Tekendra Deuba

Dipayal, February 7:

Dalits coming to Silgadhi bazaar, the headquarters of Doti district, are relieved ever since a Dalit opened a hotel-cum-lodge there. Until Shyam Bahadur Sunar opened his inn, they used to have a tough time finding earteries or rooms for staying the night.

Traditionally, a guest looking for lodgings or meals is asked by all hotel owners in Silgadhi whether he/she is ‘pure’ or ‘impure’, ‘Dalit’ or ‘non-Dalit’. Talking to this daily, Sunar said there was no caste discrimination in his premises. He disclosed that even non-Dalit people have started frequenting his hotel. “Initially, non-Dalits used to pass snide remarks at me. But they have stopped now,” Sunar said.

His regular clientele consists of those visiting the district headquarters for different purposes and Dalit students, apart from other Dalits.

As a youth, Sunar had to abandon his studies just because he is a Dalit and the house owner was unwilling to rent out a room to him. “Although the Doti campus is the oldest in the far-western region, non-Dalits never let out rooms to dalit students,” president of the National Dalit Network Ganesh Bahadur BK.