Cobbler makes it to Dalit Commission

He has his agenda: Getting space allotted to his ilk in City

Kathmandu, July 17:

Sewal Mahara Ram, who has been mending shoes in Khashibazar for the last 16 years, was last week appointed member of the National Dalit Commission.

Ram, who is in his late 30’s , has been an active member of the Nepal Sadbhawana Party (Anandidevi) for the last 10 years. He heads the Dalit wing of NSP-A, Nepal Dalit Utthan Manch, that was formed six years ago. He has definite views on what needs to be done for his ilk.

He regrets that his new job has virtually left him with no time for what he used to do earlier. “I believe in dignity of labour. I don’t want to run away from my ancestral profession. I will continue my work whenever I get time,” he said.

He is concerned about the problems of 500-odd cobblers who are frequently chased away and intimidated by the city police. “They even take away our belongings at times,” he said, requesting this scribe to “let the people know about our woes.”

“I would do my best to allot space for the cobblers in different parts of the city,” he said.

Though earlier he used to earn Rs 150 a day, Ram, who joined the NDC office yesterday, doesn’t yet know about the salary and perks of his new job.

Ram has passed the lower secondary level and lives at Bagbazar with his son, who passed SLC this year. Other members of his family reside in his hometown, in Mahottari district.

Meanwhile, Dalit activists have flayed the appointment of ‘incapable’ people in the commission, claiming that Ram’s appointment mocks the Dalit movement.