New year 2016 greetings!

Dear Nepaldalitinfo Network members,

Firstly, I would like to greet everyone of you for the New Year 2016 with a renewed hope that Dalits of Nepal and elsewhere can live a life of full dignity and respect moving forward into the future starting now.

The year 2015 has been a significant year of both despair as well as joy for Dalit people of Nepal. They continued to suffer in the daily lives in more than one way with all the disadvantages that came with disastrous Earthquake, political instability and more recently the undeclared blockade of supplies of essential goods and services through the Nepal-India borders. Undoubtedly, in any such chaotic situations, Dalits being the most vulnerable people in Nepal would suffer the most among Nepalese populace.

On the other hand, Nepal’s new federal and democratic constitution puts Dalits in joyous mood of freedom with their rights defined, their suffering from the age-old atrocious spell of untouchability abolished by law and their National Dalit Commission institutionalized through constitutional provisions- of course. all these demand a rigor in enforcement through appropriate Dalit friendly laws and regulations as stipulated by the constitution.

Special mention should be made that access to education in Nepal up to higher education is now a constitutional right of Dalits in Nepal that must be guaranteed in REAL practice, but not merely in the paper as penned downed in the highest statute of Nepal. Towards this end, the governments to be formed at all levels- federal, provincial and local, must be wary of their responsibilities to meet the mandatory constitutional provisions for free education of the Dalit people. One of the ways, this could be achieved is through the open and distance education at the University level, especially to those who have been dropped out of schools due to their lack of resources and means, despite their talents and ability to learn and educate themselves. In the beginning of this month of December, I was in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to attend the 29th Asian Open Universities
Conference, where I presented a paper titled, OPEN UNIVERSITY OF NEPAL: A
GLOBAL VISION OF HIGHER EDUCATION FOR THE DISADVANTAGED PEOPLE in the co-authorship of three of my colleagues with whom I have been sailing with the Open University of Nepal initiative as the flagship project of Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) since 2010. The paper by virtue of its theme and contents is dedicated in spirit to the disadvantaged Dalit people who rank the lowest in the higher education attainment in Nepal. I am sharing the full text of the paper here with you all in the format as published in the Conference proceedings at: http://s170.oum.edu.my/aaou2015/sites/default/files/AAOU_Proceedings.pdf.

Lastly but not at the least, I express my due apology to you all for not being able to meet in person many of you in Kathmandu where I was for about 3 weeks this month of December, and also for not being able to touch-base with you for several months now. I hope, the frequency of my communications with you through Nepaldalitinfo network will improve in the year 2016.
Thank you,
Sincerely,
Dr. D.P. Rasali
Founder Moderator,
Nepaldalitinfo International Network

January 1, 2016, Canada.

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