Vegan advocates, activists, athletes, chefs, health professionals, nutritionists, educators, and entrepreneurs, and celebrities from across Nepal, Bhutan, and India, and throughout the region have come together to organize and host the Himalayan Vegan Festival! Please meet the dedicated team of volunteers below....
SURESH P. SHARMA (Nepal)
(Vegan Activist, WVO Chair Nepal, and Director of VegVoyages Himalayas Vegan Tours)
Suresh is the Nepal chair of the World Vegan Organisation and co-founder of the Nepal Vegetarian Association. As the director of Himalayan Operations at VegVoyages Vegan Adventures, he organized and led the first international vegan tour group in the country. Suresh has travelled extensively in the region, leading hundreds of holistic tours. He holds a master’s in Sanskrit and Oriental Philosophy. Suresh dreams of building a peaceful society in Nepal by promoting veganism and hopes to make Nepal the world’s best vegan destination.
BISHNU PRASAD NEUPANE (Nepal)
(Social Worker, President Nepal Vegan Association, WVO Nepal Vice-President)
A passionate vegan for over 18 years & Devotee of Supreme Master Ching Hai, Bishnu is an active advocate for the benefits of a plant-based diet for both people, animals, and the planet. A businessman by profession, his true love is in being involved with and promoting various humanitarian projects in Nepal from compassionate living programs and associations, to vegan advocacy campaigns and human welfare organizations such as the Manav Sewa Ashram human service shelter for the homeless. Bishnu is very excited to be an integral part of the Himalayan Vegan Festival and is looking forward to celebrating a plant-based lifestyle with his fellow citizens and welcoming international delegates and speakers to this groundbreaking event in his hometown in the Himalayas.
PERIK RINPOCHE (Nepal)
(Founder of Dharmaprabha Foundation, Vice President of WVO Nepal)
Perik Rinpoche is the Founder of the Dharmaprabha Foundation and the Vice President of WVO Nepal. He educates people through Interactive Program on Non-Violence by the Dharmaprabha Foundation. He is a fully qualified Buddhist Teacher belonging to the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism. He completed a Master's degree on Buddhism at Ngagyur Nyingma Institute of Mysore, South India. He has been active from the initial days of animal rights campaigns happening in Nepal and has been a former executive member of SPCA Nepal. He always has been strongly advocative in Social Media about Animal rights and Veganism. He also has been producing music and short movies related to either Buddhism or Veganism.
Surajan Shrestha (Nepal)
(Co-founder of Animal Rights Club (ARC) and a founding member of World Vegan Organisation Nepal (WVON)
Witnessing the cruel practice of animal sacrifice in various festivals for a long time, he shifted himself towards living a compassionate life when he was 10 years old. He always wanted to help the animals. That’s why he co-founded ARC to advocate for animal welfare/rights issues in his community. Since founding ARC in 2012, Shrestha has directed the organization’s growth into a leading force in the prevention of cruelty to animals and promotion of compassionate food choices. A recognized speaker on animal advocacy, wildlife, and environment conservation, Shrestha has presented at schools and many other forums. Through his work with ARC, Shrestha has been an outspoken advocate for animal rights.
ANGEELA SHRESTHA (Nepal)
(Founder of Project Humane Nepal and Compassionate Education Advocate)
Angeela Shrestha is the founder of Project Humane Nepal, which educates over 23,000 students and community members annually on animal welfare and changing behavior towards street dogs. Shrestha was honored by the Clinton Global Initiative University at their annual conference in 2015 for her ‘commitment to action’. Passionate about helping animals in Nepal, after graduating from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, she moved back to Kathmandu to start ‘Project Humane Nepal’ with the goal of educating kids about street dogs and animal welfare.
KRISHNA GURUNG (Nepal)
(Animal Rights Advocate, Vegan Activist and President Nepal Vegetarian Association)
An excellent graphic designer by trade, passionate vegan activist by heart, Krishna is the President of the Nepal Vegetarian Association and an advocate for promoting a compassionate life and society through a vegan lifestyle. In addition to being involved in vegan awareness campaigns and animal welfare initiatives, Krishna is an important part of the Vegan Sister City program launched by the WVO Nepal, is a key coordinating team member for the Himalayan Vegan Festival, and is partners in one of the first vegan restaurants in the Kathmandu Valley – Loving Heart located in Thamel. He is also the proud father of two vegan children who share their father’s dedication to promoting a vegan lifestyle in Nepal.
