Chepangs sans citizenshipMore than 50 percent of people in the Chepang community at Khairang VDC of Makwanpur district do not have citizenship cards.
More than 50 percent of people in the Chepang community at Khairang VDC of Makwanpur district do not have citizenship cards. The problem is widespread among Chepangs living in Rajarang, Laibang, Metangsi, Haprang and Parsiwang villages in Khairang.
Eighty-seven-year old Dharma Bahadur Chepang of Parsiwang said his none of his nine family members has acquired citizenship. “Our parents did not have cards and land ownership certificates. I have been deprived of the social security allowance and other government facilities,” he said. The village is eight hours’ walk away from Manahari Bazaar along the East West Highway.
VDC Secretary Basanta Kumar Sitaula said he could not provide recommendations to the family of Dharma Bahadur as his parents had not received any of the government documents in the past.
Som Bahadur Chepang, 76, enduring the same problem, said, “I have no money to make citizenship for my six-member family.”
Five years ago, the District Administration Office had distributed citizenship certificates in Khairang, organising an integrated mobile camp for the first time. Raj Kumar Malla, former VDC chairman, said the residents living in the remote areas could not get facility as the mobile camp was organised for only one day. “Chepangs are unable to acquirecards due to the long and tiresome process. They need anywhere between Rs8,000 and Rs10,000 to get verified by the local bodies in the district headquarters,” said Malla.
Other Chepang households in Bharta, Kankada, Kalikatar, Dandakharka and Raksirang also share the same fate.