The city of Bharatpur is the capital of Chitwan district in central-southern Nepal and has a population of over 143,000. Chitwan Valley is predominantly agricultural with rice and mustard being the main crops. But Bharatpur, like many cities in Nepal, has been expanding rapidly in recent decades, and much of what was formerly agricultural land is now used for residential or commercial purposes. Landless tenants, rural women and subsistence farmers are finding it increasingly different to make a living due to land and policy reforms. Many of them therefore move to the city. In recent years, the city has experienced growth of over seven per cent per year, making it one of the fastest-growing cities in the world.
A little boy meditating at the day-care centre (photo: L. W. Nielsen)