About Me

Thank you for visiting my blog. My name is Laxmi Tamang. I am a Nepal trained nurse and Australian trained public health professional passionate about improving sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, and adolescent health having extensive experience working in diverse settings both in community and clinical with national and international developmental agencies, educational institutions, and advocacy since 1995. I am a passionate advocate for midwifery, physiological birth, sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, and adolescent (SRHMNA) health, gender equality, girls/women empowerment, social inclusion, social justice, social transformation, and social entrepreneur. As an Australian Leadership Awardee, I have done my doctoral thesis on the Influence of gender-based power relations on sexual and reproductive health service knowledge and use among youth in the Kathmandu valley, Nepal.
I am a pragmatic person so my interest lies in solving real-world problems related to human behavior, attitude, mindset, and societal status quo that are hindering natural transformation and change process as per the law of nature that goes through three processes: evolution, revolution, and devolution. I love exploring, reading about, and learning about natural science, psychology, philosophy, neuroscience, writing, and sharing anything that stimulates the human mind. Though I am not a professional writer I started blogging in May 2011 as I wanted to be heard my voices in making difference in the thought process of people around me thus has a desire to share what I learned, understood, and interests in different socio-political issues. The topics I write, share and explore range from Midwifery, Maternal/Women's Health, Gender, Discrimination and Marginalisation, Racism and Casteism, Social Justice, Corruption, Religion, Philosophy-in all about different topics that personally and professionally interests me. I write what interests me the most and, comments, especially criticisms, without abusive language are welcome.
My knowledge is very limited and I realized that I know nothing except something on which I put a keen interest in the subject matters. I write when I feel the urge to ventilate my feelings, emotions, and perspectives on issues that energize and ignite my head, heart, and hands. I have a bad habit of not ‘proofreading’. I would deem it a great help if any reader of my blog points out mistakes in content based on evidence, spelling, punctuation, and grammar or else.
My passion and leadership
I am passionate about improving women's, adolescent's, and newborn’s health empowering girls and women, and strengthening midwifery education and service in my country, Nepal. Due to this passion, in 2007, partnering with eleven female health professionals, mainly nurses and other professional women I led an initiative to establish the first and only stand-alone Birth and Reproductive Health Care Centre in Nepal known as APS Kendra (See detail at http://www.apskendra.org/), and after gaining experiential learning from the center took the lead role for the establishment of Midwifery Society of Nepal last year in 2010 (See detail at http://www.midson.org.np/).
I enjoy sharing what I learned and gained knowledge, understanding, and experiences with people who wish to learn more about women's health particularly maternal and newborn health services in Nepal, and the way of initiating entrepreneurship with little or no funds and social networking among professionals and like-minded people.
I love nature and learning from the law of nature, which is the ultimate power of this earth and universe where the truth lies. I'm a justice, freedom, peace, and truth-seeker ignorant fool learner trying to awake myself from my asleep state of mind. 
Networked learning and communities of practice
I am very interested in networking among professionals and like-minded people to share and learn from each other, both formally and informally, and nationally and internationally. My own international networking experiences include collaborating with midwives in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Japan, Sweden, Canada, UK, Australia, and the USA in sharing, learning, and strengthening midwifery education and services, including helping student midwives and medical students for their elective placement in Nepal through Midwifery Society of Nepal, coordinating with different public hospitals in Nepal. This networking resulted in providing support from Tokyo Humanised Care Centre for supplying new and used babies and children clothing to distribute to poor Nepalese children in May 2011; supported our Birthing Centre volunteering by Australian Midwife, Ms. Julie Anne Dowdell from Perth since April 2011 to date; contributed US $300 by student midwives, Ms. Lauren Bridle and Ms. Samatha Pitt from the University of Surrey, the UK for our Birthing Centre and Midwifery Society of Nepal in 2010; donated Birthing Model by Ms. Cathy Ellis, Midwifery Instructor from the University of British Columbia to Midwifery Society of Nepal in 2010; donated used clothes of kids by USA midwives in 2009; supported to design webpage of Midwifery Society of Nepal by Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) in 2010; and currently invited me to be a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Global Organization of Maternal and Child Health, USA based NGO.
