Kathmandu, April 18
The government has decided to distribute citizenship certificate to Rautes, the only living nomadic ethnic group of the country, in an easy and simple manner.
According to the Citizenship and National Identity Card Management Section of the Ministry of Home, the concerned district administration offices under whose domain the Rautes reside were directed to make arrangements for providing them with citizenship certificate under Sub-Section (4) and (5) of Section 8 of the Citizenship Act.
The MoHA took the initiative to put this issue on top priority after the Department of Civil Registration under the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development said that Rautes, who were yet to obtain citizenship certificate, were being deprived of social security allowance due to the lack of legal documents.
Some beneficiaries from Raute community residing in Dailekh, Surkhet, Dang, Salyan, and Jajarkot districts have not been able to enjoy the allowance as they could not produce their citizenship certificate.
Around 650 Rautes are estimated to be living in small settlements in the Karnali and Mahakali watershed regions of western Nepal.
Most have been forcibly settled by the government but there are still over 150 nomadic Rautes who mostly live in forest and survive on wild fruits and hunting macaques. They also earn their livelihood by making and selling wooden bowls.
The government has been providing Rs 1,000 each as social security allowance to Rautes on a monthly basis. The DoCR is set to distribute social security allowance to over 2.3 million beneficiaries through concerned local levels in the current fiscal year 2016/17.
Elderly citizens above 70 years, Dalits and locals of Karnali zone who are above 60 years of age and children of the same region who are below five years will be entitled to the allowance. Similarly, the allowance would be provided to single women/widows, endangered communities and the disabled. Senior citizens enjoy Rs 2,000 a month and rest of the others, except disabled, Dalits and children, will get Rs 1,000 monthly.
Likewise, disabled citizens holding red cards under the complete disabled category will get Rs 2,000, while those holding blue cards would get Rs 600 in allowance. The children from the Karnali region, who are below five years, and Dalits will be provided Rs 400.
A version of this article appears in print on April 19, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.