We are deeply committed to upholding human rights.

In the excerpted conversation between INSEC Panchthar representative Iwara Zwegu Limbu and Mayor Mitra Prasad Kafle of Fidim Municipality, discussions encompassed various facets, notably human rights, among others.

Fidim Municipality, occupying 192 square kilometers with a population exceeding 49,000, stands as the solitary municipality within Panchthar boasting such demographic figures. Since the local level elections of 2017, the municipality has been actively engaged in endeavors spanning education, health, infrastructure, social development, and the protection of human rights.

What provisions has Fidim Municipality included in its annual policy and budget for senior citizens, children, pregnant women, and women giving birth?

Fidim Municipality has implemented various support programs aimed at assisting senior citizens. These initiatives include facilitating honor programs and easy access for social security allowances. Additionally, the municipality has organized eye camps and provided healthcare services tailored to the needs of elderly residents in rural areas. Fidim Municipality is actively engaged in providing information about children’s rights to students attending schools. Arrangements have been made at Fidim Secondary School for students with hearing impairments who come from disadvantaged backgrounds to facilitate their education.

Similar arrangements have been implemented for children with mental disabilities at Sukhbodh Secondary School in Fidim. Gadhi Secondary School offers reading lessons specifically tailored for visually impaired children. A structured system has been put in place to guarantee access to education for children from low-income families or those who are homeless, benefiting 40 children at Jagriti School. Furthermore, uterus camps have been organized to provide support for pregnant and postpartum women.

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

Fidim Municipality operates 16 health institutions, focusing on delivering free medicine, enhancing staffing, and ensuring quality services for citizens. Despite Panchthar Hospital’s approved expansion to 50 beds (from its current 15 beds), insufficient human resource poses challenges in its operations. The municipality has provided immediate financial support, facilitated free medicine management, and streamlined steel procurement for hospital infrastructure. Priority is also placed on enhancing educational facilities and physical infrastructure across schools.

A new initiative aims to decentralize education by establishing village-based learning environments. Collaborating with Ratobangla School, Kathmandu, plans are underway to establish a child development center in each 14 wards, with the goal of transforming all local schools into quality institution. Addressing the pressing issue of drinking water scarcity, particularly in Femesuwa area and other regions within Fidim Municipality-9, the municipality has distributed over 98,240 meters of pipes to ensure adequate water supply. Moreover, progress stands at 70% completion for a significant drinking water project in Fidim Municipality-10.

What is the current status of human rights pertaining to women, children, Dalits, and persons with disabilities at the local level?

Fidim Municipality has developed separate programs for women, children, Dalits, and persons with disabilities. The municipality is actively engaged in management and support work for individuals with disabilities. Free medical treatment has been arranged for pregnant women and mothers. The issue of untouchability has perpetuated enduring problems for the Dalit community. However, within the municipality, this problem has been significantly reduced. We are fully committed to ensuring the rights that Dalits should receive.

In what capacity does the local judicial committee contribute to safeguarding the human rights of individuals?

Following the initiation of a complaint, the local judicial committee facilitates dialogue between involved parties to address and resolve issues. Cases beyond its jurisdiction are referred to the police or court. Additionally, in collaboration with the police, the committee conducts awareness programs in Fidim municipality. Furthermore, human rights topics are disseminated to the public twice a month via FM radio broadcasts.

Has a Local Coordination Committee been established with the Mayor or Chairperson as the coordinator to oversee the implementation of the fifth national action plan on human rights at the local level?

A committee has been established to monitor, provide support, and assess the situation of every citizen. In accordance with the responsibilities outlined in the National Action Plan, a report has been compiled and forwarded to higher authorities.