2015 Darnal Award for Social Justice
By Sarita Pariyar
After much careful deliberation, the Steering Committee for the Darnal Award for Social Justice has decided to postpone the selection process and announcement of the inaugural awardee. The announcement, which was scheduled for August 15, 2015, will now be made on August 15, 2016.
As we know, the two major earthquakes of April 25 and May 2, 2015, and their subsequent aftershocks, have caused immense loss of life, injuries, suffering, and damage to property, particularly affecting the most venerable people in Nepal. More than 8,790 people died, 22,300 people were injured and no less than 8 million people have been directly affected by the earthquakes. Because of the extensive loss and the continuing uncertainty and suffering, the Darnal Award Steering Committee has decided to proceed with the selection process, involving over 50 distinguished nominators, but wait to announce the inaugural awardee until August 15, 2016.
However, the Steering Committee for the Darnal Award for Social Justice will hold an appropriate public event on August 15, 2015 to commemorate the devastation caused by the earthquakes. Rupees Five-Lakh, which had been designated for the 2015 Darnal Award will instead be allocated to support the rebuilding of a rural school in one of the most vulnerable communities affected by the earthquakes. In doing so, we hope to underscore the underlying spirit and larger vision of the Darnal Award. It is also an opportunity to strategically address the reality that the most vulnerable communities in Nepal continue to experience unequal attention and unequal support during relief and rebuilding efforts. We will partner with one such vulnerable community, most likely in a village with significant Dalit and Tamang households in Sindhupalchowk district, and others committed to addressing social Justice. Through this partnership we hope to both support and join the grassroots movement of marginalized people in their fight to rebuild a better future for themselves at this critical moment in Nepal.
More information on the event and our support for the community-based rebuilding of a school and promotion of social justice work will be posted once finalized. In the meantime, we shall continue to work with our distinguished nominators on the selection process for announcing the inaugural Darnal Awardees for Social Justice on August 15, 2016.
The Darnal Award for Social Justice is an annual international award that celebrates and honors the short but extraordinary life of Suvash Darnal. Each year the Award will recognize and support the work of an individual, organization, or a movement that has been steadfastly fighting for social justice, dignity, and a better future for the Dalits and other marginalized people in Nepal and beyond.