VIKSHU ANG PHURI SHERPA (Nepal)
(Plant-based Health Advocate & Vegan Monk)
After getting a Bachelor’s in Education Science and a Master in Business Administration, Vikshu taught science at school before working in various international development organizations. But his true calling didn’t come until he began following a path he had started as a child, studying Buddhist Dharma. Realizing this, he gave up his job and became a monk at the age of 40, dedicating his life to serving others, where he received a “Lama” title from His Holiness Penor Rinpoche. A strict vegetarian for 22 years and recently turned raw foodist, Vikshu advocates the wonderful health benefits from following a plant-based diet and passionately promotes a vegetarian lifestyle to be embraced within Buddhist communities. He has distributed millions of vegetarian leaflets and videos in Nepal and India with the help of other vegetarian activists. He is promoting plant-based awareness through Buddhist teachings in communities, and participates with many animal rights and vegetarian/vegan related organizations and religious groups. He is also the author of “Vegetarian Virtuous Food” book, which is published in both English and Nepali.
SNEHA SHRESTHA (Nepal)
(Vegan & Animal Rights Activist & Founder of Sneha’s Care)
Sneha Shrestha is a vegan animal rights' activist and founder of Sneha’s Care. Sneha Care is involved in rescuing injured dogs, providing shelter to disabled dogs, adopting abandon pets, and providing animal birth control and humane education. Her organization works to provide a warm and comfortable home to unwanted, abused and stray animals in a loving and caring environment, including opening a special animal shelter that accommodates more than 300 dogs. Her organization so far has rescued more than 10,000 injured dogs and vaccinated more than 12,000 street dogs. As one of Nepal’s most vocal animal rights advocates, Sneha also conducts awareness programs for animal welfare throughout the country where she has successfully campaigned the government to adopt the country’s first animal protection law, as well as set new standards covering buffaloes in transport coming from the India-Nepal border.
BIKESH SHRESTHA (Nepal)
(Vegan Activist & Chair SPCA Nepal)
Nepal’s most senior and respected animal rights and vegan activist, Bikesh is the Chair of the SPCA Nepal. In addition to overseeing SPCA Nepal projects in Kathmandu, Bikesh spearheads efforts to transfer the city’s abandoned cows to a sanctuary to live their lives in peace. Those who don’t like his demands for protecting animals call him sometimes a “crazy old man”, but this “old man” is anything but crazy and has the energy of a 20-year old as he zooms around on his electric motorbike wearing his trademark vegan t-shirts and fighting for animals.
BEENA PANTA (Nepal)
(SPCA Nepal General Secretary, Animal Rights Activists and Vegan Advocates)
Beena Panta is a compassionate animal rights activist who oversees coordinating food supplies, logistics, volunteers, and rescue efforts throughout the city for the SPCA Nepal. A passionate animal lover, Beena Panta can’t pass a dog without getting it food, accompanied by lots of attention and hugs. Beena Panta already busy coordinating the large-scale spay/neuter program that the entire team, along with other activists, will be organizing post-lockdown.
RITA LIMBU (Nepal)
(Animal Rights Advocate & FM Radio Host)
Popular FM radio jockey program host, Rita is also a no-holds-barred independent voice for animals who is not afraid (or shy) to tell it as it is. When the COVID lockdown happened, Rita jumped right in on the opportunity to help provide vegan meals for people in need. Involved in animal welfare campaigns across the Kathmandu Valley, Rita is a great voice for those without a voice (animals) and is an inspiration to fellow activists she works with. She also makes some great vegan momos!
