Voice of Truth (The Challenges and Struggles of a Nepalese Woman)

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Item Code: IDI848
Author: Shanti Mishra
Publisher: Book Faith India
Language: English
Edition: 1994
ISBN: 8173030278
Pages: 481
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.7" X 5.5
Weight 760 gm
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Book Description

From The Jacket

Shanti Mishra's Voice of Truth: The Challenges and Struggles of a Nepalese Woman is, as the title proclaims, the work of an author with a firm sense of purpose, one that has been shaped within the social context of her own native Himalayan kingdom. It is a study rich in the interplay between hard-won convictions and the local conditions under which they have been formed, and which they in turn have sought to reform.

The account begins in the waning years of the autocratic Rana period (1846-1950), when even owning a radio was a punishable offence. Early perseverance to obtain a good education in the end paid off and catapulted Shanti Mishra to a position of responsibility unprecedented at the time for someone of her background and sex: the post of chief librarian of the newly established Tribhuvan University Central Library. This was a trust that she was to remain faithful to for more than a quarter of a century.

Much of the book's interest lies in its captivating description of the unending efforts involved in trying to get something that Westerners take for granted - the importance of libraries - accepted in this Third World setting. The book will attract persons interested in the development process in general, and in the role information science plays in it in particular.

A simple human appeal is maintained throughout, though, so that even readers with no professional curiosity to satisfy will find themselves easily carried along by the narrative flow. Two especially interesting chapters provide a glimpse into what Intercaste marriage and fighting corruption entail in Nepal, as told on the basis of firsthand experience.

Large portions of the text are devoted to Shanti Mishra's concerns outside her professional life, which have touched on the needs of Nepalese women and the role of Nepalese creative writers.

This book offers rewarding insights for anyone wishing to learn what life in Nepal is really like, and what it means not to simply accept one's lot but o create a personal vision of life, and to make life conform to that vision's call.


Shanti Mishra is a remarkable person by any standards. Having been associated with her professionally while I was Australia's Ambassador in Nepal, and regarding her as a close friend, I was delighted to have been invited to write a foreword to her book.

Shanti Mishra is remarkable in a number of ways. In the first place, and virtually single-handed, she turned a collection of books into a library of real national standing. Under her leadership the Tribhuvan University Library has become the most important institution in Nepal for academic research. Its resources are available not just in Kathmandu, but to the students at the many far-flung campuses of the University. However Tribhuvan University Library is also a truly national institution, available to and serving the interests of all the Nepali nation.

To have built the Library into what it is today required a person with extraordinary qualities and commitment. Starting with almost no resources, but a great deal of courage and determination, Shanti Mishra took every opportunity to seek out the support which was desperately needed to expand and improve the Library. With resources virtually unavailable in Nepal, a country beset with so many basic needs, she consistently appealed to potential international donors. There are many diplomats who served in Nepal who will remember with admiration Shanti Mishra's unrelenting efforts to obtain financing, training or books for the Library.

I am pleased and proud to say that Australia was one of those countries, which assisted the Library. We did so in the knowledge that, with Shanti Mishra at the helm, the assistance would be well used.

Shanti Mishra is well known and highly regarded on the international library scene for her involvement and contributions especially in relation to the problems facing libraries in developing countries, and her achievement in providing to Nepal a library of a standard which attracted international support.

Shanti Mishra is also remarkable in another respect. In a country which, at least as I know it, allowed very little opportunity for women, Shanti Mishra stands out. Despite all the barriers she managed to rise to the top of her profession and to a position of real importance and influence. In this she earned the respect of all who knew her. She is and will continue to be an inspiration to other women.

I am sure that the readers of this book will be impressed by Shanti's achievements and her very real concern for the well being of her countrymen and women. I wish her every success.


Chapter   Pages
  Dedication v
  Invocation, Salute, Gratitude vi
  Foreword vii
1 Early Divine Urges 1
2 Breaking Through 19
3 Embracing an Unrecognized Profession 38
4 A Golden Age 48
5 Love and Intercaste marriage 73
6 Challenges and unending Struggles 113
7 Service to Nepalese Women 184
8 Planning Social Service - A Dream 196
9 Crusade against Corruption 202
10 The UN general Assembly Thirty-second Session 258
11 Mission to Bhutan 283
12 Honour from Without 296
13 Librarianship on the Global Scene 339
14 Nepalese Writers and the P. E. N. Club 375
15 The People's Movement and the Library Episode 398
I "Debt to Mt. Everest"; "Shanti"; "How We Felt on Receiving Your Letter, Shanti" 417
II IWYCN 1975 Programme 420
III IWYCN 1975 Report 426
IV Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination 440
V United Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace 444
VI Questions of the Elderly and Aged 453
VII Policies and Programmes relating to Youth 456
VIII Elimination of all forms of religious Intolerance 460
IX Notes on Some Unspoken Problems of the Librarians of the Developing World 463
X. P. E. N. Charter 467
  Index 469

Sample Pages

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