Children and Disaster: Stress reduction activities (NEPALI)


Please, find herewith a copy of ‘Children and Disaster: Stress Reduction Activities Manual’ written by Tarak Dhital, child rights activist, Binod Paudel, Dr. Narendra Singh Thagunna and Bhupendra Gurung, psychologists.

It can be great resource for school teachers and others working with children in different settings.

Thanks Narendra ji for sharing.


Bipad ra Balbalika_Layout 1.pdf

Official Link

Panna Lal Pradhan, 1st Nepali Psychologist

Tribute on the occasion of 11th death anniversary


2006 AD, the year, Panna Lal Pradhan passed away, I was a student in Bachelors level studying at Tri Chandra College. At that time, I had not even heard his name. Few years later in 2009, when I started going to Tribhuvan University for my classes at Master’s level, I noticed small framed photo of an old man in a teachers’ room about whom nobody talked but it made me curious who he was and why the photo was there. Since 2010, I seriously started to take interest in historical development of Psychology in Nepal and our own Nepali psychologists which we did not had to study in syllabus (I strongly believe it should be included in our psychology curriculum). I started to inquire about my collective identity as an aspiring psychologist. I started a project to collect all available information on this topic when I was associated with Central Association of Psychology Students (CAPS), that is how I took the first step in knowing him. Soon I was able to contact another senior eminent psychologist Ayan Bahadur Shrestha (on left below) who at that time had already retired and was staying in Australia.


He gave me key information which helped me to establish contact with Panna sir’s daughter, Pradhan Pradhan who was working in CERID. I met her on 09 September 2011. I was so glad to have finally met her and learn about the man who was Nepal’s first psychologist.


Panna Lal Pradhan was born in 1932 AD in Birgunj as a third son of Chiniya Lal Pradhan and first son of Janak Nandani Pradhan. He was married to Late Durga Devi Pradhan and had three daughters and two sons. The major informant for this post is his first daughter, Pratibha Pradhan (pictured above).

He completed his early schooling in his hometown itself. He went to Patna University and completed his Masters in Psychology as a gold medalist in 1956 breaking all the previous records. One year after the marriage, he left for US to do PhD in psychology from Oregon University which he completed in 1962 under Colombo plan. He was appointed as second professor of Tribhuvan University after Hari Mishra in 1971.


He was very studious, and took interest in reading and learning about anything. Many people who knew Panna Lal also still remembers him for his strong memory, he could remember about any event or person he had encountered even years before. Many called him ‘Moving Encyclopedia’ for his extraordinary memory and vast knowledge; he could talk for hours on anything he had been exposed to/experienced but he did not write much himself. ‘He was lazy in matter of writing, he would talk for hours but did not show interest in writing’, admits his daughter Pratibha Pradhan. That’s a reason there are very few publications to his name. But he was a first one to publish the research in Journal of Experimental Psychology (Pradhan and Hoffman 1963) as a Nepali psychologist. Among his very few articles, unfortunately one could not be found at all, article titled “Intelligence test and its use in Nepal” which was published in Education Quarterly 1(2) in 1958. It could not be located anywhere, it is virtually extinct. So, there is urgent need to archive and store the academic work electronically before they get lost.


I have had this question always in my mind: How the field of psychology could have developed had he not left to be academically active? What were the reasons that could not motivate him to work as a psychologist but instead take up a role of administrator in Tribhuvan University? A Brilliant mind, an unsung hero, a big loss for our field because he could not fulfill/get opportunity to use his full potential to enhance the field. I held a grudge that he did not commit himself to the field of psychology and for its development in Nepal. But as I try to understand him over the years and the academic plus overall context of Nepal, I can imagine what could have diverted his path away from the discipline of psychology to educational systems. Indeed if the education had developed considerably, the situation of the country could also have been much better. His contribution for the development of higher education in Nepal is significant in terms of planning, policy making and administration and deserves appreciation though the state might not have acknowledged it, although he was very active and involved behind the scene as the advisor of many vice chancellors of the university like Trilokya Nath Upreti and Kedar Bhakta Mathema, was engaged even after his retirement and a week before he left this world.  He was definitely one of the masterminds behind formulation and implementation of education plan and policies.

As the meaning of his name in pali, ‘Panna’ – he was a man of wisdom. Respect!


Brief timeline of his life:

Year Details
1932 AD

December 30, Friday

Birth in Birgunj
1956 AD Education Completed MA from Patna University, India, gold medalist
1962 AD Higher Education Completed PhD from University of Oregon, US
1957 AD Career Started teaching in College of Education
1971 AD Career Appointed as Second professor of Tribhuvan University
1973 AD Career First Dean of Faculty of Education
1976 AD Accident survived a fatal road accident
1996 AD Career Retired from TU
2006 AD

February 25, Saturday

Death In TUTH, Kathmandu after few days of illness

Works of Panna Lal:

Pradhan, Panna L. 1958. Intelligence test and its use in Nepal. Education Quarterly 1(2): page

nos. not known.

