Call to focus on uplift of Madheshi Dalits

Kathmandu, November 22:

Pointing that Madheshi Dalits were more exploited than the Hill Dalits, speakers at a seminar held in Janakpur recently demanded that special measures be taken to uplift them. Addressing

the two-day seminar titled “Crafting Social Agenda for Dalit Youth in Janakpur recently, executive director of the Centre for Economic and Technical Studies (CETS), Dr Hari Bansh Jha, said concerned organisations should focus more on uplifting the Madheshi Dalits since they were more exploited than the Hill Dalits. Dr Jha also highlighted the importance and objectives of the seminar, which was organised by the CETS in cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), the organisers said in a press release today.

During the inaugural function, Ram Parikshan Das, a Dalit activist, said Madheshi Dalit students should be kept in separate hostels. Bhoj Raj Ghimire, chairman, Greater Janakpur Development Council, spoke of the need to bring the Dalits into national mainstream. Both the governmental and non-governmental bodies should prepare strategies to empower the Dalits, he added. Participants demanded that Village Dalit Samiti — and not the District Education Office — be given the authority to spend scholarship funds meant for the the students of Terai districts. They also demanded a proportionate representation of Madheshi Dalits in national, district and village-level bodies.

Dalit participants of the seminar formed an 11-member Dhanusha Dalit Utthan Bikas Samiti (Dhanusha Dalit Upliftment Development Committee) under the coordination of a Dalit activist, Panchlal Das. The panel aims to protect the interests of the Dalits and unite them at the district level.