Israeli embassy provides food assistance to Gandharva community in Nepal during festive season

Shirish B Pradhan
·2-min read

Kathmandu, Nov 2 (PTI) The Israeli embassy in Nepal along with a Japanese international NGO is providing emergency food assistance to the underprivileged Gandharva community in the country during the festival season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the financial contribution from the Government of Israel, Japan International Support Program (JISP) is providing the vital food assistance to approximately 1,000 most vulnerable Gandharva people around Kathmandu and Pokhara during the most auspicious festivals of Dashain and Tihar, according to a press release issued by the Israel embassy here.

Dashain and Tihar are the two most widely celebrated festivals in the country. Dashain is a 15-day festival celebrated to worship goddess Durga. This is year the festival culminated on October 26. Tihar is the festival of lights that will be celebrated on November 14 this year.

The assistance includes basic food items such as rice, lentils, oil and vegetables. Other items like soap bars and masks are also provided due to COVID-19.

The community members located in Kathmandu were donated the items on Monday, while those in Pokhara will receive the assistance soon.

“In these difficult times of COVID-19 Pandemic, we are happy to be able to assist vital humanitarian needs to the wonderful community in Nepal. Wishing you all happy and peaceful Dashain and Tihar,” Benny Omer, Israeli Ambassador to Nepal, said, Mayumi Yoshida, Representative Director of JISP, said, “it is our priority to deliver basic food package to the vulnerable people as soon as possible, as the Nepali people are entering into one of the most festive seasons, Dashain and Tihar, in the midst of the serious challenges they are experiencing due to the influence of COVID-19. We are working with some of the best traditional musicians of Nepal to fundraise for the most vulnerable.” The Gandharvas of Nepal are the keepers of one of the world's great musical traditions, recognised by UNESCO as Intangible World Heritage.

For centuries, they have been contributing as the musicians of Nepal. Gandharvas depend on tourism for much of their livelihood and income. Their primary source of income is often making Sarangis which they sell to tourists in Kathmandu. PTI SBP RS RS