KATHMANDU, JANUARY 23: Civil Hospital has formed a probe committee to investigate the death of journalist LB Bishwokarma on Sunday. According to the administration of Civil Hospital, a four-member probe committee has been formed in the leadership of Dinesh Kumar Lamsal, head of the Emergency Department to study the death of journalist Bishwokarma. The team includes under secretary Krishna Sapkota, section officer Bhesh Raj Ghimire and chief of Cash Counter Bhesh Bahadur Basnet.
With the news of journalist Bishwokarma’s death criticism has been pouring in against the management of the Civil Hospital saying that the deceased journalist could be saved if the hospital had taken proper care.
The umbrella organisation of all the Nepali journalists Federation of Nepali Journalists, Press Council Nepal and many other organisations related to journalists have been demanding a probe into the sudden death of journalist Bishwokarma claiming that the life of a young journalist could not be saved due to the negligence of the hospital administration.
Biru Nepali- KATHMANDU: Jagaran Media Centre has organised its 22nd annual general assembly on Thursday here in Kathmandu. The assembly chaired by its chairperson and member of Constituent Assembly Kamala Bishwokarma has assessed the programmes of the organisation and discussed the further strategy and work plan to achieve its objectives.
Officials of the JMC said the media centre has completed historic programmes in the past including its continuous support in different movements including Dalit related struggles and developing Dalit journalists besides enhancing their skills. JMC was in the forefront in raising the issues of Dalits and other marginalised communities through different media and therefore they stressed on the need to keep records of its contribution.
According to its member’s collective effort, cooperation and mutual respect will help democratise the organisation and help to make it inclusive and develop a system and it also helps in personal growth as well as in organisational development.
The participating members of the JMC have pointed out that they have to face newer challenges with the change in problems. They also hailed the JMC’s activities to lobby for the right of Dalit and other marginalized communities and suggested for widening such activities.
Advisor of JMC and researcher JB Bishwokarma said collective effort is essential to speed up its activities to develop it as a common organisation.
Saying that JMC has created healthy discussions on Nepali Dalit movement through media Bishwokarma said JMC has played a crucial role to establish the issue of Dalit inclusion in the media and to increase the number of Dalit journalists in the media.
During the general assembly, General Secretary Bhim Bahadur Ghimire had briefed about the ongoing programmes of the organisation for the fiscal year 2077-78 BS.
Treasurer Shushil Darnal presented income and expenditure of the fiscal year 2077-78 BS. He said the total income of JMC in the fiscal year was Rs 9.216 million among which Rs 9.083 was received from donor agencies and remaining from internal funds. The expenditure for the fiscal year was Rs 7.798 million.
Addressing the function Chairperson Kamala Bishwokarma had thanked all those who contributed to bring the JMC to this stage including the founding members and advisors. “There are a host of challenges to run the organisation but we should take it as an opportunity,” Bishwokarma said. “We are planning to run the JMC with a new plan and vision.”
The JMC is a non-governmental organisation established in 2000 by the journalists representing Dalit communities. Ever since its establishment the JMC has been advocating to mainstream various social, cultural, economic and political issues of Dalit in the mainstream through media. It has been utilising various media including radio, television programmes, online, newspaper, and social media networks in its bid to create a just and equitable society ending caste-based discrimination from the society.
KATHMANDU: An award-winning scholar, prolific social entrepreneur Dr Bishnu Maya Pariyar has been awarded with New Jersey-11 hero.
The program to honor heroes was introduced by the member of the lower house representing the New Jersey 11th Congressional district — Mikie Sherrill.
A Democratic Party member of the US House Sherrill had assumed office in January 2019. This honor was awarded to those who played a crucial and inspiring role to combat pandemics in the communities.
Among which Dr Pariyar was selected from the Nepali community, according to Sherrin’s office. Heroes were selected from among the teachers, health workers, volunteers, and first responders.
Her colleague Sandy Hecker had nominated Dr Pariyar, one of the most admired Nepali-American personalities, for the honor.
Also the coordinator of Gender and Domestic Violence program Dr Pariyar had played an inspiring role in combating pandemic in Nepal. She was honored by different organizations for her contribution to fight coronavirus.
