Tharu students seek after identity

KATHMANDU: Tharu students have ur-ged the government to do more to uplift their educational status for the broader interest of more than 1.6 million indigenous people living in the Tarai for hundreds of years.

Speaking at the fourth valley conference organised by the Tharu Students’ Society today, its coordinator Sanjeev Kumar Choudhary warned that they would have no option but to take to the streets if the state continued to eclipse their plight. “Tharus are the indigenous nationalities who have served Tarai for centuries. They deserve equal rights in all sectors,” he said. Laxman Choudhary, president, Tharuhat Autonomous State Council, flayed the government for enlisting the Tharus as Madhesis and demanded their historical identity to be recognised. He also appealed to the students to voice the demand that their unique and ideal culture be preserved.

“Tharus, irrespective of their profession, are waging a peaceful movement to achieve their birthright. An autonomous state is what they want,” he said.

Krishna Raj Choudhary ‘Sarbahari’ of the Tharu intellectual body lauded the Tharu students’ bid to pressure the government . “The students will play a pivotal role to lead the Tharus in an organised way to achieve our goal,” he said.

On the occasion, Tharu students from several

colleges in the Valley expressed commitment to stand united to take their demands to a pragmatic end.

Their demands include higher education in Tharu language, replacement of Sanskrit University by Nepal Multilingual University, free education for all, transparency in awarding scholarship to Tharu students, utilisation of education budget allocated for indigenous nationalities, implementation of technical education, carving out federal states on ethnic lines and assurance of a federal democratic republic.