In June 2016 I was able to successfully facilitate the collaboration between the Global Health Media Project, a USA-based NGO working for Newborn Care Video Services and Paroparkar Women's and Maternity Hospital, Kathmandu; Chitwan Medical College, Bharatpur, Chitwan; and B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan, Sunsari. 
My work and experiences have been shared in different ways some of these you can learn from the UNFPA webpage at http://www.unfpa.org/public/site/global/pid/5859AusAID’s Webpage at http://www.ausaid.gov.au/hottopics/topic.cfm?ID=1914_7489_8187_2588_9517; and Healthy Newborn Network's at https://www.healthynewbornnetwork.org/blog/telling-story-midwife-advocate-nepal-making-difference/.
On a personal level, I am from the eastern part of Nepal, from a small beautiful town, Dharan located in the Sunsari district of Province no. 1. I have four siblings, three brothers, and one elder sister as a Buddhist Nun. I live with my mum aged 83 in the Kathmandu valley, Lalitpur Metropolitan City Ward No. 14.  
In the very early of my professional career with the local NGO, Women's Rehabilitation Centre (WOREC) I got the opportunity to work with diverse women groups and female community health workers working in different parts of the country. I used to provide them training on sexual and reproductive health related topics such as family planning, sexually transmitted infections/HIV/AIDs and maternal health. Working in the community for several years and observing the conditions of women especially before, during and after childbirths had triggered me to contribute my expertise to uplift the health status of women and their newborns. In addition, my mother gave birth to her first child at home without anybody assistance in the remote eastern hill of the country (Bhojpur district) and had long labour, heavy bleeding and was not given adequate food and care during childbirth. So, she discouraged me and my elder sister from getting married and having children because of the pain and suffering that she experienced during childbirth. She did not want her daughters to go through the same ordeal. My mother became an inspiration to me, so that I could make a difference in the lives of women. I feel that I am born in this world to do something good and better, especially for rural women and their babies. So, I have committed my life to help women and also urge everyone working for women's health to make thoughtful evidence-based decisions and to take action to promote successful interventions like the social model also known as midwifery model of maternity care to improve maternal and newborn health and empower women with their own especial gift to be a mother.
I love to build my own personal network among professionals and explore new ways of networking opportunities and mentoring. In 'real' life I love to support needy people, learn and share, mentor, play with dog, and at the moment I am learning about writing academic papers for journals. In a very personal level I am very much persuasive in my thoughts, but I love to talk only based on evidence rather than assertion, claim and blame without any evidence. 
My Schooling and early childhood life
Whenever I recalled my early school days I did not have a pleasant schooling. At the age of six, I was first enrolled in the local primary public school. My parents were illiterate and belong to indigenous ethnic group, Tamang had migrated to small town, Dharan  from the remote eastern hill region of Nepal, Bhojpur district in search of bright future for their children to provide good education so that they do not have to suffer in their lives as they did. Having five children within very short birth interval of 1-2 years they found challenging to afford for their education. So, compromising with the quality of education they admitted all five children in the local primary public school, where education was considered low standard. Since both my parent were uneducated we faced difficulties in doing our home work/ assignments at home because there was no one who could guide us in our study at home. Therefore, we couldn't perform well in the classes and exams compared to other students.
My mother still vividly remember the day when a school's principal, Mr Yam Bahadur Magar invited her to discuss about her children's school performance. She was told that her children were not doing well in the classes and he does not see that her children have faces like studying and they are not going to study and get good education in their lives. Hearing such news from the school principal, my mother was very disappointed and in replied asserting that "I didn't know that by looking at my children’s faces how anyone could tell whether they will study or not in their lives". Some months after my mother transferred all of us to another school in which teachers were very supportive and strict than our previous school. I studied only for two years in that school where I completed by grade two. 
At the age of ten my parent along with my two siblings took us to Brunei because being an ex-British soldier known as “Gurkhas” my father got the job in the king’s place in Brunei.
