We Are Committed to Building a Human Rights-Friendly Rural Municipality

There are 6 wards in Laljhadi Rural Municipality located in the eastern part of Kanchanpur district. Located 46 km east of the district headquarters Bhimdatta Municipality; this Rural Municipality has its own religious, political and social significance and characteristics. In this Rural municipality, there is a mixed settlement of the Tharu, Rana community and people of various castes, religions and castes who have migrated from the hills. Spread over an area of 154.65 square km in the eastern part of the district, the topography of this rural municipality is flat. The population of this rural municipality is 22 thousand 569. Edited part of the conversation between Laljhadi Rural Municipality Chairperson Nirmal Rana and INSEC Kanchanpur Representative Lily Kunwar:

Could you please provide an overview of the human rights situation in Laljhadi Rural Municipality?

The human rights situation in Laljhadi Rural Municipality is generally satisfactory. However, due to challenges such as poor educational conditions and traditional customs, incidents of human rights violations and abuses do occur. To address these issues, we have established a local-level human rights group that is officially registered within the rural municipality. This group actively engages in public awareness campaigns, advocacy, and lobbying activities to promote human rights.

What measures has the municipality undertaken to create a human rights-friendly environment?

Laljhadi Rural Municipality has implemented several initiatives to foster a human rights-friendly environment. Notably, we have developed and implemented procedures and laws such as the Street Children Protection Procedure, Operational Procedure for Social Security Programs targeting orphans, Relief Standards for workers in the unorganized sector, as well as a Public Accountability Promotion Procedure and Law.

How is the municipality ensuring access to education for children from disadvantaged communities?

We are dedicated to providing educational opportunities for underprivileged children. Scholarships are being provided to facilitate their access to schools. Admission campaigns are organized to promote school enrollment, particularly for disadvantaged children. Additionally, skill-based education programs and incentive schemes are being implemented. We also encourage student participation in income-generating activities through initiatives like the “Study and Earn” program. Furthermore, free education has been prioritized within our ten-year education sector plan, and we have prepared the Child Rights Protection and Promotion Procedure 2080 to safeguard children’s rights.

What measures are being taken to address domestic violence, the Chhaupadi system, and caste discrimination?

Laljhadi Rural Municipality has undertaken several policies and programs to address these pressing issues. These include the implementation of a Gender and Social Inclusion Policy, the Gender Violence Prevention Fund Operating Procedure, a Code of Conduct to combat sexual abuse in the workplace, and an annual 16-day campaign against gender violence. Our aim is to eliminate domestic violence, the Chhaupadi system, and caste discrimination through these initiatives.

How does the municipality ensure the participation of marginalized groups and women during the planning process?

We strongly believe in inclusive planning, and we ensure the active participation of all classes and communities, including Dalits, tribals, free Haliyas, Kamaiyas, Kamlahari, and women. We collect suggestions and feedback from relevant beneficiaries at the village level. We also engage in discussions with village development committees, organizing meetings to discuss priority plans at the ward level. This participatory approach extends to the village executive and village assembly, where public suggestions are also taken into account.

How is the municipality working to improve the education and health sectors?

In the field of education, Laljhadi Rural Municipality follows a well-planned approach, implementing programs to uphold the fundamental rights granted by the constitution. We prioritize the health sector by providing services such as nutrition programs, maternity support through the Vice President Maternity Gift Kosheli, Ghardailo Health Services initiated by the President, specialist health service camps, and free ambulance services for maternity cases, 24-hour maternity services, and the establishment of birthing centers in all wards. Additionally, vaccination clinics are set up in each village.

What is your evaluation of effectiveness of Child Rights Groups and Human Rights Groups formed by   INSEC under Human Rights Education Program in Laljhadi Rural Municipality?

The child rights groups and human rights groups formed under the human rights education program have shown commendable activity in Laljhadi Rural Municipality. Their contributions to reducing societal distortions and discrepancies are noteworthy. These groups actively raise public awareness through street plays and various campaigns. Notably, the human rights group submitted a memorandum to the rural municipality urging measures against the use of tobacco products. We are working together in coordination and cooperation with human rights groups and workers to prevent and reduce such issues.