In 2015 the City of Louisville, Kentucky honored September 27 as “Dr. Bishnu Maya Pariyar Day” by Mayor Greg E. Fischer for her outstanding social contribution.
Dr. Bishnu Maya Pariyar’s life-struggle story has been featured in a higher education textbook, ‘The Writer’s Mindset’ by Dr. Lisa Wright Hoeffner which was published by one of the world’s top publications, McGraw Hill in 2021.
Dr. Pariyar’s brain-child social integration organization, ADWAN aims to foster a measure of economic independence, to boost self-esteem, dignity and to instill solidarity among diverse communities and build a sense of national pride.
Through her dedication and passion for the marginalized and Dalit community-the so-called low-caste or untouchable people, Dr. Pariyar has overcome tremendous obstacles of gender, caste discrimination, and poverty in Nepal as well as challenges that emerged because of socio-economic inequality and exclusion.
In the years 2020 and 2021, as Coronavirus devastated the community in the United States and around the world, Dr. Pariyar has been in the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic relief assistance program to needy Nepali and South Asian American community and international students.
Dr. Pariyar was conferred with honorary Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.) from her alma mater, Pine Manor College, MA for her pioneer social contribution.
KATHMANDU: Chandre Kami, a Dalit youth who was missing from December 15 after an intercaste marriage, was found at Gupchegaunda of Kharpunath Rural Municipality on Wednesday, according to Police.
According to police officials, Kami was found safe and they were investigating the case.
This is yet another serious case of blatant human rights violations in which a youth was kidnapped by the relatives of a girl who decided to elope with a boy saying he belongs to a ‘lower caste’.
Kami, a resident of Jairko Natta of Sarkegad Rural Municipality-1 of Humla district, who had married a girl of a different caste, was reported missing on December 15.
According to his family members, he was taken away along with Ramila Malla, who is known as Suntali, a resident of Lipru village situated at Soru Rural Municipality-1 of Mugu district.
They have been claiming that he was taken away by a group of 13 people including Malla’s father Bir Bahadur Malla thrashing him in midnight on December 15.
They were claiming that the girl’s relatives had taken her while kidnapping Kami. Suntali, 17, had eloped with Kami,18, on November 21 therefore her people had kidnapped him.
Locals said a team of 30 members led by Deputy Superintendent of Police Heramba Sharma were deployed to search Kami but his whereabouts have not been found yet.
It takes 12 hours-walk from the district headquarters to reach Sarkegad Rural Municipality.
Knowing that their marriage won’t be accepted by the girl’s family, they were residing at a neighbouring village. They had reached Kami’s home only on December 14 and the other day he was kidnapped while the girl was taken home.
Locals have said that Kami had met Suntali three years ago when he was working at a hotel in Mugu and they both were in love thereafter.
The ward chairman of Sarkegad Rural Municipality-1 Gokul Budha had told the media that he had rejected the request of Kami to register his marriage because both of them were below 20. “I heard that the girl’s people had taken both of them on December 15 thrashing the boy,” Budha said.
Enumerators say they found many families who were not keen to disclose their last names fearing eviction.
“I am a Dalit,” the 41-year-old said. “I am afraid that I will be asked to vacate the room if I reveal my surname.”
According to him, there are many Dalits in Kathmandu living in rented accommodations who fear they could be removed from their rooms and apartments if their landlords’ found out their surnames.
“They usually don’t disclose their last names or they use something else as their surnames, like those which are considered ‘upper caste’,” Laxman said.
For the fear of being evicted by his landlords, Laxman provided wrong details of all five of his family members, who have been living in Baneshwar for the last six years, to the enumerators.
“There is no option. To be honest, we lied about our last name when we sought accommodation in this house,” he said.
Sabita (also not her true name) has been living in Kirtipur for the last six years. The 44-year-old, who hails from Biratnagar, said her house owner knows her family as “kshetris”, one of the groups of “higher” castes in Nepal.
“There are four of us,” she said. “We have not revealed our actual caste before the house owner, so we did not tell the enumerators also.”
