By Our Reporter
The untimely demise of a patriotic and professional journalist Pushkarlal Shrestha is an irreparable loss for not only his family and the media sector but also to the entire nation.
Shrestha, 60, passed away on 17 April while undergoing treatment at the Norvic International Hospital in Kathmandu. His last rites were performed the same afternoon at the Pashupati Aryaghat. A large number of locals and people from different walk of life including political leaders and journalists paid their last tributes to late Shrestha at the Bhugol Park and later at Aryaghat.
Shrestha is a well-known name in the field of journalism and also a popular journalist known to all the Nepalis both in the country and abroad.
Apart from his busy schedule in his own publications, Shrestha was engaged in different organizations. Shrestha was the founding chairman of the Nepal Media Society, a grouping of broad-sheet newspapers which now includes television channels as well.
Born in August 1959, he was the founding chairman of the Kamana Publications and has been active in journalism for a long time. He has also served as the executive member of Minimum Wage Determination Committee, Rastriya Samachar Samiti (RSS), Nepal Press Institute, Editors Society Nepal, Nepal Press Club and Press Council Nepal.
For his contributions, Shrestha was honoured with the Gorkha Dakshin Bahu, Trishakti Patta and Birendra Aishwarya Service Medal. He was also the recipient of the Press Council Award.
About five months ago, he had undergone a nose surgery and later a kidney stone removal surgery. Following the second surgery, he had been diagnosed with additional health problems.
Doctors had suspected him of having Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) and had referred him to the Haryana-based Medanta Hospital in India. He was brought back home after he felt improvement in his health and was admitted to Norvic Hospital where he underwent physiotherapy.
Shrestha was discharged from the Norvic Hospital after he felt better and was undergoing physiotherapy at home. Suddenly, while conducting regular physiotherapy he collapsed and was rushed to the Mediciti Hospital. Later, when there was no improvement on his health, Shrestha was transferred to Norvic Hospital.
Shrestha is survived by his spouse and three sons.
Pushpa Raj Pradhan adds:
Late Pushkarlal Shrestha was one among my very good friends. First, we met at a media workshop jointly organised by Nepal Press Institute and AMIC, Singapore, perhaps, it was in the early 80s. We were together there for one week. During that time, I was the editor and publisher of the Samrachana vernacular weekly and he was the editor and publisher of Kamana film magazine. Shrestha was appreciated by the organizers for his professionalism and attractive layout of the magazine.
Shrestha, a football player and a son of a noted business family recognized as Mahajan by the Rana rulers, bit he jumped into journalism and demonstrated his caliber in professional journalism. His parents were worried when Shrestha wished to become a journalist, which was against the family profession. Kamana, although a film magazine, was totally survived from its sales, which was a new experiment for people like us who were focusing on political journalism. To recall, Shrestha had launched Kamana with the total investment of five thousand rupees.
After success of Kamana, Shrestha launched another health and beauty digest, Sadhana. On this also, he became successful and during the 1989 people’s movement, his tabloid evening daily, Mahanagar, would sell in the market like a hot cake. He never needed to turn back after that.
After the successful venture of three publications, Shrestha dared to launch a broadsheet daily Aajako Samacharpatra. Later the name was changed as of today, Nepal Samacharpatra. As there was unhealthy competition among the broadsheet dailies, this time, Shrestha was unable to achieve that much success which he had achieved from his last three publications. Nevertheless, Shrestha was struggling to retain his broadsheet until his last breath.
We continued our friendship till present days. We used to meet in a frequent manner and exchange our experiences in journalism. Once, in such a meeting, Shrestha informed that it was quite difficult to survive with patriotic stance. When the daily published a series of stories on the demolishing of Nepal-India border pillars and Indian encroachment of the Nepali soil, the Indian embassy in Kathmandu had scrapped the advertisement contracts with different Indian business houses including those multinational companies based in India. He had shared this incident with me.
There are many incidents he had shared with me. Today, I am feeling the absence of a very good friend, who had no arrogance, who was always supportive for the cause of journalism and who was always supportive and courageous. After all, he was a very humorous personality.
The People’s Review family prays to the Almighty for the eternal peace of the departed soul and extends heartfelt condolences to all the members of the bereaved family.
Former King condoles late Shrestha’s family
Former King Gyanendra has extended condolences message to the family of late Pushkarlal Shrestha, editor-in-chief of the Nepal Samacharpatra daily and also the chair of the Kamana Publications.
The former King’s message was conveyed by Sagar Timilsina, the former King’s personal secretary on Saturday to the family in mourning at Saibu, Bhaisepati, late Shrestha’s residence.
Former King, in the message, has stated that the demise of late Shrestha was a great loss to the nation.
The former King has also wished for the eternal peace of the departed soul.