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The government’s decision to build houses for Dalit families of Arnaha Rural Municipality, Saptari, under the People’s Residence Programme has fallen flat. Dalit families of the locality are disappointed as construction work has yet to begin though the current fiscal year is coming to an end. Local Lalaku Sada said, “The government’s false promise has disheartened our impoverished Dalit community.” The government’s apathy in constructing the residences has let down Dalit families of around 50 Village Development Committees across the district.
Nande Luwar, 70, of Jukot in Swamikartik Rural Municipality, Bajura has voted many times in his life. But, due to some reasons Nande could not cast his vote freely. “I will vote where the upper caste people ask me to vote,” he added.This is a common trend among Dalit families of Jukot, Bajura.
A local fined Prem Bahadur BK of Chhededaha Rural Municipality with Rs 2,000 for touching the former’s cowshed in Bajura. Rajendra Bahadur Singh of Chhededaha, Biradi fined BK the amount just for touching his cowshed during the door-to-door election publicity campaign on Friday.
A person from the Dalit community was thrashed mercilessly in Bode Barsain Municipality, Saptari, yesterday for entering a temple to perform puja. Liladhar Das (Tatma) of Bode Barasain Municipality was beaten black and blue by the local non-Dalits. According to eye-witness Laxmi Ram, locals Raj Kumar Yadav, Kasindra Yadav, Ramchandra Yadav and Sakaldev Yadav, among others, had attacked Das when he reached the local temple to perform Asare Puja.
Seven-year-old Laxmi Nepali of Bhagwati Aulagurta VDC of Jajarkot district wakes up early in the morning and rushes toward a nearby school. While most of the children of her age carry books and other educational materials, she is seen holding a sack on one hand and a hammer on the other en route to Nepal National Secondary School. For the sake of Rs 100, she crushes stones into gravels in front of the school from early morning. Though it is not her wish, she is obliged to do so to sustain her life. She completes crushing a sack full of gravels from 7 am to 9 am in the morning. “I give this money to my parents and they will buy me books and new clothes,” Laxmi said.
Minna Havunen, of the Dalit Solidarity Network-Finland, traveled to Nepal and met Dalits in the villages of Rautahat. She heard first-hand stories of discrimination and segregation and met Dalit teenage girls at a NNDSWO centre, who were learning about their rights. Read her blog post about the visit here. Photo from DSN-Fi blog post.
Several human rights organisations in Nepal have joined forces to launch and impressive new online portal that will collect information on human rights violations relating to caste in Nepal and push for action to address them. The portal is a much-needed tool to help ensure implementation of Nepal’s legislation against caste discrimination as this form of discrimination much too often goes unpunished. The portal will also raise awareness of the needs of Dalits in Nepal and other issues affecting Dalit communities.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Prakash Sharan Mahat has reiterated the government’s commitment to end the caste-based discrimination and the practice of ‘untouchability’ from Nepal at the earliest possible.
Raksha Ram Chamar (Harijan) from Madhesi Dalit community has been awarded the first Darnal International Award for Social Justice
Dalit communities are among the poorest in Nepal. So when disaster strikes, such as the immensely destructive earthquake in May 2015, they are inevitably one of the worst affected communities.