The national census was conducted from November 11 to November 25.
Enumerators say such a tendency of lying about castes by the Dalits was more common in urban areas.
For decades, Nepal has struggled to abolish caste-based discrimination and untouchability. When the Civil Act 1963 was introduced, its biggest focus was to make caste-based discrimination a punishable offence. The Untouchability and Discrimination Act, promulgated in 2011, and the Constitution of Nepal both provide clear protections for Dalits.
In May last year, Nabaraj BK and his five friends were killed and dumped into the Bheri river in Rukum (West) by a group of people from the so-called upper caste. BK had fallen in love with an ‘upper caste’ girl and her family was extremely unhappy that the boy was a Dalit.
Cases of discrimination rarely get to court and when they do reach the court, justice delivery is delayed. Even if they result in convictions, the offenders are given small fines or minimal jail time of a few months.
The trial for the Rukum (West) mass murder is still underway, more than a year since the incident.
The practice of caste-discrimination is so rife in the country that Dalits still continue to face problems when it comes to finding accommodations.
Bikas Khadka, an enumerator, said the reluctance to reveal surnames could hugely mirserepsent the Dalit community in the final census report.
“In around 200 houses that I visited, we found Dalits to have been using surnames like Risal, Ghimire, Sharma and Sapkota, among others,” he said.
Khadka, who was deployed in the Kalanki area for census data collection, said one of the families initially said their surname was ‘Sharma’ and later asked it to be changed to ‘Tamang’.
“But the daughter in the family suggested they belonged to the Dalit community,” Khadka said.
Khadka said he entered the surname that the family head told him.
Another enumerator deployed in the Kuleshwar area said she also faced problems while collecting details from the households as there were many families that did not want to reveal their surnames.
She visited around 250 houses in the area, she said.
“When asked about their surnames, they would say ‘just write the names, why do you need our caste,” she said. “When I tried to convince them that they should disclose their last names, some families said the society thinks lowly of them if they say they are Dalits.”
Some Dalit families, according to enumerators, however, revealed their surnames in private when the house owners were not around.
In the 2011 Census, Dalits numbered 3,499,497, which is 13.12 percent of the country’s total population.
In June, Rupa Sunar, a resident of Tanahun district currently working in the media sector in Kathmandu, had accused a woman of Babarmahal, Kathmandu of caste-based discrimination by refusing to rent out her house.
The issue made national headlines after the landlord was taken into police custody after Sunar filed a case on June 17.
The police released the house owner from custody on June 23 after the Kathmandu District Attorney’s Office said that investigation into the case was incomplete.
Rupa’s case highlighted the caste-based discrimination prevailing in the country, including in Kathmandu, the Capital.
Enumerators say the population of the Dalits on paper may go down if many families hide their real castes for fear of being discriminated against.
Sundar Purkuti, a member of the National Dalit Commission, said although there was no such problem in villages, the number of Dalits in the city could be reduced.
“We may not have the exact details because of the compulsion the Dalits in the urban areas face when it comes to revealing their true identity,” said Purkuti. “We had requested the Central Bureau of Statistics to ask the enumerators to collect details in confidentiality but it does not look like efforts were made.”
Bhakta Bishwakarma, acting chair of Dalit NGO Federation, said they had drawn the Central Bureau of Statistics’ attention to some issues ahead of the census.
“We submitted a recommendation that one should be allowed to write their last names. We had said that data should be collected by making a different column for caste where Dalits could be included as Bishwakarma, Mijar and Pariyar and so on. We had also requested the bureau to seek the ward offices’ help to count the number of Dalits in city areas.”
But neither the bureau nor the National Planning Commission paid heed to the suggestions, he said.
Hem Raj Regmi, deputy director general at the Central Bureau of Statistics, said that he does not think there has been any large-scale misrepresentation of Dalits only because they did not reveal their last names for the fear of getting evicted.
“Lately, people from Dalit and marginalised groups do not hesitate to say who they are, unlike in the past,” Regmi told the Post.
But he didn’t rule out the possibility of some Dalit hosueholds not disclosing their surnames.
