Dalits recommend to end untouchabilityThe Dalit community, doubtful of the government’s pledge during the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva, is preparing an action plan for eliminating untouchability in the country.
The Dalit community, doubtful of the government’s pledge during the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva, is preparing an action plan for eliminating untouchability in the country.
The UPR had made nine recommendations to the Nepal government regarding Dalit rights which can broadly be categorised as providing the National Dalit Commission with sufficient resources, working to eliminate all forms of discrimination and passing a bill against caste-based discrimination and untouchability.
The other suggestions were ensuring quality health and education for marginalised groups, creating more employment opportunities and preparing a specific plan to ensure that the Nepal Lands Act promotes equality.
The government has accepted all the recommendations except the one concerning
the Lands Act.
“We had been lobbying
for these rights. The UPR recommendation comes at
such an opportune time that
it will provide us more buoyancy to press the government to implement its commitment,” said Sitaram Ghale Pariyar, member secretary
of the National Dalit Commission.
The first step towards ensuring the rights of Dalits would be eliminating caste-based discrimination. “Untouchability is the root cause of our problems. If
the government and rights agencies can make headway for breaking this social
taboo, half the battle is won,” added Pariyar.