Gopi Mainali, Joint Secretary at the National Planning Commission, said the government should ensure the sanitation rights of Dalits, Janajatis, Madhesis, children, women and differently-able persons in the country.
He urged Dalit communities to put pressure on elected representatives in the community as well as national level to ensure their participation in formulating laws and regulations on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene rights reports The Himalayan Times.
Speaking at a national workshop on Dalit Rights and Access to WASH, organised by Samata Foundation in collaboration with Feminist Dalit Organisation, Mainali said, “Dalits should have access to development activities through inclusive social participation.” Mainali added that the government should declare various regions of Nepal untouchability free zones just like the Open Defecation Free zones.
Durga Sob, president of FEDO, said, “The national census 2011 says Dalits account for 20 per cent of Nepal’s total population but they are deprived of sanitation rights.” She highlighted that government’s decisions to ensure access to health, safe drinking water and sanitation for all Nepalis by 2017 to meet Millennium Development Goals exist only on paper. “The WASH situation of Dalits remains unchanged,” she said. Medical staff and health volunteers employed at the rural areas in Hill and Tarai regions still hesitate to provide health and sanitation services to Dalits and marginalised communities, she claimed.