Honoring Social Justice Leaders Worldwide

Questioning to reclaim narratives – Annual DASJ Seminar 2017

“Politics of Dignity & Equity: Dalits in Nepal”

Questioning to reclaim narratives

 Annual DASJ Seminar
14-15 August 2017

Kalikasthan, Achham, Nepal


The Darnal Award for Social Justice (DASJ) is a biennial international award that celebrates and honors the extraordinary life of Suvash Darnal. The Award recognizes and supports the work of a youth advocate, organization, or movement that has been steadfastly fighting for social justice, dignity, and a better future for Dalits and other marginalized peoples in Nepal and beyond. The award is also a tribute to the power of ordinary people who have demonstrated unwavering courage and passion in their efforts to bring change to society. The Darnal Award is given in conjunction with a ‘Politics of Dignity and Equity Seminar’. The Sarita Pariyar Trust Fund, in collaboration with Jagaran Media Center (JMC), will award a prize of five lakh Nepalese rupees (NPR 500,000) biennially on August 15, the anniversary of Suvash Darnal’s tragic death. While the Darnal Award is awarded biennially, the ‘Politics of Dignity and Equity Seminar’ is held every year on 15th August. During non-award years, the DASJ Steering Committee will hold a seminar on “Politics of Dignity and Equity: Dalits in Nepal” outside of the Kathmandu Valley.

In 2016, Mr. Raksha Ram Chamar (Harijan), was the inaugural recipient of the Darnal Award for Social Justice. During the award ceremony in Kathmandu, the Award Seminar focused on the topic Politics of Dignity and Equity: Dalits in Nepal.” Mr. Carl Gershman, Founding President of the National Endowment for Democracy; Prof. Larry Diamond, Stanford University; Prof. Emeritus Sukhadeo Thorat, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Prof. Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama (via video) and several prominent scholars from Nepal participated in the seminar. Although the Award was initially intended to be awarded for the first time in 2015, the DASJ Steering Committee decided to delay the award one year and support the reconstruction of the Shree Bal Kalyan Primary School in Sindhupalchok, which was destroyed in the 2015 earthquake.

Achieving social justice and inclusive democracy, especially in a highly stratified society like Nepal, is a long and complex journey. DASJ recognizes the importance of critically re-examining existing knowledge, as well as producing and sharing new knowledge and networks to allow scholars and activists to benefit from multiple perspectives.  For this reason, the Darnal Award steering committee aims to conduct a two-day international discussion on “Politics of Dignity and Equity; Dalits in Nepal” in the Kalikasthan VDC of Achham district on 14-15 August, 2017, deliberately breaking with the tradition of holding the vast majority of such conversations in the urban setting of Kathmandu.

Since the Far and the mid-Western parts of Nepal continue to experience severe caste-based discrimination and are some of the most underdeveloped regions of Nepal, the main purpose of organizing this program in Achham is to better understand and explore the power relations, existing knowledge, narratives, achievements, challenges, and aspirations of the Dalit community in the region.  As a primary convener, Sarita Pariyar Trust Fund (SPTF) is partnering with Jagaran Media Centre, Samata Foundation, and Dalit Shreejanshil Sahakari Sanstha (DSSS) of Achham. DSSS, as a local partner organization, is a cooperative cultural group consisting of more than 500 Dalits who are at the forefront of fighting caste-based discrimination.

Brief Overview of Interaction Program in Achham (14-15 August 2017):

Primary Objectives:

Following the vision of DASJ, which recognizes the power of ordinary people and significance of  building collaborative partnerships with individuals, institutions and movements dedicated to understanding and advancing the cause of social justice, the annual “Politics of Dignity and Equity: Dalits in Nepal” initiative is focused on two primary objectives during the two-days of deliberations in Achham:

(1) Critically re-examine and retell the history, current struggles, and aspirations of Dalits by situating and convening the conversation in/from the Far and mid-Western region of Nepal.

(2)  To initiate new discourse and network focused on Dalit youth.

Primary Participants:  Up to 10 youth selected from the Far and mid-Western region covering Karnali, Bheri, Seti and Mahakali zone; selected leaders and public intellectuals from the Far-West region; and 12-15 respected individuals working in the field of social justice, Dalit rights, journalism and politics.

Proposed Format & Activities:

  1. Learning with Dalits: Carefully designed and facilitated small mixed-group conversations, including short visits to nearby villages aims to situate and encourage learning from the below (subaltern). The small groups will consist of individuals from different backgrounds as well as participants from inside and outside of the Far and mid-Western regions.
  2. Questioning to Reclaim Narratives: With a particular focus on engaging promising youth leaders from the Far and mid-Western region, the DASJ aims to convene critical and reflective conversations on experiences and narratives of Dalits in Nepal. During the two-days of interaction, the experiences of the Dalit youth who have been doing inspiring work in the Far and Mid-Western regions of Nepal will share their insights and aspirations about their engagement with social justice issues.
  3. Politics of Dignity and Equity: Dalits in Nepal: We shall convene a public forum with select prominent individuals (e.g. scholars, activists, officials, public intellectuals) who are committed to addressing social justice issues.  In addition to inviting the panelists to briefly (10 minutes each) share thoughts on a particular aspect of their engagement with social justice, a set of questions will be used to facilitate a robust discussion. This public forum will also invite brief comments and questions from the audience (e.g. students. journalists, villagers).

