We are Dedicated to Safeguarding Human Rights: Kedar Thapa

According to the National Census 2021, the total literacy rate of Ilam is 83.37 percent. The literacy rate for men stands at 88.66 percent, while for women, it is 78.13 percent.

In Ilam Municipality, the literacy rate among males is 91.68 percent, while among females, it stands at 82.06 percent. The population of Ilam Municipality totals 50,085, comprising 25,674 females and 24,411 males. Ilam Municipality is home to 12,952 families. Ilam Municipality, under the banner of ‘Improved Ilam, Prosperous Ilameli,’ has undertaken various initiatives to establish itself as a human rights-friendly community.

Edited Excerpt from the Conversation Between Manoj Adhikari, INSEC Ilam Representative, and Municipality Mayor Kedar Thapa Regarding Human Rights:

What is the Human Rights Situation for Women, Children, Dalits, and Disabled Persons in Ilam Municipality?

To guarantee the rights of women, Dalits, children, and individuals with disabilities, mechanisms such as the Municipal Women’s Coordination Committee, Municipal Dalit Coordination Committee, and Children’s Network have been established, budgeted, and program initiatives have been implemented. Three restoration facilitators have been deployed to assist individuals with disabilities, resulting in significant improvements within these communities.

What role does the Judicial Committee play in safeguarding human rights?

The Judicial Committee actively safeguards individuals’ human rights by employing the authority of reconciliation and decision granted under the Local Government Operation Act of 2017 to ensure justice. While the judicial committee is linked to legal services. However, there have been challenges stemming from the involvement of people’s representatives in the execution or delivery of justice. The Judicial Committee has played a role in facilitating the execution of justice in accordance with the legal nature of the cases.

What plans have been established for senior citizens, children, and maternal and child health in the annual policy and budget?

In the annual policy and budget, health insurance for senior citizens, support for medical treatment, health insurance for children, assistance in opening savings accounts, and the implementation of a child-friendly governance system have all been introduced. There are free ambulance services for pregnant women, delivery facilities and other programs.

What is the current status of health, education, and access to clean drinking water, and what measures have been implemented to enhance these aspects?

To enhance healthcare, Ilam Hospital has introduced programs such as health desks, support for dialysis services, and financial aid for indigent and critically ill patients.

Continuous services are provided by the Eye Hospital, Ayurveda Dispensary, and Health Camp. Additionally, an Agricultural Campus has been established to enhance  educational opportunities. Scholarships and school improvement schemes have been extended to students at Ratna Bantawa Polytechnic (CTVT). Furthermore, the provision of quality drinking water to the residents of Ilam Municipality has been addressed through small urban water supply projects.

The fifth national action plan on human rights has delegated the responsibility of raising awareness on human rights to the local level. Are you well-informed about this?

To promote human rights awareness, legal literacy campaigns have been conducted alongside periodic awareness initiatives. Conciliators working at the ward level have been actively engaged in raising awareness, while awareness programs have also been organized by the ward offices. Collaboration and coordination with relevant agencies have been established, demonstrating our commitment to safeguarding and ensuring human rights.

For the implementation of the fifth national action plan related to human rights, a local level coordination committee has been formed with the local level Mayor or Chairperson as the coordinator.What has the committee been doing?

At present, the coordination committee has not been established at our local level. However, we are dedicated to addressing this matter with a strong focus on implementation.