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Krishna Tamrakar obituary: Broadcaster who was admired by her colleagues and listeners alike

Krishna Tamrakar obituary: Broadcaster who was admired by her colleagues and listeners alike
Krishna Tamrakar became a household name when radio ruled the roost and TV culture was still in its infancy in Nepal. She ruled the airwave for six decades as a news broadcaster and program presenter. Born in Banepa, Kavrepalanchok, Tamrakar was 12-year-old when she left for India with social worker Tulsi Mehar Shrestha for schooling. She got her BA degree in Nepal and joined Radio Nepal as a deputy editor and news presenter for a Hindi bulletin in 1962. Tamrakar made a switch to a Nepali language presenter four years after joining the state-owned radio station when King Mahendra banned the Hindi language broadcasts. She was passionate about her radio job for which she even turned down the offer of becoming a gazetted officer.

When Tamrakar started her radio career, she was among a handful of women working in the media industry; women presenters were rare during those days.

While working for Radio Nepal, Tamrakar also got the opportunity to take part in various training sessions. In 1971, she left for the UK in order to take part in a yearlong training on radio production organized by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). She also trained in Germany for two years to hone her skills as a radio presenter. Tamrakar’s work and dedication as a radio journalist did not go unnoticed. In 1999, she was awarded by Albert II, the former king of Belgium, with the Global 500 Roll of Honour, an award instituted by the United Nations Environment Program, for her program on environment. “She was loved by everyone,” says Micheal Chand, a former colleague of Tamrakar. “One would not expect someone this successful and yet modest and humble at the same time.” Despite being much senior and experienced, Chand says Tamrakar was always appreciative of him and other junior staff members at Radio Nepal. “I would tell her how grateful I was to have learned so much from her. And she would reply in her ever so soft and humble voice that she too learned a lot from me.” Chand adds Tamrakar was compatible with everyone, and she never showed any hint of pride despite her immense talent and success as a radio journalist. Tamrakar retired from Radio Nepal in 1983, but she was always involved in various other works, which was a great joy for her listeners across the country. “She had her own unique way of presenting news, which everyone loved,” says Chand. “She was always active even after her retirement.” Tamrakar maintained an active life even after she was diagnosed with cancer in 2016. She beat cancer but as her age progressed, she started developing other health complications. Tamrakar died while undergoing treatment at Annapurna Neuro Hospital in Kathmandu on March 23. She was 84 years old. Birth: 1939, Kavrepalanchok Death: 23 March 2023, Kathmandu