Where Dalits adopt family planning measures

Morang, May 22:

A dalit settlement at Lakhantari VDC-1 here is all set to make itself a role model for others. Having realised the fact that bearing more than two children would do them more harm than good, the dalit families have adopted family planning measures.

A total of 170 dalit households dwell in the settlement. Though they have to toil day in and day out to manage two square meals a day, they are rich when it comes to planning things.

“The dalits living in this settlement are good examples for other dalits,” a local, Chandra Devi Rishi Dev, said.

Providing proper nutrition and education to more than two children will be a difficult task for us, said a dalit, Chandra Devi, whose husband is a tractor driver and her two sons are studying in a secondary school at Jorahat VDC. According to her, her sons Saudagar (15) and Wajariya (12) are studying in grades nine and six respectively. “The only hardship they have to face in going to school is that they have to walk for two hours,” she said.

Janaki Dev (22) also has two children who are studying in a primary school at Baijanathpur.

Rekha Rishi Dev also has two daughters — one goes to school while another is too young. Rekha says she will adopt permanent family planning measures when her little child is six months old.

The male members of the dalit families work in factories and fields.

Since the settlement is linked with Biratnagar, there is no problem finding oneself a job that pays well, they said. Some 200 children of 50 families go to school, said Chandra Devi.

As 20 families in the settlement are currently facing an uphill task in making ends meet, their children are not attending schools, Chandra Devi said.

With its focus on the dalits, Human Rights and Environment Forum organised a free health camp here where all the dalit women of the settlement underwent a check-up along with their children.