Call to include Pode, Chyame in the list of Dalits

Kathmandu, September 23:

The Society for the Liberation of Oppressed Dalit Castes, Nepal, has urged the National Dalit Commission (NDC) to include Pode (Deula) and Chyame (Chyamakhal), two oppressed castes in the Newar community, in the list of the Dalit community. A central member and general secretary of the SLODCN, Ram Krishna Deula (Pode) and Binod Pahadi, wrote to the Dalit commission to include the two Newar communities in the list. Deula said a section of the Newar community has called on them not to include them in the list of Dalits claiming there is no discrimination within the Newar community. “The claims may hold true only for some rich Deulas,” he said, calling on the government to help the poor Deulas and Chyames by providing reservation and other facilities.

He said if they are not included in the Dalits’ list they won’t receive any facilities provided by the government for the two deprived communities. The president of the NDC, Bhagwat Biswasi, said the commission would consider the demand in the next meeting and make a decision after conducting a thorough study on the matter. “This is the first application we have received demanding the inclusion of Deula and Chyame communities from the Janajati group in the list of Dalits,” he said. Biswasi added that the commission has received another application from an individual demanding not to include the groups in the Dalits’ list. The case has become further complicated, the National Dalit Commission president further said. While the president of a federation of Newari organisations, Newa Deya Dabu, Malla K Sundar, said it was a mere intervention in the affairs of the Newar community. “We have already settled the dispute after holding discussions within the community and also with the NDC,” he said.

He added that members of the communities, including Pode, Chyame, Khadgi, Dhobi and Kusle, had gone to the NDC to remove their castes from the Dalit list. Stating that the community has been deprived socially, politically and economically for centuries, Deula said the state should provide reservation and other benefits.