KATHMANDU (C.S.)— Recent socio-political changes in Nepal indicate better media access for Christians in Nepal and is looking brighter than in neighbouring India.
”Nepalese are emerging out of illiteracy and are not `reading’ people – they are addicted to audiovisuals. After the democratic changes we are using local TV channels to broadcast Christian or value based programs. We have been producing Christian films but with problems of weak scripts or non-gripping storylines they have not been really popular nationwide as yet. I am thinking of TV serials where each episode would cost about 300 (US) dollars only to make,” says Pastor Loknath Manen, who likes to be called a writer. He started Christian newspapers and magazines and produced Christian hymns in audio CDs and also Christian films.
The Believers’ church Bishop Narayan Sharma adds, “After the recent political changes none of the two dozen TV stations or over 140 FM radio stations would refuse broadcast of any Christian programs if we produce them. I have been producing radio programs and broadcasting via short wave and FM since the last five years. Right now our “Atmik Yatra” (Spiritual Journey) programs are being broadcast via 52 FM stations daily and the government radio station weekly. We hope to go on the internet and reach Nepalese all over the world with our programs. We have produced some 30
Nepali programs in a month. TV broadcasts are more expensive to do it daily– so we do it weekly.”
Showing dozens of audio CDs and DVDs in Nepalese language that his center produced, Bishop Narayan Sharma says, “I am busy preparing a movie on an ethnic Nepali literary figure of Darjeeling(India) – Pastor Gangaprasad Pradhan – who produced the first Nepali newspaper in Nepali language and translated the Bible in Nepali language in 1914. We have to complete this movie before India takes out a postal stamp to commemorate 160th anniversary of this literary genius in July 2011.”
South Asia’s first FM radio station run by Christians in central Kathmandu named “Good News FM” broadcasts Christian programs only 12 hours a day. The managing director of the FM Station, Mr. RC Timothy says a permanent building for the radio station was being completed nearby and there were plans to put relay antennas in West and East Nepal. Currently the lone antenna reaches over ten districts in and around Kathmandu valley.