Miserable Dashain for deprived Dalits

POKHARA: A Dalit community dwelling in Ward no 4, 5 and 6 of Arba Bijaya VDC here spent their days in Dashain miserably, without having to eat a full-stomach meal.

They said that they could not purchase anything for the festival due to the skyrocketing prices of essential food commodities.

Some five dozens Dalits and their children cloistered in Ward 4,5 and 6 of Arba Bijaya VDC echoed the same concern that they had no money to buy anything but simply gaped at other fortunate ones eating gluttonously and enjoying the festival lavishly.

"For me, Dashain was meaningless, it only brought my family misery and sadness for we did not have money to buy even basic amenities of life,'' Tulashi Pariyar lamented.

Another local of ward-7, Samar Bahadur Sunuwar, who had owed Rs 7,000 to celebrate Dashain, shared a similar sentiment: "I had not enough money to celebrate the festival in desired manner."

With the exception of Sunuwar, Dashain brought no joy to the rest of the Dalit families here. It has rather become a burden to most of them who do not pocket a regular source of income.

Gore Pariyar, who has been living in squatters' settlement, asked, ''We have not even bread and butter, how can we celebrate festival?''

Pariyar lamented that he could not buy new clothes to his children in Dashain who he said went on pestering him all the days. Watching other fortunate ones wearing colourful clothes, turned him inconsolable, he said. He demanded that the government should bring special programme to address the problems of the people like him living below absolute poverty line.

I felt bad that I could not fulfil the demands of my children,'' he said as tears rolled down his cheek.

Bin Bahadur Pariyar, who also lived high and dry in Dashain, added,''The government should better prohibit celebrating the festival in a pompous manner.''