Kathmandu, February 12
The Badi community has threatened to launch protest against the government if the latter fails to implement the agreement signed with National Badi Rights Struggle Committee on 1 September 2007.
Issuing a 15-day ultimatum to the government, National Badi Rights Struggle Committee has urged the government not to dissolve ‘Badi Community Upliftment Committee’. The government in 2007 had formed the committee to ensure permanent shelter and employment opportunity to the Badis.
Organising a press conference here today, National Badi Rights Struggle Committee said the committee should not be dissolved as a lot still needed to be done for the upliftment of Badi community. “Badi women are still forced to get involved in prostitution due to lack of employment opportunities,” said Mahesh Nepali, executive director of Badi Community Upliftment Committee.
After mass protests for 48 days 10 years ago, the government had signed an agreement and formed the committee.
“But the government is trying to dissolve the committee without improving the life of the Badi community,” said Nepali.
Badi women face discrimination even within the Dalit community and are deprived of political and economic opportunities.
“In the last five years, we have been able to provide economic support to several Badi women for starting new business. Around eight per cent Badi women are still involved in the sex trade,” he said.
According to the 2011 Census, the population of Badi community stands at 38,603. However, Badi Community Upliftment Committee Executive Director Nepali claimed there were more than 100,000 Badis across the country.
“Badi people are living in districts across the country and many have changed their identities,” claimed Nepali.
Ratna Bahadur Badi, coordinator of NBRSC, informed that most of the Badi women moved to the brothels in India, while Badi women in the villages of Kailali, Bardia, Bajhang and Dang were forced to continue the sex trade for livelihood.
A version of this article appears in print on February 13, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.