*Pradhan, Panna L. 1962. Effect of Spacing and Range of Stimuli on Magnitude Estimation

Judgments. Ph.D. diss., University of Oregon.

Pradhan, Panna L. and Paul J. Hoffman. 1963. Effect of Spacing and Range of Stimuli on

Magnitude Estimation Judgments. Journal of Experimental Psychology 66(6): 533–541.

Dart, F. E. and Panna L. Pradhan. 1967. Cross-cultural Teaching of Science. Science 155(3763):650–656.

Pradhan, Panna L. 2000. A Study on Cost Recovery and Resource Mobilization in Tribhuvan University. Kathmandu: Research Centre for Educational Innovation and Development (CERID).

This blog post was prepared with the help of following people and resources:

Interview with Pratibha Shrestha Pradhan on 09 September, 2011 in Research Centre for Educational Innovation and Development (CERID), TU and many successive meetings, most recently a conversation over phone in February 22, 2017.

Interview with Prof. Ayan Bahadur Shrestha on several occasions at his residence.

*Shrestha, Dinesh K. 2007. Dr. Panna Lal Pradhan Smritigrantha. Kathmandu: Sigma Carts

Printing and Logistics.

* Hard copies available at Martin Chautari Library, Thapathali for public reference.

Call for Applications: MA in Counseling Psychology

Dear All,

Call for application for enrollment in Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology (MCP) has been announced for the academic session 2017-2019 under the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences(FOHSS), Tribhuvan University.

Prospective students can find necessary information attached (admission notice & form).

Admission Notice MCP 2017 F_modified.pdf

The wait continues…


Hundreds of families and the relatives of the missing persons still continue to wait for their loved ones. It has been more than a decade that they are living with ambiguity, the families want an answer on the whereabouts of their loved ones.

Expressing Solidarity with the families on the occasion of International Day of the Disappeared 2016.

Ram Kumar Bhandari talking with a journalist.
Main characters of the drama Aadha Satya about the families of missing persons.
After a show, families expressing their reflections.
A Child waiting for a missing parent to come back!

Living with Ambiguity

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.”
Gilda Radner

mother showing a pic of her sonA mother of missing showing the photo of her son that she carries all the time hoping to find him some day.

Life surprises us with ambiguities of many sorts. Not all ambiguities are delicious in nature. Some are very painful and long lasting. Some, of course, might be exciting, temporary and teach us lessons in life. Being able to accept and live with ambiguity can be a great strength.

The ambiguity of loss is one of the most painful and difficult ones to deal with as it is unclear and ones who are facing them swing between hope and despair most of the times. Hundreds of thousands of relatives around the world are living with ambiguity about the state of their loved ones whom they have lost due to armed conflict, natural disasters, accidents, migration, etc. On International Day of the Disappeared, marked every year on August 30, missing persons are publicly remembered and solidarity is strongly expressed to the families for their right to know the fate of their loved ones.

Psychologist Pauline Boss calls the phenomenon of living with ambiguity of loss when a person is physically absent but psychologically present as ‘Leaving without Good Bye’. Family members are often hopeful of their return some day or at least finding out what actually happened to them even after decades of disappearance.

In Nepal, around 1350 people are still missing from the time of people’s war (1996-2006). Families are still searching for the answers about the fate of their loved ones. Parents hope to see their children back to support them in an old age, wives still believe themselves to be married and not-widows, and children are equally ambivalent about the status of their missing father/mother. Wives pray and do fasting for their husbands’ longevity on the occasion of teej and other religious occasions although they do not know where they are. In case of missing from other phenomenon such as natural disasters, accidents, and migration, families presume such people to be dead after certain period of time, then, they carry out certain final life-cycle rituals according to their cultures & religions and they move on with their lives. For ones missing in relation to armed conflict, there is no basis for performing the final rituals as it could be seen as betrayal and abandonment of hope so, the ambiguity is stronger and long-term. The closure is not attainable as it occurs in normal circumstances which is often expected by the society.

Families remain confused and in dilemma. People cannot make sense of what is happening and cannot find the meaning or get the sense of coherence. Without meaning and coherence, they can’t find hope to move forward in their lives. As a result, both coping mechanisms and grieving processes are immobilized. These are the effects of the ambiguous loss which cannot be judged as pathological as clinicians might view it as some of the effects look like the symptoms of PTSD, depression, and anxiety. However, the risk of developing clinical pathology must not be undermined in the long run. The impact and results of support programs for the families have shown that community-based and local approaches are better than the clinical interventions such as individual counseling/therapy. The interventions that reinforces the new relationships and social network, and that focuses on utilizing their own resilience & resources and developing tolerance for ambiguity have found out to be effective in terms of mental health and psychosocial support.

Living with ambiguity is difficult but developing tolerance can become great strength in this ever-changing world around us. Lack of closure and not knowing can be embraced gracefully.