SHRISTI SINGH SHRESTHA (Nepal)
(Animal Rights Advocate, Vegan Activist and Vice-President, Animal Nepal)
Shristi is a key animal welfare campaigner at the community and policy level for several leading animal rights organizations in Nepal. Her journey began when an abandoned calf died in her arms, which made her become vegan. Shristi’s goal is to create a country where all living beings are treated with respect, kindness and granted their freedom. She is currently involved in an initiative to ban elephant riding and exploitation in Nepal permanently. Shristi is also Vice-President of Animal Nepal, which works through interventions, animal rescue, research, education, campaigns, and advocacy to create protective rights for animals.
RADHE KHADKA (Nepal)
(Social & Vegan Activist)
Co-founder of the Nepal Shakahari Party (Nepal Vegetarian Political Party), which campaigns for animal rights and protection throughout Nepal and lobbies the government to bring these issues to a legislative and administrative level. Realtor by day, activist by night, he’s never seen without his Trilby hat and blue anti-animal-sacrifice windbreaker.
KAJOL SETHIA (Nepal)
(Vegan Dairy Nepal Co-founder)
Kajol Sethia is a vegan entrepreneur, advocate, and the co-founder of Vegan Dairy Nepal. She started the business after seeing a gap in the market for plant-based dairy and honey alternatives. With humble origins in the family kitchen, her products now can be found at restaurants and markets in several cities throughout Nepal. Sethia has been approached by global hotel chains and plans to hit supermarket shelves outside of Nepal in the coming year. As an advocate for veganism in Nepal, she was the first person in the country to win PETA Asia’s Outstanding Activist Award for her work with animals and activism.
RADHA GURUNG (Nepal)
(Animal rights and environmental activist)
Radha Gurung is a vegan as well as a committed animal rights and environmental activist. She works as the Head of Communications for Animal Nepal – an animal welfare organization focusing on achieving long-term benefits for the wellbeing of animals and communities. Radha is also a founding member of the People’s Alliance for Nature Nepal (PANN), which campaigns for the protection of Nepal’s nature and wildlife. Radha became a vegan for ethical reasons, but now she believes that it is a powerful political statement. For her, it is an absolute rejection of a system, which thrives on the exploitation of others. In her spare time, Radha loves spending time with her animal family, which consists of 3 dogs, 2 calves, and 5 cats.
BISHNU ARCHARYA (Nepal)
(Animal Rights Advocate, Conservationist and Naturalist)
Bishnu’s love of nature and animals came to him from a young age as he grew up just outside the Chitwan National Park where he took great interest and concern in the jungle’s several endangered species including the Greater One-horned Rhinoceros and Bengal Tiger. This led Bishnu to become a nature guide in 1994. Since then he has had the pleasure of guiding film units in search of rhinos for Animal Planet and the Jeff Corwin Experience, was involved with the rhino translocation program to Bardia National Park, is active in the Save the Rhino campaign, and a founding member of Nepal’s BES (Bird Education Society).
KARMA DENDUP (Bhutan)
(Founder of Jangsem Monday (Meatless Monday Bhutan), Animal Advocate, Film Director & Producer)
Karma Dendup is the Founder and Executive Director of the Meatless Monday campaign in Bhutan known as Jangsem Monday. In addition to focusing on individual pledges for people to be vegan on Mondays, the Jangsem Monday campaign also has been successful in convincing over 66 schools, as well as numerous NGOs to also take the Jangsem Monday pledge. The goal will eventually be to create awareness and urge all institutions, hotels, and restaurants to go meatless on Mondays. For Karma, this is the first step in encouraging a plant-based diet for people to follow regularly for the sake of people, animals, the environment, his country, and the planet. In addition to being the Executive Director of Jangsem Monday (Meatless Monday) and an advocate for a more compassionate planet, Karma Dendup is a media producer who before becoming Head of Production at the Bhutan film and media company Reflection Films, was a TV host and producer with the Bhutan Broadcasting Service, where he was also awarded a national award for his documentary during the 2nd Annual Journalism Awards.
ZACHARY LOVAS (USA)
(Vegan Travel Program & Project Coordinator)
Zac is the co-founder of VegVoyages Vegan Adventure Tours and the VegVoyages Foundation. He spends his time sharing his passion for animals, traveling, local vegan food, and bringing people together by bridging cultural gaps throughout the 8 different countries VegVoyages trips go to every year. In 1990, Zac left America to work on a film in Asia where he has been living and working ever since. Based out of Jakarta (Indonesia), Zac spends most of the year living out of his suitcase exploring local vegan cuisines while coordinating vegan cultural exchange groups and promoting vegan activism across the continent, his home for the past 3 decades.
