Rights and Responsibilities Should Be Equally Implemented 

Rapti Sonari Village Municipality of Banke District is the largest Rural municipality in Nepal in terms of area. The area of the municipality is 1041.73 sq. km. It is bordered by Dang to the east, Kohalpur Municipality and Duduwa Village to the west, Dang and Salyan District to the north, and Narainapur Village and India to the south. An excerpt from the conversation between Lakshmi Tharu, INSEC District Representative, and Tapta Bahadur Paudel, Chairperson of Rapti Sonari Village Municipality is displayed below:

What laws on human rights have been enacted and implemented by the Rural municipality?

The Rural Municipality office is isolated from the locals of Ward No. 5 and 6. The flow of services, including education, and healthcare, is more regular than before. The aim of the service is to ensure that the common citizen is not deprived of the services. In Rapti Sonari Village, policies and procedures have been developed in the areas of education, health, gender-based violence, food security, anti-racial discrimination, agriculture, women, and children. There are half a dozen laws, acts, and procedures related to fundamental rights.

What is the state of implementation of policies and procedures? What are your plans for the future?

Even though the law has been enacted, the implementation has not been effective. We will speed up the implementation. Rapti Sonari Village Municipality is making efforts to formulate future planning and policy programs with a focus on fundamental rights for effective implementation. Recently, the village executive has formed the implementation and coordination committee of the 5th National Action Plan on Human Rights. We are committed to systematically building human rights-friendly villages by enacting the 5th National Action Plan Implementation and Coordination Monitoring Mechanism Act.

What are the challenges of making human rights-friendly villages?

Clear legal procedures and enforcement, rituals, legal practice, state-citizen-friendly information, policies, and leadership are needed to improve. It is important to follow the duties along with the rights.

The marginalized and minority communities like the Khuna and Kumal communities, of Rapti Sonari Village Ward No. 1 and the Khayarbhatti and Chunbhatti communities of Ward no 4 have been in the same situation for the past two years. The community has no easy access to services. What are the plans and programs for service flow?

In addition to providing scholarships for access to education in Khuna and Kumal community settlements, we have also arranged two more technicians in Khayarbhatti, and Chunbhatti of Ward No. 4 under the Prime Minister’s Employment Program, Safe Housing Program, Drinking Water Management Program, Income Earning Program, Area Health.

What are the policies and programs for human safety and food security in the settlements surrounding Banke National Park?

In coordination with Banke National Park, the Forest and Environmental Branch of the village is working on policy formulation. A policy and program to ensure a friendly environment and food security for the inhabitants and wildlife of the intermediate area within the park is being prepared for passing through the Village Assembly for the financial year 2023/24.