Possible Outcomes:

 (a) Gain better understanding of narratives, challenges, aspirations, and opportunities facing Dalits in Nepal.

(b) Expanding and developing new networks of social justice leaders, especially involving youth from the Far and mid-Western region of Nepal.

(c) Broadening public understanding and debate on Dalits in Nepal (through news articles and Op-Eds).

(d) Encouraging deeper and sustained work on contested narratives and aspirations of Dalits in Nepal.

View of download this as a pdf (Darnal Award 2017)

Similar posts
  • Important Announcement of Darnal Awar... The Steering Committee of the Darnal Award for Social Justice has decided in its meeting on 22nd October 2016 to award the ‘International Darnal Award for Social Justice’ in an interval of two years, rather than annually. It will continue to be held on August 15th, the anniversary of Suvash Darnal’s tragic death. As the [...]
  • Politics of Dignity and Equity: Dalit... Here are a few photo highlights from this morning’s Politics of Dignity and Equity event at Tribhuvan University. Thanks to everyone that came out and made the event a success. We hope to see you tomorrow at the Darnal Award ceremony starting at 2pm. More details here. [...]
  • प्रेस विज्ञप्ति मिति (३१ श्रावण, २०७३... रक्षाराम चमारलाई “सामाजिक न्यायका लागि दर्नाल अवार्ड” प्रेस विज्ञप्ति मितिः ३१ श्रावण, २०७३ कपिलवस्तुका रक्षाराम चमार “सामाजिक न्यायका लागि अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय दर्नाल अवार्ड” प्राप्त गर्ने पहिलो व्यक्ति हुनुभएको छ । सीमान्तीकृत मधेशी दलित किसान परिवारमा जन्मिनुभएका चमारले दलित तथा अन्य सीमान्तीकृत समुदायको सामाजिक न्याय र शिक्षाको क्षेत्रमा महत्वपूर्ण योगदान पु¥याउनु भएको छ । २८ वर्षकै उमेरमा [...]
  • Press Release English (8/14) – ... FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  Raksha Ram Chamar (Harijan) wins the first Darnal International Award for Social Justice Raksha Ram Chamar (Harijan) has been awarded the first Darnal International Award for Social Justice. Born into a family of tenant farmers from the highly marginalized Madhesi Dalit community, Chamar has exhibited great tenacity in his struggle to achieve [...]
  • International Seminar on the Politics... As part of the Inaugural Darnal Award for Social Justice, there will be an International Seminar on the Politics of Dignity and Equity: Dalits in Nepal held from 10 am-12 pm on August 14th at Tribhuvan University. Symposium Session I Politics of Dignity and Equity: Dalits in Nepal 10am – 12pm | Smriti Hall, Thibhuvan [...]

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Darnal Award Nominators (2016)

Learn more about the many individuals involved in selecting the Darnal Award for Social Justice final awardee.

हाम्रा कथाहरु : पिपुल्स आर्काइभ प्रोजेक्ट.
थप अध्ययनका लागि

Inspiring stories from and about people.
Click to learn more...

सामाजिक न्याय.
थप अध्ययनका लागि
Learn more about social justice.
Click here...

अब मात्र तीन दिन बाँकी । ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

नयाँ इतिहास बनाउने प्रश्नहरुको खोजी कार्यको साथमा हाम्रा अतिथिहरु हुनुहुन्छः मोहना अन्सारी, प्रवक्ता राष्ट्रिय मानवअधिकार आयोग, खगेन्द्र संग्रौला राजनीतिक विश्लेषक तथा लेखक, राजेन्द्र महर्जन, लेखक/सम्पादक, डा. सुमित्रा मानन्धर, विजयकान्त कर्ण, पूर्वराजदूत, उज्वल प्रसार्इँ, विश्लेषक/लेखक, संगीत श्रोता, लेखक/सम्पादक र प्राध्यापक अशोक गुरुङ, दि न्यू स्कुल, न्यूयोर्क, अमेरिका । साथमा सामाजिक न्यायका क्षेत्रमा क्रियाशील मध्य र सुदुर पश्चिमका प्रेरणादायी दलित युवा प्रतिभा । ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Darnal Award for Social Justice - DASJले आफ्नो आवरण तस्वीर अद्यावधिक गर्नुभयो। ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Darnal Award Mailing List

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


Skip to toolbar