KUNTAL JOISHER (India)
(Vegan Mountaineer and Two-time Everest Summitter)
Kuntal Joisher is the first vegan to climb to the top of Mount Everest, which he incredibly did not do just once, but twice! Through his trekking, he works to dispel myths about nutrition and a plant-based diet. He is equally passionate about raising awareness about the health benefits of veganism for both people and the planet. As a respected photographer, Joisher’s work has been published in National Geographic, BBC Earth, The Outdoor Journal, Himalayan Journal, and many other magazines globally. He is the winner of the prestigious Kutch Shakti, Kutch Ratna, and Kutch Kohinoor Awards in India.
RK SINGH CHAUHAN (India)
(Co-founder of VegVoyages Vegan Adventure Tours & Chair World Vegan Organisation, India)
Co-founder of VegVoyages, Singhji (as he is affectionately called) grew up in Rajasthan, India. After graduating with a degree in hotel management, Singhji went on to manage several of Rajasthan’s most recognized hotels including the world-famous Lake Palace Hotel in Udaipur, before becoming operations manager at one of the region’s prestigious tour management companies, which also coordinated for film units shooting in the area. When not on tour and coordinating for VegVoyages trips in India, Singhji enjoys doing yoga, veganizing traditional Rajasthani recipes, and spreading the word on veganism as Chairperson of the Indian Chapter of the World Vegan Organisation. Singhji also Chaired the Vegan India Conference - WVO 4th International Conference in Delhi and is on the coordinating board of the Himalayan Vegan Festival – the largest vegan event in the Himalayas coming in 2022.
PALAK MEHTA (India)
(Vegan First Founder and CEO)
Palak Mehta is the founder and CEO of Vegan First, India’s leading publication and digital media platform for all things vegan. She started Vegan First in 2016 to promote the plant-based ecosystem in India, and organized the Vegan India Conference in 2019. Palak also runs her own show on YouTube, The Palak Mehta Show, where she aims to unearth the hidden gems and silent beings who have contributed to the spiritual treasury of the country. Palak is also vice-chair of the India chapter of the World Vegan Organisation.
RAMJI ADHIKARI (Nepal)
(Founder of Manavsewa ashram , Social vegan activists)
Ramji Adhikari is the founder of Manavsewa Ashram – a non-profit motive social organization which has been conducting Humanity Amplification Movement all over the nation by providing service of food, shelter, medication, skill development, and family rehabilitation to the needy, homeless, physically and mentally challenged people who are not recognized by the society too. Till the date, Mr. Adhikari has been facilitating thousands of youth on positive living and leadership development. He is a many in one package as youth mentor, life coach, social activist, career planner etc. He has been honored by Janasewa Shree Padak – 2075 by Honorable President of Nepal along with dozens of other recognitions. Besides the active involvement in Manavsewa Ashram, he is also involved in Thoughts for Super Living as a founder secretary, Lions Club of Intellectual as a founder member etc.
AJIT THAPA (Nepal)
(General Secretary - WVO Nepal, PhD. Scholar in Sociology, Conservationist, Motivational Speaker & Retired Brigadier General, Nepal Army)
A dynamic Human Resources professional with 35 years of military experience providing guidance on human resources operational topics and challenges. Ajit's love of wildlife and animals grew immensely during his duty in Nepal's national parks, and he is now an avid promoter of veganism for both animals, the environment, and health. Ajit has years of experience and extensive skills in HR administration, UN Peacekeeping missions and teaching both in military as well as civil colleges. He is a Professional National Park Conservationist winning the Nancy Abraham Conservation International Award (Individual) and IUCN commendation for the Security Duty in National Parks in 2006.
