Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
Include whom?



KIRAN PANDAY
According to a table of Nepal's Human Development Index (HDI) broken down by ethnicity, the highest ranking are the Kayastha of the Madhes, but it is the Muhasar of the Madhes who are at the bottom. With the Muhasar, it is the Chepangs who are at the bottom of the HDI heap in Nepal.

The most margninalised communities in Nepal are Dalits, Adivasi and Muslims. These communities should therefore be prioritised in any government services and any future affirmative action programs. The others who happen to have HDI levels higher than the national average do not need any special treatment and will have to compete. Then there is also the question of the status of women and the inequities within ethnic groups. How to prevent the powerful within the marginalised groups from taking advantage of programs weighted in that community's favour?

One rule of thumb could be that even within a marginalised group, 33 per cent of the services should be set aside for women, and those living below the poverty line can be prioritised. However hard we try, it will be difficult to be completely fair in addressing this country's complex ethnic and socio-economic make-up. Targeting people with special needs can be done broadly under the HDI rubric in order to remove inequality, poverty and exploitation but it can't be the end of the story.

These strategies must now rise above the level of party slogans and be transformed by deep research and into political will.

Human Development Index by selected ethnicity
National average: .5121
Kayastha .9049
Marwari/Jain .9018
Pahad Bahun .7650
Newar .7262
Tarai Bahun .7224
Thakali .6402
Chhetri .5492
Thakuri .5454
Gurung .5247
Limbu .5033
Sherpa .4114
Thami .3902
Tamang .3894
Yadav .3911
Damai .3622
Muslim .3553
Other Dalit .2874
Santhal/Sattar .2675
Dushad/Paswan .2008
Chamar/Harijan .1936
Khatwe .1787
Chepang/Praja .1567
Muhasar .0927


LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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