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This day reminds us of the Sharpeville Massacre in South Africa in 1960 when police opened fire on hundreds of peaceful demonstrators against apartheid’s passbook laws. The police killed 69 demonstrators and wounded 186. To make sure it would never be forgotten, in 1966, the United Nations declared March 21st the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in memory of this tragedy.
Dalits commemorate this event annually in various forms to eradicate caste-based discrimination and untouchability in Nepal. The Dalit movement has been pressurizing the government to observe March 21 as a national festival in order to spread the message for the complete abolition of caste-based discrimination from the society. As Nepal is an untouchability-free country declared four years ago, all people must stop discriminatory behaviors and practices from their heart and mind.
Like every year, this time, the National Dalit Commission and Dalit Civil Society Organization have jointly celebrated the 21st March. To observe the day Joint rally started from Bhrikuti Mandap and concluded in National Dance Academy, Jamal. Later, it was followed by mass speech program in the chairmanship of Ms. Sushila Shreepaili Thakuri, president of National Dalit Commission (NDC).
The chief guest of the program was Mr.Padam Sigh Bishwokarma, former president of NDC who is also known as live history and witness of organized Dalit movement from Rana Regime to date. There was also representative of political parties, including UCPN (Maoist), CPN (UML), Nepal Sadvana Party (Ananda Devi) among others. Dalit leaders from Dalits sister organizations and Dalit civil organizations and Senior Human Rights Activist, Mr.Subodh Raj Pyakurel also delivered the speech in the program. Dalit NGO Federation (DNF) has moderated the speech program.
FEDO is a national level Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) founded in 1994 to establish the rights of Dalit women by organizing and empowering them for their mainstreaming into national development. [+ read more]
- Global fund for Women
- International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR)
- European Union (EU)
- Womankind Worldwide
- WaterAid Nepal
- Open Society Foundation (OSF)
- World Bank/CECI
- Australian Embassy
- DanChurch Aid (DCA)