YUBRAJ MASKI (Nepal)
(Filmmaker, Creative Writer, Entrepreneur)
Yubraj Maski was born at Bheerkot Municipality 03, former Banethok Deurali 06, Syangja, Nepal, the midland hilly part of Nepal and brought up in Bhairahawa, the Terai region near to Nepal India Boarder in Westcentral part. He studied Culture, Economics and Literature formally; music and Filmmaking informally. He was a Teacher of English as second language (TESL) and made various films and documentaries too. An Independent filmmaker and Freelance Columnist, he has worked in various social service organizations like Jaycees International, Nepal Scout, Human Rights Organization, Film Development Board Nepal etc. He is an eco-enthusiast, Permaculture, Organic Farming practitioner. He is passionate at Whole Food Plant Based Healthy Cooking, non-violence and Meditation.
ASUTOSH PRADHAN (Nepal)
(Vegan, Ph.D. Scholar and Tourism Entrepreneur)
Asutosh is originally from Bandipur, who has been engaged in tourism industry since 2008. Exploring the Vegan community trails in Nepal, teaching cooking class of vegan newrai food and promoting the vegan tourism in Nepal has been a major motto of Asutosh. Bandipur Bagaincha is organic farm house where organic food is produce and promote veganism. Asutosh involve in different tourism organization for the promotion of Tourism Industry in Nepal.
BIJITA SHAKYA (Nepal)
(Animal Lover and Tourism Student)
Bijita loves animals and thinks that animal are the good friend of human. Being a tourism student, she knows very well as about the hospitality management. Participating as volunteer in different social organization, involvement in various tourism communities and being traveler she is concern about the environments and vegetation. Bijita is Sectary of Tourism Student Forum- Nepal and Executive Member of PATTA Nepal Student Chapter.
BIKRAM GURUNG (Nepal)
(Founding member of WVON and the vice-chairman of Nepal Vegan Association)
Vikram Singh Gurung is a vegan and a spiritual person with lots of love for animals. Gurung hails from the himalayan district of Mustang, who also is a founding member of WVON and the vice-chairman of Nepal Vegan Association. To promote Veganism, he mainly puts his efforts to bring awareness about the importance of vegan lifestyle and global waming to the people. A businessman by profession, fond of social service, currently he has been highly helpful for the arrangement of Himalayan Vegan Festival 2022.
MATRIKA PYAKUREL (Nepal)
(Social Worker, Animal Rights Activist and advocate)
Matrika has worked at national and international levels as a development professional and social worker with various capacities. He has held different positions as chairperson, training coordinator, programme officer in non-governmental organizations and religious national level umbrella organization. He has extensive knowledge of community development, leadership development, social enterprise, community welfare activities, animal right, various level of disaster relief activities, conflict mitigation and social harmony.
SHOVA BHUJEL (Nepal)
(Aspiring Lawyer, Vegan Food Blogger & Advocate)
Shova Bhujel is an aspiring lawyer, who procured bar license recently and a law student pursuing masters degree in Nepal Law Campus specializing in criminal law and constitutional law. She is a co-organizer at Kathmandu Animal Save where they have been advocating for veganism and targeting Nepalese youths to get active for animals. She also does veganism related food content in the form of blogging through her Instagram account named life_places_food. As a young law student, she observed that there were many people active for human rights but only handful advocating for non-human animal rights, understanding that oppressions are inter-linked, she strives for better society through intersectional veganism.
PRIYANKA K. NAITHANI (USA)
(Vegan Activist and International Development and Food Security Social Worker & Scholar)
Priyanka’s academic curriculum in International Development and Food Security has a strong emphasis on solving complex global issues from a systematic frame of mind, while being sensitive to the social, cultural, economic, and political impacts such change could bring. Over the last 4 years, Priyanka has accrued experience in food security and the effects of agriculture on the development of regional and global communities and has spent considerable time studying sustainable solutions to food insecurity, chronic poverty, and social inequalities. In. 2020, she was appointed as a Gilman Scholar and conducted a food insecurity analysis in a rural community in Thailand as a part of her scholarship program. With her multi-cultural background of living and studying in the US, India, Ecuador, Italy, and Thailand, Priyanka has a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. She is passionate and dedicated to aiding in and providing sustainable solutions to global food insecurity and human suffering with the goal of reversing global injustice, hunger, and poverty through interdisciplinary and systematic solutions.