Goal to Create Violence-Free Municipality

Kapilvastu Municipality is known as the nation’s second and oldest Municipality. Kapilvastu municipality is connected with various religious tourist places in terms of tourism promotion as it is located in the southern region headquarters. The area of Kapilvastu Municipality is 936.91 sq km. This municipality being divided into 12 wards has a mixed population along with Dalits, Muslims, tribals, and other castes.

Here is an edited part of the conversation between Parvati Acharya, INSEC District Representative, and Sudip Paudel, Mayor, Kapilvastu Municipality:

What is the overall situation of human rights in the Municipality?

The situation of the municipality is satisfactory. The municipality has introduced free education and health insurance at a 50% discount. Our long-term strategy for human rights is by coordinating between limited resources and unlimited needs, modernization in the agricultural sector, development of infrastructure, special emphasis on social services, sanitation, and increasing the quality of humanitarian aid. Apart from some occasional incidents including domestic violence, no cases of heinous human rights violations have been reported in this financial year. However, the municipality has been trying for conducting more planning and policy programs in the field of economic, social, and cultural rights. This municipality established in 2039, is known as the second municipality in the country. The place where Lord Gautama Buddha spent 29 years still faces various challenges in terms of religious tourism, and promotion. However, to make the municipality clean, green environmentally, and human rights-friendly, human rights workers and various stakeholders play an important role in making our Municipality better.

What laws and policies have the municipality made regarding human rights?

Kapilvastu Municipality has implemented free education in public schools within the city to improve the quality of the educational sector. Since the current fiscal year 2022/2023, the Municipality has implemented free education in 52 public schools. Within the current financial year, the municipality set the budget aside and passed the policy and program for the implementation of free education. No public school within the city will be allowed to charge fees under any pretext with the implementation of this program. A subsidy of 82 lakh 50 thousand has also been given to community schools to implement free education. In addition, we have created the procedures to be adopted while closing the proceedings of the Judicial Committee, Local Disaster Management Mechanism Fund, Welfare health fund management, roof management, and human trafficking and trafficking control.

What works have been done for the implementation of the laws related to human rights?

As people representatives, we have implemented some laws related to human rights. From the financial year 022/023, free education according to the municipal education procedure by deciding that all students studying in 52 public schools within the municipality will not have to pay any fee. Health insurance facility has given a 50% discount to make it easier for citizens to the health insurance as determined by the state. There is one health clinic, five basic health service centers, and seven health centers operating in the city. Free medicines as prescribed by the Government of Nepal and free calcium pills to pregnant women are easily provided in these centers. There are 25 clinics and 55 vaccination clinics in 12 wards of the city.

What is the state of implementation of policies and procedures made by the municipality?

The policies and procedures made by the municipality are being gradually implemented. City Education Procedure Policy, free city education procedure up to secondary level has been implemented to bring the children of poor and disadvantaged communities access to school.

a budget has been allocated to the schools to manage them so that no citizen is deprived of school-level education due to a lack of finances. We have created Sanitation Act and Regulations, Poor Citizen Relief Distribution Standards, Human Trafficking and Trafficking Control, and Judicial Acts. There is a plan to create the necessary laws, policies, and procedures for the protection and promotion of citizens’ rights in the coming days.

What is the status of the gender policy made by the municipality and its implementation?

The municipality has made progress in the prevention of gender-based violence. The municipality has made a policy to make the municipality free of gender-based violence and minimize violence within the municipality. The municipality has tried to implement the gender policy.

There are more cases of domestic violence in Kapilvastu municipality among 10 local levels of the district, However, why is it that there are zero incidents of domestic violence in the statistics of the Judicial Committee?

Since Kapilvastu municipality is located in the headquarters and the district police office is also nearby, complaints of violence from all places go to the police, so the statistics of the district police may have seen more cases of domestic violence in Kapilvastu municipality. On the other hand, more cases of domestic violence are seen, which means that people are aware. They are more aware of the programs and campaigns conducted by various organizations including human rights activists. To reduce the incidents, the municipality has also conducted various public awareness and educational programs. We have planned to move forward by making an action plan to make this campaign more effective.

There is no end to the corrupt practices prevalent in the society. The municipality is conducting programs in coordination and cooperation with various non-governmental organizations for solving this. We have been conducting awareness programs to reduce bad practices and traditional evils by conducting capacity development and skill-based training programs including all castes in skill-based programs.