The country has not been able to bring effective policies for the upliftment of the Dalit community, experts have said.
Speaking at a workshop titled ‘Dalit community in national budget’ jointly organised by Jagaran Media Centre and Samata Foundation in the Capital on Thursday, former Vice-chairman of National Planning Commission (NPC) Jagdish Chandra Pokharel said that the country has failed to introduce effective programmes and allocate
sufficient funds to uplift Dalits in the last six decades.
“The state could not ensure fair access of Dalits in
economic, social, individual and cultural rights and opportunities needed for the development of the community,” Pokharel said.
“None of the five-year plans were pro-Dalit for they did not incorporate Dalit issues,” he added.
The 13th five-year plan has however envisioned a non-discriminatory society and created all-inclusive policies, he said.
NPC Joint Secretary Gopi Nath Mainali, Nepal’s policies and annual budgets could not address the issues of the Dalits and highlighted the importance of raising them in an institutional manner.
Also speaking at the workshop, Dalit rights activist Hira Bishwokarma said that all national budgets till date are biased against Dalits and demanded that funds should be released for Dalits in
a separate package.
A total of 483,034 people from marginalised and Dalit communities in the country are eligible for social security allowance.
The budget for current fiscal year 2015/16 has allocated Rs 330 million for public housing programme targeted towards people from underprivileged and marginalised communities.
The government has planned to construct a further 1,200 houses under the
programme next fiscal year.
The budget has provisions for providing scholarships to 1,000 people from Haliya, Kamaiya, Kamlari, Chepang, underprivileged Muslim and Dalit communities and from 10 backward districts in the Mid-west and the Far-west.