Dalits still treated as ‘untouchables’

Bajura, April 19

Bishna Kala BK is a volunteer midwife who has been offering her services in Budhinanda Municipality of Bajura for the past eight years. She provides service in Siradi village of the municipality.

However, upper caste people from BK’s village do not summon her for assistance. “Most of the people in my village are Chhetris and they do not call me for my services simply because I am a Dalit volunteer,” BK says. She has yet to provide delivery service to women of upper castes. “I am only called to clean up after the delivery,” she adds. BK shared more of her bitter experiences with The Himalayan Times.

She said even staffers of different organisations arriving in her village in Bajura with campaigns to uproot untouchability do not take water from her if they find out she is a Dalit.

“Two government staffers came to me to launch a health programme in the village a few days ago, but they left without having meal in my house after I told them that I was a Dalit,” BK said. The food she had prepared for them was wasted.

Purna Bohora, a local, confirmed that the upper caste people never called for BK as she was a Dalit. Meanwhile, Dalit rights activist Gorakh Sarki said caste discrimination in Bajura is yet to be uprooted.