KATHMANDU, Feb 23: People from the Badi community of Karnali Province have been protesting near the gate of the Office of the Chief Minister and Council of Ministers of Karnali Province since Monday night, demanding land, house and employment.
A total of 402 Badis from Kalikot and Dailekh reached the gate of the Chief Minister's Office at 8:30PM. They have stated that they will not leave the gate of the Office of the Chief Minister until their demands for land, permanent housing and employment are met.
“We have come to hold a sit-in at the gate of the provincial Singha Durbar after realizing that our demands will not be addressed from the village's Singha Durbar,” said Prem Badi, chairman of the Badi Rights Struggle Committee. “We will not return home unless there is a guarantee of land with permanent documents, shelter and employment.”
New mothers with infants in their laps and people as old as 70 years old have come to participate in the sit-in protest.
In Dailekh alone, 669 families belong to the Badi community. Some of them have been provided houses by the government through the public housing program. Haribodan Badi of Chamunda Bindrasaini Municipality of Dailekh has a family of 21 people. A house built through public housing cannot accommodate more than five people. His entire family is holding a sit-in at the Chief Minister's Office demanding land. “We have come to ask for land as the traditional profession is not enough to make a living,” he said. “We will not stop the protest until the documents are handed to us.”