Of unfair stigma and medieval minds

Himalayan News Service


Is this world fair enough? Is our society doing justice to dalits? Why are widows treated as if they have committed some heinous crime? These were the questions brought forward by the play put up by the MR Theatre Group organised by Ekal Mahila Samuha, an organisation working for betterment of widows alongwith an association working for the upliftment of dalits in Nepal. The first show was staged on February 1 at Nepal Tourism Board, Bhrikuti Mandap.

The programme was started with the release of the book ‘Bhatkiyeko Parkhal’ written by Bhimsen Sapkota, on which the play is based. Sushila Bhandari, a 14-year-old widow from Sindhupalchowk who lost her husband after just 45 days of marriage, released the book along with Dhana Bahadur Pariyar, who has remarried Sumitra Pariyar, a widow with three children. “We want support from the society for the betterment of widows and their remarriage,” said Kunda Sharma, president of Ekal Mahila Samuha. Shriram Sapkota, professor, Balmiki Campus, said that social stigmas have been cultivated and bred by our own people. “We need to make a change from the grassroots and the villages,” said Sapkota.

Bhimsen Sapkota, the author of the book said that though our country has been geographically unified 200 years ago, social and economic unification is yet to happen. Renowned Birendra Hamal directed the play and the preface of the book has been written by Swagat Nepal.