Incident Reports

Nursing Mother Ostracized for Being 'Low Caste'


Okhaldhunga/January 29

Susmita Darji, 19, of Prapcha7 has been forced to take refuge at a shed after being shunned by the Bishwakarma community for belonging to 'lower Darji caste'.


Darji, who is living in the shed with her two-month-old twins, was found to be serious condition by a human rights monitoring team led by the INSEC District Representative.


Her husband Dil Bahadur said nobody was offering them help after being boycotted by the community of about 45 households adding he could not afford to buy warm clothes for the mother and the sons and to build a proper house. She and the infants were also found malnourished.


Dil Bahadur's mother Bishnu Kumari BK was forced to shift Susmita and the infants to the shed on December 26, 2011 after pressure from other community members.


Bishnu complained that her community members had prohibited her to take both in.


The team asked local intellectuals and teachers to help resolve the issue and asked to provide support to the mother and the twins. INSEC DR along with Annapurna Post reporter Jeevan Sharma also drew the attention of the dalit rights activists to intervene in the case.


Dil Bahadur and Susmita got married in traditional way in February 2011. The family lived together for seven months before it was discovered that Susmita was actually a Darji.


Following the revelation, Susmita was forced to take refuge at her relative's place in Kathmandu. Dil Bahadur brought her home after she gave birth to the twins in November.


Susmita's mother-in-law said she felt sad to keep her daughter-in-law and grandsons away from her home.


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