Kohinoor (Kōhinūr – the mountain of light): Shedding Light on Nepal Today

On Sunday, June 7, 2015 the Nepalese community of Pittsburgh and members of other communities came together for a special screening of the Nepali film Kohinoor at Chatham University’s Eddy Theatre. Kohinoor portrayed the horrific and pressing problem of female trafficking in Nepal through a musical love story. This film screening not only fundraised for relief efforts in Nepal, but also highlighted the issue of human trafficking that females, children, and marginalized populations are especially vulnerable to at this time. The proceeds from the film will go to make sure that these populations are protected from bearing the brunt of the disaster.

Khoinoor screening

It was great bringing together the Nepalese community of Pittsburgh and members of other communities, including Chatham University, who have provided tremendous support through this time of adversity.

Several members of Rukmini Foundation participated and supported the event, which was organized by leaders of the Nepalese Community of Greater Pittsburgh and with the generosity of Chatham University. Kohinoor was shown in Nepali with English subtitles, giving all attendees a flavor for Nepalese culture and film. It debuted at 1:00 pm and played again at 5:00 pm. It was an honor to have special guest, Ms. Sweta Khadka, the film’s lead actress and producer attend both screenings. Audience members expressed their gratitude to Ms. Khadka and showed their compassion for her own personal ordeal along with that of the Nepali people.

Laxmi Aryal and Sweta Khadka

Foundation Advisory Board Member, Ms. Laxmi Aryal (left) with the film’s lead actress, Ms. Sweta Khadka (right).

Last year, Ms. Khadka lost her husband, who was also the lead actor in Kohinoor, Shree Krishna Shrestha, to health complications just a few days after their film was released. Ms. Khadka ha turned her personal tragedy into a brave effort and has turned the darkness of her grief into light by choosing to attend Kohinoor screenings in major cities in the United States (U.S.) to raise money for Nepal and honor her late husband. Although she was not in-country during the earthquakes, she is dedicating her time abroad to raise awareness of the disaster in Nepal and its implications on existing issues in human rights and inequality.

While this event would not have been possible without our supporters and the Nepalese community, it is Ms. Khadka who has shown us all the meaning of bravery and how to turn a terrible situation into something beautiful. Her pledged of the proceeds from Kohinoor screenings in the U.S. will go to help the survivors of the earthquake, which will help to heal the nation while she works through her own tragedy and looks to heal her pain. Ms. Khadka, thank you so much for your courage and inspiration.

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