SURKHET, June 21: The Karnali provincial government is preparing to introduce an integrated policy for the endangered Raute community. The Ministry of Social Development is preparing to formulate a Raute policy for the socialization of the Raute community by preserving their unique culture and traditions.
Minister for Social Development Yagya Bahadur Budha Chhetri said that the protection of the endangered Raute community was the responsibility of the state. "As it is a nomadic community that keeps moving from place to another a separate policy is needed to protect this endangered community," said Minister Budha Chhetri.
Stating that the interference of outside community on the culture and traditions of Raute community has increased, he said the policy covers issues like prohibition of entry to the community, one-way system of providing relief, security arrangements, management of food and shelter. “The ministry will work on socialization of the community by protecting their values, norms and culture.”
He said that the recent rape of two young women from the Raute community by outsiders had made it necessary to secure the settlement and bar outsiders from entering into the community.
Minister Buddha Chhetri expressed concern over the declining number of Raute members. He directed the concerned bodies to reduce malnutrition in children and pay attention to their nutrition.
Secretary at the Ministry of Social Development, Krishna Prasad Kapri, said that the endangered community of Karnali needed to be protected. "It is the responsibility of the state to protect Nepal's only nomadic community," he said. “We are preparing a policy embracing traditional culture, rites and beliefs and we are also holding discussions with the community regarding the issues that need to be addressed through the policy.”
Chief District Officer Chhabi Rijal said that a number of malpractices have come to an end after the settlement was sealed after the rape incident. "The administration has now barred entry of new people to their settlement. The relief distribution system has been implemented through a one-door system," he said, adding that this has had a positive impact on the community.
He further explained that the community is suffering as people enter the community to make videos for social media platforms like Youtube, Facebook and Tiktok, the community is suffering.
Deepa BC, vice-chairperson of Gurans Rural Municipality, said that the Karnali provincial government should act as custodian of Raute community. Stating that the rural municipality had given the identity card of the temporary citizens to Rautes, she pointed out the need to distribute the citizenship certificates to the Raute community after completing the necessary process. This nomadic community is now living in Gurbhakot Municipality of Surkhet.