The women from Kanakasundari rural municipality in Jumla started to act collectively to end the caste-based discrimination in the society. They formed Dalit Women Network and started to raise voices against the caste-based discrimination prevalent in society.
They organize campaigns about child marriage, polygamy, mensural practices, along with the legal provisions about caste-based discrimination in different villages. They also counselled a couple who did child marriage from ward number 6 of the rural municipality and were able to send each of them to their own homes.
Their work has brought behavioural changes in the community says local Dali Sarki. According to her, the women have started to live in a separate rooms during mensuration unlike before, and have banned alcohol in the village. Anyone who is found drinking alcohol and making noise had to pay a fine and also report to the police if he/she doesn't obey the rule.
Before the Dalits used to be discriminated and other people wouldn't eat the food touched by them. This form of untouchable practice no longer exists and both Dalit and non-Dalit have started to eat together. The municipal level Dalit network has transcended its network to all 8 wards of the rural municipality.
"Last year, we demanded a building for the network. Many of our demands have been met. However, some demands remain to be addressed," said Dharma, the treasurer of the network. She shared further, "We have empowered ourselves and are able to raise voices not only at the village level but also in the district. Also, the environment has become more favourable and easier to organize and participate in awareness-raising programs about social evils and bad practices."
The women have become confident to keep their demands with the elected representatives, administrators and other stakeholders. The Dalit network also facilitated appointing a chairperson of the school management committee of the local Goruchaur Basic School from the Dalit Community.
August 03, 2018