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Dalits put forth 27 demands to CA

- DIPAK BAYALKOTI, KATHMANDU
Dalits put forth 27 demands to CA

Aug 19, 2014-

Nine Dalit organisations affiliated with major political parties on Monday unveiled twenty-seven-point charter of demands to put forward in the Constitution Assembly.

The Joint Political Dalit Struggle Committee, an amalgam of Dalit organizations in the country, has demanded to ensure the political, educational, administrative and judicial rights of Dalit in the new constitution.

They have asked with concerned authorities to form a powerful autonomous and constitutional body named National Dalit Development Council (NDDC) and further empower the existing Dalit Commission.

Speaking at a joint press conference in Kathmandu, Dalit leaders urged the concerned authorities to effectively implement the law.

“There should be inclusion of Dalit communities in the state bodies,” said Min Bishwokarma, president of Nepal Dalit Sangh. Dalit activists have also asked the government to treat practice of untouchability and caste-based discrimination as crimes against humanity.

In addition, they have reiterated their demands with stakeholders that it should ensure access to all Dalit students on technical education, and free health services, land and quarter for homeless Dalits, and need to unveil poverty elimination programs intending for these communities. “After major political parties and stakeholders have ignored Dalit issues, we are compelled to once again bring up the issues,” said Tilak Pariyar, co-ordinator of CPN-Maoist affiliated Nepal Rastriya Dalit Mukti Morcha.

Rights activist Bhave Sarki no more

Noted democratic and dalit rights activist Bhave Sarki passed away on Monday while undergoing treatment at Manipal Hospital in Pokhara. He was 71.

Sarki, who had joined the Nepali Congress after being influenced by its charismatic leader BP Koirala about four decades ago and had been active in it since, was suffering from high blood pressure and diabetes. After complaining of severe chest pain, he had been admitted to the hospital on Sunday. His eldest son Govinda said Sarki died of heart-attack.

Dalit Sangh, Kaski said that Bhave Sarki had made immense contribution to the nationwide Dalit movement initiated for the rights of Dalit people in the country and against caste-based discrimination.

“His passing is an irreparable loss to the national Dalit movement,” said Hari Pariyar of Dalit Sangh.

Despite remaining active in NC party politics, Sarki, however, continued to struggle with near poverty as a shoemaker-- an occupation the Sarki community has been traditionally involved in and because of which

the rigid Hindu caste system considers them as untouchables.

As his family is still living in a near impoverished state, NC party activists had collected money on his behalf to conduct his final rites. However, most of the NC top leaders including party lawmakers were conspicuous by their absence. Sarki is survived by his wife, three sons and three daughters.

Published: 19-08-2014 08:53

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