Dalit Settlement Transforms: From Hardship to Hygiene and Hope

Bariyarpur, Bara / Dust, mud, and a lack of sanitation often paint a grim picture of Dalit settlements in Nepal, especially in Tarai-Madhes region. Many envision frail individuals, limited opportunities, and a cycle of poverty that seems inescapable.

But in in Bhinsiya village of Bariyarpur located at the Ward No. 2 of Mahagadhimai Municipality in Bara district, 46 Dalit families are rewriting their story. Thanks to access to clean water, sanitation facilities, education, and income-generating activities, their lives are undergoing a remarkable transformation.

Today, a wave of change has swept through the village. This is not a story of foreign intervention or grand gestures, but of community empowerment and self-reliance. It is a testament to the power of small interventions that have led to a profound impact on daily lives.

Water supply infrastructure and public restroom facilities constructed as part of the project

The most visible change is the abundance of water. Gone are the days of women toiling distant locations for every drop. A 170-foot pipeline and newly constructed bathing facilities have brought dignity and hygiene to their lives. Surpati Devi Paswan, a resident who now bathes daily, beams, “Today, I don’t just bathe, I perform rituals. It brings me joy.”

This newfound access to water has had a ripple effect. Diseases have decreased, and families are now able to maintain basic sanitation. Public bathing spaces, initially met with resistance due to privacy concerns, have become a symbol of progress. Punakali Devi Paswan, another resident, shares, “Earlier, we bathed in clothes, but now it’s easier with the facilities.”

The story does not end there. Inspired by the project, Madan Malli and his wife Rekha have embarked on a new venture – bamboo and broom making. With an initial investment of 50,000 rupees, their business flourishes. Madan, who dreams of educating his sons unlike himself, now earns around 1,000 rupees daily. He is not alone. Seven other Dom families have joined the bamboo trade, thanks to the ‘Strengthening Community Resilience Project’ implemented by Jan Jagaran Youth Club (JJYC) with assistance of Islamic Relief Canada and Islamic Relief Nepal.

This project, spanning multiple wards, has touched the lives of 400 families. It is not just about water and sanitation; it is about creating opportunities. Bhaiyaram Yadav, president of the JJYC, explains, “The project has provided training on composting, distributed seeds and vegetables, and promoted organic farming.” It has even been provided boring machines for irrigation and supported 116 families with goat farming.
The impact extends beyond income generation. The project has empowered 76 victims of violence by setting them up with small businesses. An additional 376 individuals have received financial aid to kickstart their entrepreneurial journeys.

The transformation of the Dalit settlement in Bariyarpur is a beacon of hope. It is a story of resilience, community spirit, and the power of well-directed interventions. From battling dust and despair to embracing daily baths and business ventures, these families are scripting a new chapter in their lives, one filled with dignity and self-reliance.

क्याटेगोरी : English, समाचार

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