I have landed in Nepal. It is the monsoon season, so it rains every day. Sometimes it comes down really hard, sometimes it is a brief sprinkle and it’s gone. Kathmandu has a lot of touristy areas, and there is a great spot for coffee with wi-fi access. So far, I have been there everyday for both the coffee and internet. I along with my colleague Emily (AP fellow in Nepal at BASE) did a small urban trek of about 4 miles today in order to avoid the tourist prices the taxi drivers charge here (the meters are somehow always broken). It’s a small distance, but the heat made it seem longer so we stopped and splurged on ice cream for breakfast.
I started working with the Jagaran Media Center this week. They were just featured in the local newspaper, Republica, on a full page (p 5) spread that covered the recent campaign to call for a stronger application of the 2011 Untouchability and Caste-Discrimination Act. Rem BK, the JMC president, was interviewed and called for stronger Dalit leadership as well as a stronger commitment from the government in enforcing laws protecting Dalits from human rights violations.
I have been talking with Samir (JMC program director) and Rajesh (JMC program manager) regarding the work that I’ll be participating with JMC in this summer and we are definitely planning to profile the Badi community. I will keep you posted on how that develops, but I am very excited to both learn and share more about this sub caste, which both Samir and Rajesh said is one of the most marginalized groups of Dalits in Nepal. Badi women are forced into prostitution at a young age and find it very difficult to escape that profession.
“Dhanyabaad” to you all for your support and interest in the Dalits of Nepal, and until the next post… Namaste.
Posted By Raymond Aycock
Posted Jun 8th, 2013