Full implementation of Dalit Empowerment Act sought

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By Our Correspondent,Janakpurdham, Mar. 22: A memorandum has been submitted to Chief Minister of Madhes Province Saroj Kumar Yadav stating that the Dalit Empowerment Act has not been given its full shape even in three years after its enactment. 

The memorandum was submitted to Chief Minister Yadav on Monday demanding that the Act should be enforced by giving it a complete shape. 

The Dalit Development Act was created by Madhes Province government under the leadership of the Regional Dialogue Group. 

The Dialogue Group drew the attention of Chief Minister Yadav through the memorandum mentioning that the province level committees established in accordance with the Act were incomplete and were not functioning.

While receiving the memorandum, Chief Minister Yadav expressed his commitment to taking proactive steps towards completing and  implementing the Dalit Empowerment Act. He said that preparations were being made to inform the heads and administrative officers of local levels about the Act. 

In the initiative of the Dialogue Group, caste discrimination and untouchability monitoring committees were formed in 13  of the 136 municipalities in the province, and it has been requesting the provincial government to form such committees in the remaining local levels. 

Although Dalits share18 per cent of total population in Madhes province, their presence in the state and municipal politics and government is rare. The people of the Dalit community, who are suffering from economic poverty, have been facing different kinds of issues, including caste discrimination and untouchability. 

In accordance with the Dalit Empowerment Act, the Madhes Provincial Administration has created provisions of  ration cards, an alternate educational system, and a monthly grant for Dalit students, among other facilities for the community. But due to lack of implementation, Dalits have been deprived of these facilities ensured by the law in the Province. 

Although the Dalit Empowerment Act-2076 was enacted by Madhes government for the development of the Dalit community, it has not been implemented even three years after it was enforced. 

The Act was registered in the Provincial Assembly on November 6, 2018 by the Ministry of the Social Development.  The Act was certified a year later on December 10, 2019. The government then had given top priority to the Dalit Empowerment Act. 

The Dalit Development Committee was established with the Minister for Social Affairs as its chairman, along with a "Committee on Caste Discrimination and Untouchability" headed by the Chief Minister. 

Similarly, a caste discrimination and untouchability monitoring committee was formed in each municipality and a "caste discrimination and untouchability control unit with an office at the provincial police centre. 

Submitting the memorandums to Chief Minister Yadav, Provincial  Assembly member Jayanul Rai,  Member of the House of Representatives Nisha Shah, former member of the Provincial Assembly Chamelidevi Das, leader of the Janata Samajwadi Party-Nepal  Devendra Mishra, Sanjay Kumar Chaudhary of the Loktantrik Samajwadi Party, Rammani Shah of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party, Pradip Yadav of the Nil Hira Samaj, Viva Thakur of the Terai Madhes Loktantrik Party, Jivachha Yadav of the Maoist Center, Raju Paswan, the Provincial Coordinator of the Informal Service Center (INSEC), Dalit rights activist Munni Das and others were present. 

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