Welfare schemes elude Dalits, Janajatis

Tika R Pradhan

Kapilvastu, June 11:

A large number of Dalits and Janajatis of the district have been deprived of benefits provided by the government and other agencies, as the government has not recognised them. The District Education Office recently made a decision to recognise some 21 castes as Janajatis among which hardly three fall under the 59 indigenous nationalities recognised by the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN). They include Majhi, Danuwar, Tharu, Bhuj, Kohar, Loniya, Bhar, Badhai, Barai, Kanhar, Lodh, Kewat, Chai, Mallah, Gadariya, Koiri and Patahar. The DEO has listed 17 Dalit communities that include Lohar, Dom, Chamar, Harijan, Kasai, Pasi, Paswan, Kori, Dhobi, Khatik, Dharikar, Mochi, Dhandhi, Sundi, Hela, Not and Pattharkatta. Among these communities, many groups are not recognised as Dalits. “For our convenience, we have decided to recognise these groups as Dalits and Janajatis,” said district education officer Umakanta Mishra.

According to a section officer at the DEO, Dhundi Raj Aryal, the DEO has faced lots of trouble while providing scholarships and trainings to them. He said the list would later be sent to the DDC and other concerned government bodies for approval. “We only provide scholarships to the students from the recognised Dalit communities,” said Menuka Chaudhary, head mistress of the Shree Laxmi Primary School of Tenui. Basudev Jamarkattel of the District Development Committee said the DDC is also facing a similar problem. “We have provided trainings to only those communities recognised by the government,” he said. Around 60 per cent of people of the district are from the Dalit and Janajati communities.