According to him, the CBS guarantees privacy of respondents and enumerators were told not to seek any information that the responders might find sensitive.
“Certain respondents may have provided wrong information which we call ‘response bias.’ It happens in every study or census. Our job should be to minimise such response bias to the extent possible,” said Regmi.
Source : Kathmandu post
BIRU NEPALI, KATHMANDU: Film Director Guild of Nepal (FDGN) and Enhancing Access to Justice through Institutional Reforms Project (A2J), a joint undertaking of the Ministry of Law, Justice, and Parliamentary Affairs (MOLJPA) and UNDP have announced a short-film competition to fight against caste-based discrimination in the society.
The organizers have invited everyone to submit their short films of maximum three minutes within December 10. They have expected that the videos would help raise awareness and understanding around the issue of caste discrimination and also improve the implementation of relevant laws in Nepal.
Caste-based discrimination is the discriminatory behavior perpetuated on so-called lower caste groups on the basis of so-called caste hierarchy, which leads to untouchability, oppression, prohibition, exclusion, and exploitation.
Section 4 of the caste-based Discrimination and Untouchability Act 2011 has prohibited caste-based discrimination and provides for the punishment for committing prohibited activities.
In the context of Nepal, where multiple forms of discrimination are still a day-to-day reality, the call for videos is expected to encourage the general public to delve deeper into the issue, build greater awareness and understanding and also quiz a wide array of people from across the country on how the social ill could be better tackled.
According to UNDP’s notice, the competition is open to all and the video can also be shot by mobile. “The video should either be in Nepali, with English subtitles, or English, with Nepali subtitles or in local languages, with either Nepali or English subtitles,” states the guidelines for the short film issued by UNDP. “But the video content should not promote communal enmity, blaming and shaming of certain groups or communities.”
There will be a total of three winners in this competition – first place, second place and third place with a cash prize of Rs. 200,000, Rs. 150,000 and Rs. 50,000 respectively.
The winning videos will be featured on social media of UNDP and Film Director Guild of Nepal.
KATHMANDU: The fifth national conference of Dalit Liberation Front, Nepal affiliated to Communist Party of Nepal led by Netra Bikram Chand ‘Biplav’ concluded on November 15 changing its name as Labourer Community Front, Nepal.
The Conference held at Dhangadhi has elected a 61-member Central Committee led by Ramlal Bishwokarma of Dailekh. The team includes Jitendra Mahara(Morang) as vice-chair, Trilochan Bishwakarma (Bhojpur) as general secretary, Umesh CK(Kaski) and Ramkumar Paswan (Siraha) as secretaries and Janaki Barah (Rupandehi) the treasurer.
The leaders of different mass organizations affiliated to CPN and Dalit associations and organizations of different political parties were seated as guests and delivered speech wishing for the success of the conference.
Along with traditional musical instruments like Panche Baja and dances like Mayur Nach, Tharu Nach and Hudke Nach, a huge rally marched chanting various slogans from Chauraha to Khulla Manch of Dhangadhi in Kailali before the inauguration function on November 13.
Inaugurating the function General Secretary of the CPN Biplav said the labourer community is not a slave of the ruling class but the builder of the world.
“People of this community are scientists equipped with crafts and arts,” he said. He further stated that this community could only be liberated if the varnashram– the caste system and comprador capitalist parliamentary system ends and scientific socialism was established.
During the closed session of the conference on November 14, Chairman Dambar Bahadur Bishwakarma and General Secretary Ramlal Bishwokarma presented a political document and the organizational statute respectively.
Both the documents were endorsed by the 250 delegated present from all over the country and abroad after discussions.
The three-member team conducting the election after the central committee led by Dambar Bahadur Bishwokarma was dissolved, had presented a list of 61-member new central committee which was unanimously elected by the hall.
During the concluding session, on behalf of the central committee, newly elected chairman Ramlal Bishwokarma thanked everyone for playing a significant role in making the conference successful.
CHITWAN: The Chitwan district court has sent two people involved in thrashing Bhim Bahadur BK to judicial custody for further investigation on November 12.
