Asian Student Membership Scholarship Awards

Sijal Pokharel

Sijal Pokharel is an environmental steward, who has completed her Masters in Environmental Science from the Central Department of Environmental Science, Tribhuwan University, Nepal. She is also a Research fellow in the river basin program of the International Center for Integrated Mountain and Development (ICIMOD) known as Himalayan Adaptation, Water and Resilience Research (Hi-Aware). Her specialization lies in Integrated Water Resource Management and Climate Change. She has keen interest in social issues but tries to look into them through a global lens, following which she conducted her thesis on Climate change and Migration. In her thesis, she has tried to link environmental stress with human displacement. She also did a case study in the upstream of Gandaki River Basin, in an isolated Mountain village. She focused on water scarcity and climate change impact on Agriculture in her study. Sijal is also a finalist in the South Asian Debate Competition held in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and a trainee of the International women leadership associated with the Global peace foundation Nepal. She is a passionate environmental activist and wants to make difference by contributing to environmental protection.

Sunil Sapkota

Driven by his passion for snakes, Mr. Sunil Sapkota, a 27 year old student of the College of Natural Resources Lobesa, Punakha, Bhutan descends from Bharatpur-15 in Chitwan, Nepal. He is a founder president at Raise Hands Nepal (Since 2013) which zeroes in on saving snakes, plastic waste reduction, conducting awareness campaigns for environmental conservation, waste management and other activities like planting in barren lands and helping wild and domestic animals. He is a pioneer volunteer snake rescuer in and around Chitwan National park (Since 2008) and CIMC Asia representative of the CliMates which is an international student think and do tank involved in researching and advocating for innovative solutions to fight against climate change. He also served as a secondary level Environmental Science teacher at Paradise English School from 2013 to 2015. Though unpublished, he participated in research projects about snake and snake bite management. He made a paper presentation and a poster presentation with his affiliates on Species richness, species composition and relative abundance of snakes in Chitwan National Park and vicinity: new records and assessment of conservation threats in Jahrestagung annual meeting DGHT, Bonn, Germany and Third Annual Research Symposium held in Bhutan. He is UNESCO Madanjeet shing scholarship student to the College of Natural Resources,Bhutan, he completed +2 from Orchid Science College.

All in all, nothing can surpass his passion for rescuing the snakes. What he does is, he finds troubled snakes and safely sends them to where it resides and every contribution he has ever made is an outcome of his pro bono service incurring his personal expenses.


Mayank Shah

Mayank Shah was born and raised in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand and has travelled it extensively both as researcher and a student, living with diverse communities, listening to their stories of precarity and hardships. He has been part of domestic and international research that are spread across different dimensions of socio-economic and anthropological Himalayan study right from migrant masculinity, rural resilience, socio-ecological understanding of transitioning rural and non-metro communities, climate change and its impact on farmer behaviour, human trafficking and livelihood diversification in the central Himalayas. Currently he is working as research scholar in the economics department at Kumaun University Nainital Uttarakhand. His doctoral research work focuses on finding feasible non-agrarian livelihood options in the central Himalayas. Mayank is an avid traveller exploring the Himalayan terrains and living with various communities in some of the most marginalised regions. His research interests vary across many disciplines of Himalayan studies such as rural resilience, sustainability analysis, youth dynamics, developmental politics, anthropological studies of migration and state processes.

Mayank has a keen interest in socio-ecological and anthropological research in the Himalayan region combining ethnographic research with scientific methodologies to bring out the best resource for the Himalayan region studies.

Contact Info

Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies
c/o John Metz, Treasurer
1586 Rockhurst Lane
Cincinnati, OH 45255-2637

ANHS Kathmandu Research Center
54 Kantishree Marg, Baluwatar
Kathmandu, Nepal.