leap in this Media sector. Samita Rana who was a Newscaster on Nepal Television along side with the education job. She became the source of my inspiration for venturing into the Media sector.

What is your family’s perception as regards your professionalism?

My attraction to media has transformed itself into a passion and amplified into a profession. As for my parents, it was their fantasy to see their daughter in Media, infact, on TV. I must say they are delighted and gratified about my professional career.

How do you manage to work with male counterparts?

In media, we meet different people with different perception every now and then. Specifically, talking about men in a media sector, I have diverse experiences. Some of them are really cooperative and humble to their female colleagues. They authorize feminine coworker by delivering them with friendly working environment. Some of them still reflect patriarchal attitudes harking back to centuries-old feudal values.

What is your viewpoint as regards politics and women empowerment in Nepal?

Even though politics has always been big subject matter for people, in my viewpoint, politics is the art of looking for trouble. Eventually, I came to know that it is essence factor governing the evolvement of the country. Participation of women in the Constitution making process is commendable but still women are not involved at the assessment level which is also an issue raised time and again. Hillary Clinton, Benazir Bhutto, Soniya Gandhi are some of the inspirational name who had been proficient to bridge in politics in the world of women. They were leader, change maker and also decision maker for their respective country. But Nepalese politics is deprived of competent and enthusiastic Lady Prime Minister.

What perspectives do you see in young women? How can they join the development of women from grass root level?

Young women are decisive keyplayers among the change makers. Patriarchal ideology is blocking women’s ability in Nepal. Literacy rate among the population aged 15 and older for female is 24% whereas for male is 60%. This shows that women have been deprived of their fundamental necessities from early childhood of education.

Meanwhile, education is the only bridge to empowerment. Thus, young and knowledgeable women can impart their educational experience to unqualified women in order to make them efficient in every activity they do. Umita doing a Live TV Show from Pashupatinath Temple at Shiva Ratri Festival.

Can you tell us a little more about your childhood experience and family background.

I was born and brought up in middle class family in Kathmandu. My native town is in Bhojpur. I feel blessed and delighted by my family who left no stone unturned for my future. I used to indulge in extra curriculum activities while in school. Growing up as a player, I had an ambition to compete in Olympic Games and contribute to my nation as a sportplayer but it was shuttered the discovery of my destiny which had driven me to work as a media personality.

What is your educational qualification? And what is your opinion on Nepali educational system ?

I am in last year of Bachelor in Management at Siddhartha College, Kathmandu. I am waiting for the result which will be published in August 2013. Nepali educational sector has always been in controversy for its irregularity in schedules. But it is widely popular for student union which time and again gives undesirable problems such as strikes and patchy demands.

Some of these interruptions in educational system of Nepal made me having entered my forth year instead of three years Bachelor Degree course. These issues is what is pushing many Nepalese students heading towards abroad for higher studies.

How would you see yourself in the next five years?

My fate and hard work had driven me to accomplish my passion as a professional aim. I want to be a change maker whether I would be at media or not. I have always been passionate about subsidizing in media so that I can generate in-depth news rather than surface news which we called "Sabhar and Aabhar Samachar" in Nepali. Five years from now, I want to see myself contributing in the sector of women empowerment and as an Entrepreneur.

What is your views about Violence on Women in Nepal ?

Violence on women in Nepal is one of the major issues in this new millennium. Although culprit of murder and attempted murder are given severe penalties, the physical assault is not even considered as a crime. Physical assault is real and alarming in societies. Kamlari, Badi, Dowry related violence and witchcraft still exist in Nepal.Deuki and Badi are both accepted forms of prostitution that have led some women to suffer humiliation and severe forms of ferocity.

I believe that with more efforts in creating awareness and more education, these practices will be demolished. Regarding recent activism "Protest against Kamlari System" is the national heart breaking issue where both the print and the visual media are being on attack.

What type of political leadership do you want to see in Nepal?

I want to see novelty women political leadership in Nepal who should be energized with self-willing and feeling of patriotism.

What potential do you see in youth?

Youth are the change makers and the power of the youth is confidence and “get going attitude”.

What is your personal vision of the development of Nepali society?

The old and popular proverb says "if you want to change society then start at home". I also believe in changing yourself will advance to positive impact and impactful revolution in society. In order to be a change maker, we need to outset from home, society and ultimately to nation.

Interview made by Sunil KC in Kathmandu, Nepal.

To   know  more about  Umita , you can follow her  on Facebook: 


Ready, Willing and Able

« Youth is not a troublemaker. Youth is a change maker. »
says Juju Kaji, a Nepali social worker.
2012. At one difficult time of national history, Nepali people face new challenges every day.
And still, youth is in the game