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Srijanasutra wants to be the game changer in Nepali creative industry

Srijana Sutra has helped more than 90 people find jobs in the creative industry 

KATHMANDU, Aug 28: Jeevan Jung Thapa could not find a suitable job for three years. It was heartbreaking. Like many other Nepali families, Thapa's family also wanted him to land a government job. He started applying for government jobs just to please his parents. But he didn't get one.

In desperation, he even tried for the Nepal Army. He was not selected. 

Thapa says he was not aware of his interests and passion, but he knew deep inside that those jobs weren’t for him. "Although I applied for similar jobs, I wasn't happy. I was just trying to make my parents happy," he recalls.

His friends suggested that he join theatre classes. Thapa and his friends joined Sarwanam Theater. "That was when I realized what I was passionate about. My passion was in the art and creative field," he said.

Then he came to know about, Nepal's only creative job platform. "I applied for a job through Srijana Sutra and was selected as a casting director for a movie named Kathputali. It was the turning point of my career," said Thapa, who hopes to work in the film industry.

Founded by Subhash Pradhan, a known face in Nepali music industry, and Sampada Malla, an eminent Nepali film professional and a screenwriter, is the only creative job platform in Nepal that helps people find a range of creative job opportunities.

Within a month of its official launch in February of this year, the platform has so far helped more than 90 people find jobs of their wish in the creative field. "Even when the county went into a lockdown, we helped over 40 people find jobs through our platform," said Malla, who is happy with how well the platform has been running.

According to both the founders, the formation of the platform felt necessary as there were no such platforms to help people find jobs in the creative field. "There are a number of job providing platforms but the creative sector lacked such a platform," said Malla. 

A lot of skillful and dedicated people want to work in this field, but they don't get enough support or even when they have support, they don't have a platform to find such jobs.

Pradhan and Malla came up with an idea to create a platform, and Srijana Sutra has tied up with Nepal's leading film production houses, television stations, radio stations, print media houses, schools, colleges, fashion houses, advertising agencies, corporate houses, NGOs and INGOs and, the response has been overwhelming.

Malla says that the Nepali society has always looked at the creative field with a narrow lens. The 'creative field' isn’t limited to the movies, music or theatre industry. It includes a wide range of vocations: RJs, VJs, music, dance or art teachers, photographers, videographers and even content/script writers.

"Even big corporate houses require creative people for creative job placements," she said.

An individual is often praised when s/he opts to join a technical field or lands a government job. But when someone wants to join the creative field, they have to face an objection from their family members and the society.  

"People should understand that this field is respectable and offers jobs with good salary," said Malla.

Pradhan echoes similar views. Pradhan was once working at a bank before he left everything to establish himself as a successful musician. "Following my parent's wishes, I was working in a bank. But that wasn't something I wanted to do and that never made me happy," he said.

He decided to quit his job to follow his heart. "I wanted to become a musician. So I ignored what others said and followed my own path," he said.

Pradhan says he has no regrets. "I wanted to prove that your passion and hobbies can be your profession. Nobody from my family had any connection with the music industry. But I was dedicated to finding my own calling," he said.

Thapa was scorned by his family and friends but with time they started to accept and appreciate his work. "My parents are not from the entertainment background and they didn't want me to join this industry either. But now they're happy and proud of me," said Thapa, who at a young age of 27 worked as a casting director in a couple of films and has performed in a number of music videos, advertisements and plays.

The platform receives more than half a dozen applications on a daily basis, and they now have a pool of over 2,000 applicants.

"The demand for creative people is high, but we receive more applicants than the market demand. People are beginning to see this differently," Malla said.

The founders claim that a lot of new faces also get the opportunity to work in this industry, especially in the entertainment sector. "All the applicants who have applied for jobs are new faces with no direct link to the industry," said Malla .

"The entertainment industry has been relying on close contacts to find characters for new projects. This platform changed everything," she said. "We should never underestimate the capabilities of new, emerging talents," added Pradhan. 

Moreover, Srijana Sutra is also the first platform to introduce a 'contract system' in the creative industry in Nepal. Stating that the creative field industry barely works on a contract system, Pradhan said that this field needs to work like a corporate business. "Most of the jobs in this field do not have a fixed time and rather have a flexible time frame. We don't have the habit of working in a proper corporate system," he said.

With Srijana Sutra, the applicants are assured with a proper contract before they start their job.

In addition, the applicants are also provided with necessary training required for the selected job. The training sessions are carried out at Sarwanaam Theatre.

"This industry has given us purpose to our lives and we will be successful only when we are able to help this industry prosper," they said.

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