‘A lot more needs to be done to eradicate existing social evils’

Kathmandu, December 16

Participants of an an interaction programme today said cases of child marriage, domestic violence and caste discrimination had declined in recent years but a lot more needs to be done to eradicate these social evils.

Sharing her experience at an interaction ‘Rights of adolescents and roles of stakeholders,’ organised by Jana Utthan Pratisthan here today, Sangita Sah from Rautahat said although other countries had made great strides in development, Nepal was still talking about building toilets in each and every household.

She said a boy attempted to kidnap her when she had gone to a nearby field to answer the call of nature. “When a male grabbed my hand and ordered me to sit on his bike, I screamed and   my uncles rushed to save me but I can guess there are other victims who might not have been as lucky,” she said at the programme sharing her experience as an adolescent.

She said social awareness programmes, including Sambad (dialogue), and street drama being staged by some NGOs were making a positive impact in society but they were not enough to eradicate the social evils.

Hence, all sections of society needs to do a lot more to address the problems faced by adolescents, she said.

Surkhet participant Yashodha BK said dialogue programme being carried out in his district against social evils including child marriage, chhaupadi, caste discrimination and domestic violence was making a positive impact in the district.

She said her own neighbour who was forced to spend days in cowshed during her period was sexually assaulted. Some NGOs have been running dialogue programme since 2013 in seven districts  Surkhet, Rupandehi, Nawalparasi, Makwanpur, Bara, Rautahat and Kapilvastu.

BK said awareness campaign should be expanded to far flung areas of the country in order to rid the country of social evils.

Presenting a paper on the ‘rights of adolescents and role of stakeholders,’ advocate Bishnu Bahadur Khatri said the nature of problems the adolescents faced in different places, gender groups and ethnic communities were different and hence stakeholders need to come up with different polices.