March 17, 2018 04:31 AM NPT
By: Govinda KC
DAILEKH, March 17: A month after the students padlocked the school administration, venting their ire against the school authority for allowing a Dalit woman to cook their lunch, Himalaya Basic School (HBS) of Teejdanda of Chamundabindrasaini-1, organized a 'joint feast' with the objective of erasing the caste-based gap between the students.
Three months ago, Resham Kumari Mijar was appointed a helper at the school for Rs 2000 a month. However, she did not know that the non-Dalit as well as Dalit students will refuse to eat the meal cooked by her and will eventually make an issue out of it. The students of grade six and seven had padlocked the school administration, apparently after being provoked by their parents and teachers.
There are altogether 286 students in HBS. After the incident, Surya Bahadur Shahi, mayor of Chamundabindrasaini Municipality called the principal of HBS Purna Kandel, chief of the School Management Committee (SMC) as well as other staffers of the school and instructed them to increase the salary of the school helper Mijar.
Prem Bahadur Thapa, chief of the District Cordination Committee (DCC), Dailekh stated that the feast was organized to end caste-based discrimination. He also warned of taking stern action against those who discriminate against or ostracize people on the basis of caste.
Likewise, Chakri KC, Chairperson of Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ), Dailekh stated that efforts should be taken by the local government to form laws and policies to end untouchability. According to Laxmi Kumari Shah, vice-chairperson of DCC, it is shameful that the ill practices like untouchability, Chhaupadi and early marriages are still prevalent in Chamundabindrasaini.
Chief District officer Bishworaj Neupane informed Republica that the joint feat was organized for the parents to realize that what had happened a month ago was a shameful incident. As the students were not punished for their deeds, Neupane urged everyone not to take that as a weakness of the authorities.
The program was organized under the leadership of Ranga Bahadur Tarami, chief of SMC. The feast was attended by a large number of stakeholders such as Tara Kumari Shahi Khatri, vice chairperson of the municipality and officers of various government bodies.
Caption: Guests attending the feast organized by the school.