I was brought into the world destined for disadvantage and lifelong discrimination.

In Nepal, to be bornDalit, the lowest of societal castes, means to be born with the hand of fate rested squarely on your shoulders. It means that advancing economically and socially is nearly impossible. This fate is compounded with further difficulties if you are a woman.

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Exclusive: जर्सी सिटी, न्यू जर्सी, अमेरिका- अमेरिकाको न्यू जर्सी राज्यको जर्सी सिटी शहरका मेयर स्टेफन फुलपले एक एक्सिक्यूटिभ अर्डर जारी गरी नेपाली सामाजिक अभियन्ता डा. बिष्णुमाया परियारलाई डाईभर्सिटी तथा ईन्क्लुसन सल्लाहकार बोर्डमा नियुक्त गरेका छन् । १२ सदस्यीय सल्लाहकार बोर्डमा साउथ एशियन कम्यूनिटीबाट डा. परियारलाई नियुक्त गरिएको हो । जर्सी सिटी शहरमा आर्थिक, साँस्कृतिक, भासिक, लैंगिक र क्षेत्रको आधारमा हुने विभेदको अन्त गर्न अफिस अफ डाईभर्सिटी तथा ईन्क्लुसन अन्तर्गत उक्त सल्लाहकार बोर्ड स्थापना गरिएको जनाईएको छ ।

मेयर फुलपद्वारा जारीमा भनिएको छ: "The Board shall advise on methods the City can take to eradicate and remediate discrimination, violence and economic disparities affecting the City’s historically under represented constituencies. The Board shall further advise on policies to ensure equal access to education, employment and economic opportunity as well on programming to foster cultural awareness of the City’s many diverse communities."

दुई वर्शको पदावधी रहेको उक्त सल्लाहकार बोर्डको को-चेयारमा काउन्सिल पर्सन एट-लार्ज जोएस वाटरम्यान र प्रमुख डाईभर्सीटी अफिसर रेगिनाल्ड मेकारीया नियुक्त गरिएका छन् भने मेयरद्वारा नियुक्त सल्लहाकार सदस्यहरुमा माईकल काबिली, अलेक्जाण्डर मागालोन, डेभिड ए रोसेन, चिपो साचिरार्वे र डा. बिष्णुमाया परियार रहेका छन् । अन्य सदस्यहरुमा एक्स्-अफिसियो मेम्बर र सिटीको बिभिन्न बिभागका प्रतिनिधिहरु रहनेछन् । डा. परियार 'एड्वान' संस्थाकि संस्थापक अध्यक्ष हुन् । उनी हाल जर्सी सिटीस्थित केयर पोईण्ट हेल्थ ग्रुप संस्थामा घरेलु हिंशा र साउथ एशियन कम्यूनिटी हेर्ने आउउटरिच को-अर्डिनेटर छिन् ।

डा. परियारको संस्था एड्वान (ADWAN.ORG) ले नेपालका दलित र सिमान्त्कृत समुदायका महिला र बालबालिकाहरुको सशक्तिकरण र शिक्षाको क्षेत्रमा पुर्‍याएको योगदानको कदर स्वरुप अमेरिकाकै केन्टकी राज्यको लुइसभिल शहरका मेयर ग्रेग फिसरले सन् २०१५ मा सेप्टम्बर २७ तारिखलाई 'डा. बिष्णु माया परियार डे' घोशणा गरेका थिए । मेयर फुलपले सन् २०१५ को जुलाई २४ तारिख डा. परियार संस्थापक अध्यक्ष रहेको वोमन फर कज संस्थालाई जर्सी सिटी काउन्सिलबाट नेपालमा गएको महाभूकम्पबाट प्रभावित नेपालीहरुको लागि टिपिएस प्रस्ताव पारित गर्न अहम भूमिका खेलेकोमा सिटी प्रोक्लेमेसनद्वारा कदर गरेका थिए ।

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  • Carolyn Ziv, American Jewish World Service

Updated: Apr 27

As a child growing up in rural Nepal, Bishnu Pariyar would walk to school every morning with three other children from her village. During these two hour-long treks, Bishnu’s age mates treated her as an equal, chatting and giggling with her as they would any other friend. But when they stopped for a drink at a neighbor’s house along the way, everything changed: While Bishnu’s travel companions were given a cup of water to share, she was forbidden from drinking from it. Forced to beg for a sip, she would watch, humiliated, as the water was poured into her cupped hands. This prejudicial treatment was due to the fact that, despite looking and talking like her friends, Bishnu was different: She was a Dalit.

“Dalits are the lowest Hindu caste, they are at the bottom of Nepali society,” Bishnu said during a recent visit to AJWS in New York. “If a member of a higher caste touches them, the high caste person must then ‘purify’ him or herself with water. We are often called ‘untouchables.’”

Bishnu felt the sting of “untouchability” from an early age. She also witnessed its effects on her family. A farmer by profession, Bishnu’s father worked extra hours as a tailor for the high-caste people in their village—a “job” he was obligated to perform for no pay, simply because he was a Dalit. Bishnu recalls watching him sew by the light of a kerosene lamp each night before she went to bed. To her, his labor was not an act of respect for caste or religion; it was slavery.

The Birth of ADWAN

Seeing her father treated like a slave was too much for Bishnu to bear. At the age of 10, she decided to dedicate her life to ending caste discrimination and promoting equality. She began by working her way through middle school, high school and college. In 1996, while pursuing her college degree, she launched a project that would eventually lead to the founding of the Association for Dalit Women’s Advancement of Nepal (ADWAN). This grassroots group—now an AJWS grantee—empowers Dalit and other marginalized women to overcome the challenges they face. Today, ADWAN works in seven of Nepal’s 75 districts and has supported 74 women’s groups, helped send 13,000 children to school, and provided 97 adolescents with college scholarships.

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