BK was thrashed to death by locals near Durga temple situated at Bharatpur Metropolitan City-4 a day before the greatest festival of the Hindus–Dashain.
Bhim Bahadur’s son Kisan BK had filed a petition at the District Police Office accusing local Sitaram Basnet and Dilip Shrestha of murdering his 58-year old father by thrashing him demanding legal action against them.
Family members of Bhim Bahadur have accused that locals rebuked and thrashed for asking them about sacrificing he-goat at the temple for the Dashain festival.
The district court has ordered the police to send both of them to prison for judicial investigation. Police had started the investigation by arresting both Basnet and Shrestha.
Dalit-related organizations have been demanding stern legal action against the culprits claiming that the incident happened due to caste-based discrimination.
However, Police have claimed that they have not found any evidence of caste-based discrimination during their investigation.
According to Chitwan District Police Office spokesperson DSP Surya Bahadur Thapa, the postmortem report has stated that he died due to a head injury.
Basnet had thrashed BK with an electric wire while Shrestha, who owns a medical store, had hit him, who had fled to some distance after he was thrashed, on his head. BK’s family members have not accepted his body yet.
In its preliminary report after the field visit National Human Rights Commission has suggested an independent and fair investigation of the incident besides the need for awareness among the public on caste-based discrimination and had requested media to disseminate factual information only.
KATHMANDU: Working Women Journalists Rupandehi district chapter has honoured Sita BK, a journalist of Jagaran Media Centre, as a struggling woman journalist.
Deputy Mayor of Tilottama Municipality Jageswor Devi Chaudhary, Social Development Division head of Ministry of Education, Science, Youth and Sports of Lumbini Province Sharada Basyal and Chairperson of the function Kalpana Tiwari jointly honoured her with letter of appreciation and Rs 10,000 cash prize.
Chief guest of the function Chaudhary said it is challenging for women to work in every sector and it is more challenging for the women journalists.
She said the women journalists should move ahead fighting such challenges for the sake of social change.
Addressing the function Sita BK said she has been continuously raising the voice of the voiceless people.
“This honour has further encouraged me to continue my responsibilities,” she said.
BIRU NEPALI, – BUTWAL: Lumbini Provincial Assembly members have expressed commitment to end caste-based discrimination and untouchability rampant in the province.
The members of the provincial assembly expressed their commitment at an interaction organised by Jagaran Media Centre on October 28.
Addressing the function member of the Constituent Assembly Binod Pahadi pointed out that the political parties have failed to institutionalize the social changes and therefore now the members of the Dalit communities cannot even win at the ward committees which shows that the society has backtracked.
Also the leader of the Dalit rights Pahadi suggested the members of the provincial assembly to come up with resolution proposal to end the untouchability in the province.
Whip of Nepali Congress Nirmala Chhetri said every citizen should begin a campaign from their own home and their kitchen since the issues of Dalit is country’s problem.
She said media should prioritize the issues of Dalit and other marginalized groups when they were raised in the provincial assembly.
Another member of the provincial assembly Jalpa Bhusal said all the communities of the society should focus to end untouchability not only members of the assembly.
Kamala Bishworkarma, member of the provincial assembly, said Dalit community was forced to act as opposition whichever party leads the government.
“Why do we need to revolt whoever leads the government? UML, Maoist, Congress all have reached to the government,” Bishwokarma asked. “Why didn’t the thinking of the parties change? Changes didn’t institutionalize.”
She said other members of the provincial assembly do not speak when there is any incident related to Dalit community. “Not based on the crime, people speak on the basis of whose person s/he was,” she said.
Another member of the assembly Pushpa Chaudhary opined that social discrimination could not end and therefore it was people’s representatives who need to bring change.
During the function Member of the Tilottama Municipality executive member HB Ramtel said political parties could not manage the political changes in the country.
Chairperson of the Jagaran Media Centre Kamala Bishwokarma, who is also a member of the Constituent Assembly, chaired the function conducted by Ambika Pariyar.
The interaction was a part of Centre’s regular discussion series with the members of the provincial assemblies on caste-based discrimination and untouchability and has been lobbying for drafting necessary laws to end such discriminations from the society.