Thank you for your trust and support in this mutual aid effort since we first started it in August 2020. This is to inform you that we are making some adjustments due to recent developments.With your support and the help of local community organizers, Karani Devi Rishidev (wife of late Rajesh Rishidev) started a small enterprise as a vegetable vendor. She is now independently earning an income to take care of her family. Despite the unimaginable loss, Karani Devi is starting to slowly recover from the shock and trauma. Even in pain and the constant threat of upper-caste oppressors, she is speaking out publicly against the caste-system, in programs organized by Dalit community in her locality, and in the media. Though none of her struggles should ever have happened, we look to her incredible strength to continue our collective fight against the caste-system.You can read some of her statements here: https://www.janaaastha.com/archives/17812…After discussing with the Rishidev family and local organizers, we have decided to focus this mutual aid fund towards the 3 other families of late Tribhuwan Ram, Malara Sada and Roshan Ram. These families are still in critical conditions, with the ever present danger of upper-caste oppressors and corrupt justice system. Any future installments will therefore be distributed among these 3 families.We ask you again to keep donating and sharing. With our collective effort, we can surely disrupt the inequalities created by the oppressors. Let us work together towards the complete annihilation of caste!Jai Bhim. Samyukta Dalit Sangarsa Samiti and Haatemalo Collective
Covid-19 Mutual Aid For a Dalit Family
From a Musahar Dalit community, a 33 years old Guru passed away also due to the Covid. The Dharan hospital was built a few hours away from his community. He was declared dead before reaching that hospital. In addition, his living condition based in the Musahar Dalit community (Siraha) complicated that inaccessibility to the overall health system of Nepal. Decades of privatization resulting in expensive and inaccessible private hospitals and clinics in urban areas have crumbled Nepal’s ‘public’ system disproportionately affecting the likes of Guru Sharan Sada and other Dalit community members. Meanwhile, media report identifying the virus as the main cause of his early death obscures this social and health condition and the larger political condition reinforcing the ideological, historical, and contemporary authority of the Hindu caste system at the expense of Dalit bodies, laborers, and futures. Somewhat similar to what is happening in India, the Covid not only exposes the broken system, but it also kills in Nepal. This time, we have also lost one of our important comrades though his spirit will always move us in our fight to annihilate the caste system.
Perhaps after a week of the death of Guru Sharan Sada, Chandra Kishore Yadav, a well-known journalist based in Madhesh wrote a long obituary reflecting on Sada’s contribution to the Dalit Musahar community. Though it is an opinion piece, Yadav’s piece is based on Guru’s social activities supporting his Dalit community and his family. Based also on the author’s familiarity and interaction with Guru Sharan Sada, this piece has also highlighted Guru’s commitment to Dalit Musahar’s case of landlessness. Guru was also always critical of Brahmanism and how it continues to negatively impact his community. We, the Haatemalo Collective are also well familiar with his commitment. He was one of the many Dalit active community organizers who participated in our Haatemalo festival that not only amplified the international solidarity of Dalits and Indigenous communities but went onto raise more than $2000 within few hours.
Although Nepal was declared free from caste-based discrimination on June 4, 2006, almost 14 years since this declaration, people from so-called “lower castes” are still facing gruesome discrimination and are deprived of basic facilities and infrastructures. At least 30 Dalits have been murdered for breaking caste-based norms since 2011, and caste violence is increasing every day. The present pandemic has only exacerbated this form of caste violence. It has proven to be an uphill battle to get media attention or public support.
Therefore, in collaboration with his partner Shanti Saday, we have started this mutual aid with the hope that this support will help her family including Guru’s father and their children. Recently Guru also lost his mother. In addition to the family, Shanti has young children to look after. Your support hence will matter a lot. Please also reach out to us if you know of any sponsors and scholarships that might help her children to pursue primary, secondary, and college education.