Badis upset by rehab delayThe government’s decision to rehabilitate the Badi community eight years ago has not been implemented till date.
The government’s decision to rehabilitate the Badi community eight years ago has not been implemented till date. On January 7, 2008, the Cabinet had decided to rehabilitate the Badi community by providing them land and teaching them income-generating skills. The objective was to end the scourge of poverty among the Badis and to break the dependence of their women on prostitution to earn money.
Uma Devi Badi, the president of National Badi Rights Struggle Committee, said the rehabilitation programme announced by the government had instilled hope among her people that their life would become better.
“We waited eight years for the government to deliver on the promise. Now we have reached the decision to stage a protest to stir the government into action,” said Uma Devi.
State Minister for Land Reform and Management Bikram Bahadur Thapa said the problem lies with the Badi’s demand for the ownership documents of the very land that they have been living in.
“The problem is that they want the same land they have occupied for years,” he said, adding that the government is ready to provide them land in other places.
A delegation of Badi community is in the Capital for the last three weeks, making rounds of various ministries with their demands.
The demands of the community revolve around the agreement between the government and the Badi community in 2007.
In line with the very agreement, the government had formed a panel to study the social, economical, educational and political status of Badis. The report submitted by the panel is gathering dust at the Ministry of Peace.
Those closely watching the Badi movement say the Badi people’s demands are genuine and the government should not delay addressing them.
“Badi people are poor among the poorest. It is the government’s responsibility to look after the welfare of this vulnerable community,” said Durga Sob, a Dalit rights activist.