People Involved

The Darnal Award is a movement, by people and for people.

Meet the organizations and
People involved

Ekta nai baal ho | Unity is strength

The Darnal Award and symposium are made possible by hundreds of people and organizations from across Nepal and around the world who are united by determination to end caste-based discrimination. In this struggle, we believe that people of all backgrounds have a role to play.

Sarita Pariyar

The Sarita Pariyar Trust Fund (SPTF) is a private fund managed by a globally reputed financial investment firm in New York City.

With the funds Sarita Pariyar received following the legal case of her husband Suvash Darnal’s accidental death near Washington, D.C., the Sarita Pariyar Trust Fund (SPTF) was established. The SPTF underwrites the biennial Darnal Award for Social Justice, which is Sarita’s tribute to Suvash’s memory and their shared passion for social justice, especially for Nepali Dalits.
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Steering Committee

Sarita Pariyar
Sarita Pariyar
Sarita Pariyar holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and English literature, both from the Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu.
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Rem Bahadur
Rem Bahadur
Rem Bahadur BK Tomata is the President of Jagaran Media Center and Collective Campaign for Peace. With over 15 years of experience in journalism he is a member of the Government of Nepal’s high level committee on Information and Communication that makes media policy recommendations.
Padam Sundas
Padam Sundas
Padam Sundas is the Nepali Ambassador to Bahrain. He is also a former president of the Samata Foundation and Nepal Dalit Sahitya Tatha Sanskriti Pratisthan.
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Sumitra Manandhar Gurung
Sumitra Manandhar Gurung
Sumitra Manandhar Gurung is the Chief Executive Officer of newly established Mahila Sahayatra Micro Finance Bittiya Sastha, the first national level microfinance institution owned by 100 percent individual women promoters. She is a board member of Samata Foundation. Gurung is a geographer by academic background. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Hawaii, USA.
Krishna Bhattachan
Krishna Bhattachan
Krishna Bhattachan, (PhD) is one of the leading sociologists and indigenous activists in Nepal. He received his doctorate from University of California, Berkeley in the year 1993. He has contributed a lot in the transformation of the Nepalese society for social equity and equality. His works are more focused on the right-based social movements of minority groups namely indigenous nationalities, women, dalits (terms as lower caste/untouchable), Madhesi (people of southern plain land), language and religious groups.
Pradip Pariyar
Pradip Pariyar
Pradip Pariyar is currently serving as the Executive Chairperson of Samata Foundation, brings nearly two decades of expertise in formulating national and international policies for youth, peace and social justice.
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Ashok Gurung
Ashok Gurung
Ashok K. Gurung is Associate Professor at the Julien J. Studley Graduate Program of International Affairs at The New School in New York City.  He is engaged with teaching, research, writing, and public debates on questions involving politics and practice of dignity, equal rights, equity, and sustainable futures, especially in South Asia and China.
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Samata Foundation

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THE Nominators

Archana Thapa is a writer, independent scholar and publisher.

Amina Singh holds PhD degree from University of Technology at Sydney. She is the Assistant Professor at Kathmandu University School of Education.

Bhakta Bishwokarma is the former President of Nepal National Dalit Social Welfare Organization (NNDSWO )

Dr. Chandra Kanta Gyawali is a senior advocate and holds PhD in Constitutional Law. He has written and published several books on constitution, federal system of government and electoral system.

Dhana Kumari Sunar is a former member at National Women Commission. She is an activist.

Dipendra Jha is a chief attorney of province 2 and author of the book ‘Federal Nepal: Trials and Tribulations’.

Ganesh B.K is a General Secretary of Nepal Udpidit Jatiya Mukti Samaj and Director of Rastriya Dalit Network (RDN) Nepal.

Indira Rana is a social worker and founder of Prisoner’s Assistance (PA) Nepal.

Dr. Kedar Bhakta Mathema is former Vice-Chancellor of Tribhuvan University and is former ambassador to Japan. He is an advisor to different organizations and has been members of different task force committees related to health and foreign policy.

Mallika Shakya is Assistant Professor at Department of Sociology, South Asian University. She has recently published a book titled ‘Death of an Industry: The Cultural Politics of Garment Manufacturing during the Maoist Revolution in Nepal’.

Puspa Badi is a former vice-chairperson of Badi Samudaya Uththan Bikas Samiti (Committee for Upliftment of Badi Community) and member of former CPN-Maoist Center.

Rajendra Maharjan is a writer, columnist and editor

Ramlal Bishwokarma is the former chairperson of National Dalit Commission Nepal and member of Communist Party of Nepal.

Seema Khan is a writer. She is also a Chairperson of Nepal Muslim Women Welfare Society and Interfaith Alliance for Peace.

Sukanya Waiba is a writer. She is also a teacher and manages Amrit Secondary Boarding School.

Tula Narayan Shah is the Executive Director of Nepal Madhesh Foundation. He has recently joined Federal Socialist Forum party.

Dr. Yam Bahadur Kisan is a writer and advocate. He holds a PhD in political science and expert in the inclusion issue.

The Selection Committee

Dr. Krishna Bhattachan, Tribhuvan University

Rem Bahadur BK Tomata, President of Jagaran Media Center

Dr. Saroj Dhital, Founder of Model College

Ashok K. Gurung, Senior director of India China Institute at The New School, and trustee of the Sarita Pariyar Trust Fund (SPTF)

Dr. Sumitra Manandhar Gurung, Board member of Samata Foundation and President of Mahila Sahayatra Microfinance Bittiya Sanstha

Pradip Pariyar, President of SAMATA Foundation

Sarita Pariyar, Law student, Trustee of SPTF, Board member of SAMATA Foundation

Padam Sundas, Ambassador to Bahrain & former President of SAMATA Foundation

Raksha Ram Chamar Harijan, Winner of 2016 Darnal Award for Social Justice

Teku Nepali, Former Constituent Assembly Member

Mohana Ansari, Member of National Human Rights Commission, Nepal


The Darnal Award for Social Justice was established in 2013 by Sarita Pariyar, activist and partner of the late Suvash Darnal. Sarita managed the 2016 and 2018 award ceremonies and symposiums in partnership with Jagaran Media Center (JMC), which seeks to ensure the rights of Dalits through its work in journalism and policy advocacy. The 2020 award and future ceremonies will be co-convened by Sarita Pariyar and the Samata Foundation, a leading think tank for social justice and caste equality in South Asia.


Jagaran Media Center LogoCOCAP LogoSamata Foundation LogoCentral Department of Sociology LogoFederation of Nepali Journalists LogoDNF LogoIDSN LogoIIDS LogoNED LogoThe New School LogoOpen Society Foundations LogoWMU Logo

Special Thanks

NED, OSF, NASO, Stanford University, CDDRL, Gautam & Megha Pradhan, Mathew Handley, David Haynes, Laurie Vasily, Thomas Mathew and Deepak Nepali including friends, family, and well-wishers of Suvash Darnal.
We would also like to thank Erisha Suwal, Jemima Sherpa, Pasang Yangjee Sherpa,
Shradha Ghale, Rajendra Maharjan, RV media, Mr. Shiva Hari Gyawali, Mr. Shivaji Gayak, Mr. Ashok Darnal, Ms. Parmila Pariyar, Mr. Ravi Govada, Leah Everist, Sudeshna, Shiva Gywali, Rajendra Maharjan, Luna Ranjit, Ashmina Ranjit.

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equitable world

 How does the DASJ story intersect with your own? The movement toward caste equality is a mosaic of ordinary people who have reached out and put their time and energy into pushing this cause forward. If you have an idea for how you can help, we want to hear from you.
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