KATHMANDU: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli conferred a national award –Bhagat Sarvajit Manav Maryada Rastriya Puraskar–to Jagaran Media Centre (JMC)– on Friday.
The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation of the Nepal Government had selected Jagaran Media Centre for the prestigious award with a purse of Rs 100,000 and a letter of appreciation.
Receiving the award by the prime minister at a function organised at Prime Minister’s resident Baluwatar Chairperson of the Centre Kamala Bishwokarma said JMC was awarded for its contribution for social change through the area — skills, art, education, literature, culture, writing and research recognising contribution against caste-based discrimination. She said the award was the result of regular lobbying for social justice and equality through media besides the impact of JMC’s tv serial ‘Dalan’ in Nepali society.
Founder of JMC Rem Bishwokarma, who is currently an executive director of the Centre, expressed happiness for the recognition with such a prestigious award of the country from the executive head of the nation. Thanking both the Nepali government and the Bhagat Sarbajit Memorial Academy, Bishwokarma said the award was dedicated to all those who contributed to the JMC since its inception.
JMC was selected for the award with the recommendation of the selection committee formed by the minister-level decision of the Nepal government.
Established in 2000 the JMC has been actively lobbying and advocating for Dalit movement, social justice, equality and democracy through media.
Similarly, this year’s award has also been conferred to Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC)-a human rights organisation and a member of the Constituent Assembly Puran Singh Dayal, who has been contributing in the Dalit’s liberation movement.
The award has been established in the name of founding leader of Dalit movement Sarvajit Bishwokarma which is conferred by the govenrment to three individuals each year with Rs 100,000 and a copper-plated felicitation letter. As per the minister-level decision of Baishakh 5 different awards including National and Provincial Talent Awards, Mahakavi Devkota Award, Bhagat Sarvajit Manav Maryada national award and Gopal Prasad Rimal national award were conferred to different individuals and organisations recognising their contribution in social transformation.
The national award of Bhagat Sarvajit Manav Maryada was established with the special initiation of former minister Chhabilal Bishwokarma, the founding chairperson of the Bhagat Sarvajit Memorial Academy and this is the largest award ever conferred in the respect of Nepal’s Dalit movement. Government has already issued a postal stamp in the name of Bhagat Sarvajit Bishwokarma.
He was born at Gairagaun of Baglung Municipality-7 on March 22, 1894. Bishwokarma was the first Dalit leader who revolted during Rana regime against ongoing suppression to Dalits after returning from India studying Sanskrit. But the government continued to keep his contributions in a shadow despite many political changes in the country. He had started a campaign for the liberation of Dalits 75 years ago but the Dalit community is still at the bottom of Nepali society.