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ANNUAL REPORT
Annual Report 2009

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NEPAL / DALITS

Who are Dalit?
Dalit are the de facto ‘untouchables’ of contemporary Nepal. Dalit refers to a group of people who are religiously, culturally, socially, economically and historically oppressed, excluded and treated as untouchables and they belong to different geographical region, language, culture and castes. According to National Dalit Commission(NDC), Dalit are defined as “ those communities who, by virtue of atrocities of caste based discrimination and untouchability, are most backward in social, economic, educational, political and religious fields, and are deprived of human dignity and social justice.Dalit are also known as lower caste under the stratified Hindu caste system originated some 3ooo years ago. Dalit faces an estimated 205 forms of discriminatory practices their daily life. Dalit community occupies 13% of total population (Although Dalit activist claim to be over 20% ) and comprises 21 caste; such as Badi, Damai, Gaine, Kami, Sarki, Bantar, Chamar, Dhobi(Hindu), Dom, Dusadh, Halkaihiya, Kakaihiya, Khatbe, Khatik, Kori, Tatma, Mushar, Pattharkatta, Pasi and Sarvanga.
Untouchability and Caste based discrimination

Untouchability and Caste based discrimination is one the most serious crime against humanity. It is grave human rights violation.
According to NDC, caste-based untouchability refers to the discrimination practiced toward the communities whose touch is believed to pollute so needs to be purified to the extent of sprinkling water; or any form of discrimination against any community that was identified as untouchable before the promulgation of the New Civil Code, 1963. Dalits form the groups which have received most inhuman treatment from the ‘high castes’ through caste-based discrimination, including untouchability. In practice, untouchability refers to avoidance of physical contact with persons of lower castes grounded in the caste system of Hinduism; that touch with lower caste people pollute the upper caste people. It is estimated that more than 260 million people around the world are affected by caste discrimination.Untouchability and caste discrimination is deeply rooted and widespread in the Nepalese society. There is strong evidence that the practice of “untouchability” continues; behavior intended to avoid bodily contact between Dalits and non-Dalits. Exclusion of Dalits from temples and from access to water based on the notion of “untouchability” continues and is regularly reported in the press. Intercaste marriage and the extreme and violent community and family reactions to it graphically illustrate the depth of feelings with regard to untouchability and purity.

Caste System
Caste system involve the division of people into groups where the assignment of rights are determined by birth, are fixed and hereditary and is unequal and hierarchical, with those at the top enjoying most rights coupled with least duties and those at the bottom performing most duties coupled with no rights. The system is maintained through the rigid enforcement of social ostracism (a system of social and economic penalties) in case of any deviations. The doctrine of inequality is at the core of the caste system.
Fact Sheet about Dalit

SN

Particular

National Average

Dalit

Remarks

1

Proportion of population below national poverty line according to head count index (Government of Nepal)

25%

41%

 

2

Multidimensional poverty according to 2013 Human Development Index

44%

 

3

Population

 26,494,504 (48.50 % Male and 51.50% Female)

13%

Dalit claims to be over 20%

4

Net enrolment ratio in primary education

93.7

20

 

5

Literacy rate above 5 or above

65.9% (75.1% Male and 57.4% female)

 33%

 

6

Ratio of girls to boys at primary level

1

<1

 

7

Under-five mortality rate

68

90

 

8

Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR)

229

273

 

9

Proportion of population using an improved drinking-water source (%)

80

73

 

10

Life Expectancy

68.73

61

 

11

Landless

24%

90%

 

12

Education above SLC

17.6

3.8

 

13

Education above Bachelor (Undergraduate)

3.4

0.4

 

14

Civil Servant (Bureaucrats)

 

1%

 

15

Dalit Primary level Teachers

 

4.5%

 


 
 
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