To create awareness, provide education and training to the people in the community, so that the marginalized people of Nepal live their lives with dignity.
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge...”
The Nepalese people have been gone through the captivity of darkness since the very beginning of her national existence. In general, they have never had a chance to have vertical mobility. Its main cause was lack of education which is fundamental rights of each human being. The United Nation was formed on 25th of April in 1945. The formation of UN was to ensure the fundamental rights and protect the rights of all persons. The Government of Nepal also signed on the document of the fundamental rights on 14th Dec., 1955. Unfortunately! The fundamental rights became just rights of ‘Rana Elites’ who had reigned for one hundred and four years and the thirty years of single party, Panchayat system of politics. During those days, education became an Icon of only for the Rana family, political leaders, minister’s children and the Acharya for religious purpose (High Caste Brahmin). There was only one High school in Kathmandu that is ‘Darbar High School’ in Rani Pokhari and a College, named ‘Tri-Chandra College. Only the Rana’s and elite’s children were allowed to enroll in the School and college. The ordinary citizen had never chance to have even basic education. It was a kind of politics of hierarchy not to open door of education to the ordinary people (Bista: 1991, p117-132).
The reasons must be:
Easy way of exploitation: When a person gets opportunity to have education, definitely the person gains a power of knowledge to know the rights and gains the ability to protect those fundamental rights. In order to ensure the rights, the learned person influences others and forms a collective voice against the exploiters. In the Nepali political history, those who were taken a bold step to raise voice against Rana’s regime and Panchayat System were not illiterate persons. Illiterate persons have been used by politicians as vote bank and capitalists as a commodity to have mass production for economic gain without giving fare wages. In the present context of Nepali Dalit and marginalized community has been victimized of it. Even most of them do not have knowledge of their fundamental rights and benefits that the State Government has provided them. A root of poverty is lack of knowledge with the tradition mind set, not the merely lack of resources alone. An outstanding, social scholar, Dr. Dor Bahadur Bista has argued that the poverty of Nepali people is the root of fatalistic mind- set that constructed by the fatalism of Hindu caste hierarchy. What is fatalism? It is the opposite of rationalism. Believing on the doctrine of deeds and economic prosperity and higher or lower social status is the product of past deeds (karma) (Bista: 1991).
Its simple meaning does know nothing what is happening against their progress and development and who is causing them to block their progress. Poverty does not cause by a single factor rather it has variability.
Fear of giving a birth of antagonists: In the Nepali historical context of providing education to the fellow-citizens, the ruling class used to think that it is giving a birth of antagonist to their position of ruling. The present scenario of Dalit welfare and empowering women and protecting child rights and poverty reduction is being a faucal point of programs. It has been proven by the fact of long lists of cases of marginalized households and communities that still they are compelled to live under the exploitive political and social environment. On this issue, there might be various discourses but the fundamental reality is that until and unless, the victim community is educated and shed the light on their own backwardness by themselves, the external help and interpretation of their situation would be just like looking the half shape of radish on the ground. Poverty reduction and all kinds of exploitation can be stopped by revolutionizing the community by education. I am not talking about the traditional ways of education, education based on the principles of paradigm. The backward and marginalized community must be raised to the level of competitive position by which the traditional decision making class would be replaced. How is it possible? Only by education!.
The Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRG) at New York University
“(NYU) School of Law (2010) has highlighted issue on the situation of education of Nepal with an evocative voice to the Nepal Government, “Nepal must take concrete steps to ensure that every one has the rights of education. Nepal has an obligation to ensure free education to progressively introduce higher education for all. To ensure equal access to education in fact, and not merely in law, Nepal should introduce special measures to ensure educational quality for Dalits, women, and other marginalized groups”.
Education is a powerful means for lasting transformation of the community: Now, we are standing in the context of declaration of free illiteracy Nepal. A good thing has achieved! It is a product of collective efforts. Definitely, it is an exodus of community transformation. Laura has underlined her observation of community transformation by the literacy class in Tansen, Palpa. She has precisely taken a case of a Magar couple who married by writing love letter. The girl had no opportunity to go to school. The reason was not economic; it was thinking of traditional social value. The Villagers of Tansen used to send only boys to school thinking that daughters would spoil by writing love letter and also reading love story and get married soon. Thus, a girl joined in a literacy class. The boy was studying in a College. The boy and the girl were from the same village. At the first time, the boy wrote a love letter to her proposing to get married with much hesitation, the girl responded letter and it went for some months and at the last they were married (Laura: 2004, p163-217). She has claimed that since then a traditional way of marring was transformed, many boys and girls began to propose openly to marry. In that way, those who were taking adult literacy classes had also new way of thinking and doing household works at advanced level? Literacy project should not take it as the last phase of program for the community; it has to take it just first step’s achievement and plan beyond the reading and writing. There is a long way to reach to the destination of transforming the traditional society into the modernism.
GCDN has a similar achievement which inspires every one of us to go further developing the community. There are numbers of enforcing realities that has mentioned in the project achievement. Let me remind four cases of literacy class participants; Mrs. Sandhya Khadgi Rai of Thimi, Bhaktapur, after completing literacy class, she has elected a community chairperson of Khadgi community of Thimi, Mrs. Sanu Maya Sinjali of Chainpur (Sindhuli District) has elected a chairperson of the Government Primary school, Mrs. Sangita Lakandre (Lower Caste group) also has been elected a member for the Cheru Village Environment Preservation Committee ( Mahottari), and Mrs. Esther Rakhal who, after completing the literacy course joined the Diploma in Theology and successfully completed the course ( ACOMN- Asian College of Ministry) and now she is preaching and teaching in the Grace Christian Church. They have built up the reasoning capability and have commenced of breakthrough the gender inequality. We, the GCDN Executive Committee members, the project partners, staff and stakeholders, let us join our helping hands together to make difference in the community through the light of education.