Dalit family struggles to obtain citizenship

BAJURA: A Dalit family in Khaptad Chhededaha Rural Municipality-2 of Bajura district has been deprived of basic government services due to lack of citizenship.

60-year-old Durpati Sarki and her two children -- daughter Mana Sarki (25) and son Tej Sarki (20) -- are struggling to avail themselves of basic government facilities because they do not have their citizenship.

Due to this, Sarki is not able to receive elderly allowance despite being eligible for it. Her son Tej is visually impaired. He lost his eyesight after contracting measles at the age of three. Tej could not get his birth registered as Durpati did not have her citizenship certificate. Therefore, he too does not have his citizenship and is thereby deprived of disability allowance.

Durpati was married to Madan Sarki, a resident of Bina, a village in Khaptad Chhanna Rural Municipality of Bajhang district. After her husband remarried, Durpati has been living with her children near her maternal house in Bajura for over 15 years with no contact with her husband.

Receiving her citizenship became further challenging after the government demanded her husband's citizenship and her residence proof. Being illiterate, it became tough for her to figure out the citizenship procedure.

Likewise, Durpati's daughter Mana cannot vote during elections nor can she get into any government service as she does not have her citizenship. She also expressed her sadness for once being rejected for marriage for not possessing the citizenship.

Meanwhile, Chief District Officer Ganga Prasad Neupane stated that Durpati can obtain her citizenship only if she brings her husband's citizenship and a proof from the local level of Bajhang stating that she has changed her residence to Bajura.

(Translated by Madhavi Marasini)