Toshima Karki: Biography, Social Activism, and Politics

Read the biography of Toshima Karki, who won General Election 2079 from Lalitpur. Know about her social activism and political career.

Toshima Karki joining hands during her election campaign

Source: Toshima Karki's official website

Toshima Karki is a politician, surgeon, and youth leader who became famous after she announced her candidacy for the Nepal General Election 2079. She has been involved in social causes since a young age. The young doctor was elected a member of the Nepal Medical Council in 2078. Dr. Toshima Karki has been one of the major voices that supported Dr. Govinda K.C.’s cause since the beginning of his hunger strike. She became a member of the Rashtriya Swatantra Party in 2079 and became directly involved in Nepalese politics. She has advocated for free and quality healthcare facilities for each and every Nepali. The thirty-three-year-old doctor is a candidate for the House of Representatives from Lalitpur for the Nepal General Election 2079. 

Who is Toshima Karki?

Toshima Karki was born in a middle-class family in Aadinath Village, Ward Number-18, Lalitpur. From a young age, she had aimed to be a doctor. At that time, a government school was not known for its quality of education. Despite the financial struggle to keep three children in an expensive English-medium school, her parents didn’t compromise on their education. However, she later decided to leave the college and study at a local school Sahid Dharma Bhakta School in Nakkhu. She completed her higher secondary education at Modern Indian School, Chobar. She then entered the medical field and studied MBBS at KIST Medical College, Lalitpur. She has done many volunteer campaigns to provide health facilities and awareness programs and was directly involved in the health and relief camp organized following the destructive earthquake in 2072. She has also raised her voice against the physical attack happening on health workers and started the campaign “Save Medical Fraternity Movement”. The campaign was successful when the Nepal government issued a new law that anyone who attacks health workers can be jailed for up to four years in prison and fined. After she completed her education, Dr. Toshima Karki devoted herself to social causes that are directly related to the healthcare industry. She graduated with Masters General Surgery from Kathmandu University. In 2078, she was elected as an executive member of the Nepal Medical Council. In addition to this, she was working at Patan Hospital as a general surgeon. However, she resigned from her job to take part in General Election in 2079. 

Toshima Karki questioning Sher Bahadur Deuba in an Interview.

On Asar 18, 2074, in a public interview with then-Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, Toshima Karki was first seen publicly. In the interview, she asked the PM about his involvement to fulfill the health sector agreements of Dr. Govinda K.C. At the time, the doctor was about to go on his eleventh hunger strike within 14 days. On behalf of the whole medical field, Dr.Toshima asked PM Deuba whether he will address the demand of Dr. Govinda K.C. within the time limit. PM Deuba in return answered her in a rude way that the government is always ready to give in to his valid demands. He further added that he specifically cannot give a fixed date and time to meet the demand of Dr. K.C. Dr. Karki further added that as the previous government has not respected the agreements between them and Dr. K.C. will PM Deuba respect it? He refused to answer and moved on to the next question. (check references for the video)

Toshima’s election campaign and her fight with Election Commission

Dr. Toshima Karki resigned from her job as a general surgeon at Patan Hospital and joined the Rashtriya Swatantra Party in 2078. Her eagerness to bring change in Nepalese politics by reforming the community helped her to get a party ticket and she became a candidate from Lalitpur for the senate in the House of Representatives. For the election, candidate Karki was given the sign of the bell. Time and again, she was given warnings to not use the bell or any other voice campaign as it creates noise pollution. But it was seen that other candidates all over the country were using the loudspeakers to publicly address their promises and candidacy for the election. This discrimination was just the tip of the iceberg for Dr. Toshima Karki. On Karthik 4, 2022, the Election Commission of Nepal, canceled her election candidacy and deemed her unfit for the position. This situation was created when a complaint against her was lodged in EC stating that Dr. Karki holds a government position in Nepal Medical Council which is a position of profit. In Dr. Toshima’s defense, she had already written a letter to EC beforehand about whether her position at the council will affect her candidacy or not. She revealed that she didn’t receive any response from EC. After her candidacy was scrapped, she went on to the Supreme court and fought for her right in the election. Supreme Court ruled on her behalf as her position as an executive member of the Nepal Medical Council didn’t receive any salary except for allowance. She was back on the race to the parliament. The unfairness and discrimination toward her gave way to many questions and the intent of EC as it was a direct case of threat elimination. This unfairness led the Nepalese people to believe in her more. Her motto in the election is “Healthy Nepali, Happy Nepali”. Dr. Toshima Karki has been to all the houses in her area in the “Ghar Dhailo” program and has directly come in contact with all voters. 

Dr. Toshima Karki defeats two powerful political parties in Nepal

Dr. Toshima Karki is a candidate for General Election 2079 from Lalitpur which consists of 14 wards. Despite being a fairly new person in politics, candidate Karki was able to win the hearts of many Nepalese people. From Lalitpur, about 20 candidates were participating among which Amrit Khadka of the CPN-UML and Pampha Bhusal, deputy general secretary of the CPN-Maoist Centre were major candidates. These candidates are well-established politicians and are top members of their respective parties. Many people claimed that these two powerful candidates were behind the plotting against Toshima. 

During the vote counting time, Dr.Karki was taking the lead among three major candidates, Amrit Khadka and Pampha Bhusal. On Mangsir 4, the election took place. After three days, the final result of the election came out. Dr. Toshima won the election by obtaining the highest votes among her opponents. She was able to assemble 31,136 votes, around 39% of the total vote counts. Amrit Khadka from CPN-UML got 12,963 votes and Pampha Bhsual from CPN-Maoist received 8,769 votes. The newly elected member of the House of Representatives has thanked all of her well-wishers and has promised to fulfill the dreams of the Nepalese people. 


(Toshima’s questioning with PM Deuba: Time Stamps- 44:21-44:14)