As Brunei was a new place for us everything was new, language and education system so at the age of ten again I was admitted in class one. After studying a year, at the age of eleven I was very sick and hospitalized for a year due to my left leg swollen and abscess was formed below my knee joint. This has happened because I injured my leg while playing on the metal swing. Therefore, I could not attend the school for whole one year as I was hospitalized and plaster of paris cast was placed up to my waist line. Thereafter, I had to attend doctor's appointed regularly and also I was not able to walk properly without the assistance of crutch and wheelchair and because of such ill health condition I was not admitted in the school. By the time I returned to Nepal at the age of 13, I was grown up taller and looks matured than normally other boys and girls of my age. I was good at reading some English therefore, I got the admission in grade six. This was very challenging to me because as I missed out all my critical time for learning mathematical calculations such as multiplications, divisions and geometries I was very poor in mathematics. Despite low marks obtained as failed in maths I was upgraded to upper grade seven and likewise regularly I was upgraded to grade ten. But in the grade nine I had faced another challenge as I had to choose optional subjects which could shape my future career. However, despite being failed in maths I dare to choose optional maths and science because I wanted to become a nurse as I dreamt to be a nurse with the influence and inspiration that I received from nurses during my childhood hospitalization in Brunei. Only in the grade ten before the final exam in my deep request my mother was barely able to manage tuition fee for a month long tuition class for optional maths and science.
When the time came to appear in the School Leaving Certificate (SLC) exam, also known as “Iron Gate” I was somehow prepared for the exam. But things always do not go as we expect. On the third day of my exam when examiner from the district education department came for supervision and monitoring he came closer to me and asked me to stand up. I was quite amazed thinking that why he asked me to stand up and had taken my exam paper. I inquired him asking why he is doing so and in reply he said you cheated. I was bit annoyed hearing that as I was not aware why he was accusing me in that way. Then I asked him to show the evidence of cheating then he said you asked me for the evidence, what is this by picking up the cheat from the floor he showed me. I was shocked. He said now your marks will be minus because you have cheated. I appealed him saying that I didn’t do that but he didn’t listen and trust me. I became very emotional and couldn’t tolerate the accusation so I cried and decided not to continue my exam so left the exam hall with the feeling that my future has been completely ruined. Thereafter, I didn’t appear in the rest of the exam days feeling dreadful and I started to work in the farm rearing chickens and goats, performing household chores because my father was critically ill due to sarcoma (bone cancer) on his right leg. In this way, I spent almost three years and my father also passed away at the age of 52. For his treatment we spent whatsoever property that we had taking him to Tata Memorial Hospital of Mumbai, India. So, after his death I was pressurized even to work hard in the farm as my mother has to support for my younger brothers schooling as well as for our daily subsistence. 
Turning point of my life was the day while I was carrying heavy baskets of firewood from the forest, I realized that I would be carrying those baskets for the rest of my life and would not fulfill my dream to be a nurse unless I obtained higher education. So, from the funds that I generated rearing chickens and goats I spent for the preparation of SLC exam to be appeared exploring with my school teachers. Also, the income that I generated selling goats and chickens helped me to pay and obtained my three-year proficiency certificate level of nursing course which I did in Institute of Medicine, Biratnagar Nursing Campus. After 3 years of gaining work experience when I enrolled for bachelor of nursing program I borrowed some amount of money from my elder brother to complete my study that I paid back once I started to work completing my undergraduate program. Then, I committed myself if I want to pursue my higher study in the future then I would not do with my own cost, I will search for the scholarship. 
From nursing to public health to shift was not my choice but situation has created me to pursue my further education on public health. While I was working for CARE Nepal in Mahottari district one of my male colleagues who had done Bachelor of Public Health told us (me and my female colleague named Pushpa Lata Pandey) you nurses don't have intellect. Having worked in public health setting and gender stereotype statement from my male colleague aspire me to pursue higher education in Public Health. I did my Master in Public Health from the University of New South Wales, Australia, through the Australian Government Scholarship in 2006 and completed my doctorate level education from the University of Sydney in 2015 in the financial assistance received from the Australian Leadership Award. I'm thankful to each and every individual and institution who aspire and inspire in empowering me with my education to support self as well as else for the sake of humanity and prosperity of humankind.