Incident Reports

Dalits changing caste for shelter


Sudurpashchim, Bajura, Badimalika

 Dalit folks in the northern region of Bajura have been changing their caste whenever they seek shelter because they are denied hotel facilities on account of their so-called low caste status. Dalits from the far-flung area have a hard time getting shelter at hotels in district headquarters Martadi, Kolti, Kawadi, Piluchaur and Tipada bazaar. Karbir BK from Rugin complained that they were not allowed to stay in hotels in Martadi and other places, so they had to lie about their caste. “We are given accommodation in hotels only if we call ourselves Bahun or Chhetri,” he said.

Lokendra Nepali of Pandusain said that he changes his name and caste whenever he has to go out of the village. “I introduce myself as Lokraj Bohara when I go somewhere,” he said. He started changing his identity after he had to wash dishes and stay in a cowshed when he had gone to Sanfe in Achham with his father sometime back. Dalsingh Tiruwa is a hotelier at headquarters Martadi, Only Dalits stay there. “I opened the hotel as Dalits are denied accommodation in hotels belonging to non-Dalits,” Tiruwa said. Another hotelier Man Bhandari said people discriminate because they believe in the superstition that a Dalit’s entry will make a hotel impure. Untouchability is deep-rooted in almost all villages of the district. Dalit rights activist Ramesh BK said discrimination based on caste was high at Jukot, Wai, Bandhu, Pandusain, Kotila, Gotri, Kanda and Jayabageswori VDCs. The district is home to more than 45,000 Dalits.