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Bidya Shrestha Maharjan

HRD, Teacher
World Newa Guthi
Rights on the Line Podcast

Season 5, Episode 1: In the valleys of Kathmandu: the story of the Newa Guthi people through Bidya Shrestha Maharjan


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A teacher by profession, Bidya Shrestha Maharjan is a human rights defender from the Kathmandu valley of Nepal. She is the women’s president of the World Newa Guthi, an indigenous community organization that works to protect the rights of the Newa Guthi people. An indigenous woman herself, Bidya has long been leading the movement to stop the illegal road expansion in the valley inhabited by the Newa Guthi people, which has already seen the displacement of thousands who have not been compensated and/ or have been left landless. During the course of her work for the community, the human rights defender has been threatened several times, physically attacked and arbitrarily detained.

The situation for human rights defenders has improved since the restoration of Parliament in April 2006 and the Peace Agreement signed in November 2006. However, human rights defenders and journalists have continued to face threats, harassment, and the violent dispersement of peaceful protests by police and security forces