Below are the comments recorded at an interaction program “Inclusion of Madheshi Community in Development Sector and Donor’s Development Strategy”, organized by Madheshi Development Federation Nepal.
Dr. Uma Shankar Prasad
The gap between the donor agencies and Madhesi community should be well studied and presented to the people.
Madhesi youth should enhance their capacity as well as efficiency to enter in the donor agencies. But it is also strategy of the donor agencies for blocking the entrance of Madhesi community. The state has neglected the Madhesi community and so have the agencies.
It isn’t justifiable, accountable and inclusive to provide only one percent support to the community that covers 33%. Their slogans of social inclusiveness haven’t turned into practice rather they are only a blend. The cause for this is the high class mentality of bureaucracy which is quite preoccupied and prejudiced .The agencies want only to fulfill their petty interests, when they saw no clue of getting their interest fulfilled, they started alienating the Madhesh from their support. Therefore there is a policy error of donor agencies regarding Madhesh.
The government spends 1/5 percent for per individual of Madhesi in comparison to Hilly region. Though there is significant contribution of Madhesh in G.D.P, only 19% budget is distributed in Madhesh. There is no good combination between the contribution of Madhesi people in tax and the facilities they are provided.
There is almost no presence of Madhesi people in significant post in DFID’s enabling program ‘State Enabling Program (E.S.P), Right Democracy and Inclusion Fund (RDIF) funded jointly by DFID, SDC, AusAID and Danida-HUGOU, including other donor agencies. This is due to the discriminating attitude of high cast hilly people and their leverage in bureaucracy .The donor agencies as well as INGOs should develop positive attitude towards Madhesh and include Madhesi people in their programs instantly.
Mr. Brikhesh Chandra Lal, Vice –Chairman Terai Madhesh Democratic Party
Mr. Brikhesh Said “Madheshi community needs equality not inclusion”. He further pointed out that Madhesh contributes the more portion of Inland Revenue collection but only 19% budget is distributed to Madhesh. In this way Madhesh has been bearing injustice, on the one hand, from the state and on the other hand the donor agencies and INGOs have formulated the policy of embargo to the Madhesi community .This is due to the prejudice of high caste hilly people working in the donor agencies and INGOs towards Madhesi Community.
The donor agencies have been working in the line of Nepal Government .This is a denial towards Madhesh. The agencies have shown the undeclared embargo for the development of Madhesh. The agencies are centered only on Hill and mountain and have neglected the Terai/Madhesh .The Madhesi Community can’t accept the way the agencies are intending to influence the religion and culture in Madhesh. If their vested interest is to contaminate our religion and culture,they should be ready to face offence from Madhesh .If their intention is to support a poor country, the Madhesh should be included in this process. Otherwise Madhesi political parties will have to adopt different strategies and policies. The situation of the agencies will only be shown by time at that time.
Mr. Jitendra Narayan Dev, General Secretary –Madhesi People’s Right Forum Democratic
The way the federation has raised the issue of Madhesh development is really appreciable, said Mr. Dev. The donor agencies should be invited in such type of program so that they would be aware about the reality of Madhesh and its development. The donor agencies have neglected the Madhesh and Madhesi people. The donor agencies resources and means must be inclusive. The bureaucratic formulation of the donor agencies is terrifically discriminatory which has victimized the Madhesi community. Therefore this sort of bias formation should be reformed without any delay into inclusiveness.
We used to discuss only about politics when we met the donor agencies .But I’ve realized today that I should give pressure to the agencies with regard to the development of Madhesh from me and my party’s side. Our weakness should be improved.
The agencies shouldn’t implement their plans only. They should make their policies Madhesh friendly instead. They are expected to fulfill the need of Madhesh without any religious, cultural and political interest .Otherwise any development programs which leave the Madhesh behind, can’t be accepted by our party. Our party is ready to support the attempt made by federation regarding of Madhesh development.
Honorable Sarita Giri, CA Member and Chairperson Nepal Sadbhawan Party(Anandidevi)
Policies of donor agencies and their interest should be understood first, said Mrs.Giri. The youth and students of Madhesh Community should be focused on research and enhance their knowledge and ability. Madhesi organizations should find out in which fields the donor agencies are supporting the government and what are their priorities.
The fundamental problems of Madhesh development should be discussed and the pressure should be created in this regard. Pressure is a need sometimes. Before the CA election no political parties and leaders were ready to provision 33% seat for the women in CA. But we gave excessive pressure for this provision. And this was made possible because of the effort made by the women like us. UNDP also pressurized the political parties to manage the constitutional provision of 33% of women reservation warning to cut the financial support. Then only the political parties had agreed for this provision. So, if we create pressure like this, this can turn into success.
In my opinion, there are two purposes of donor agencies:
Firstly, to contaminate the culture and religion and secondly to influence politically and show as well as continue their existence. They want to influence by fragmenting the culture and society of Madhesh. But this is not possible in Madhesh or this is not as easy to do in Madhesh as it is in comparison to other ethnic groups. Therefore they aren’t positive about Madhesh. We should be united and fight against this vested interest of agencies and development policies should be bought in our favor.
Mr. Manish Suman (Joint secretary –Sadbhawana Party)
The Donor agencies seem to be working according to the policy of the state said Mr. Suman. The agencies are being run with the signal of high class hilly people. Due to this Madhesh is neglected by the state and agencies despite the fact that Madhesh is the backbone of economic development. It is not a surprise to be exploited and neglected in a situation where the agencies and INGOs are guided by the Hilly high cast people. If this trend continues, it is necessary to revolt against the donor agencies. Then only they can change their attitude towards Madhesh. We should strike before the gate of donor agencies including UN. If they don’t hear us yet, we should block the means of transportation of the agencies throughout the Madhesh .If not yet we should vandalise the offices of the agencies. The state didn’t hear the non violence of Gajendra Narayan Singh but heard the Maoist‘s gun.
Honorable Rampreet Paswan (CA Member and Central Member of CPN-UML))
The international donor agencies are escalating the regional and ethnic (Violence as well as) discrimination. The Madhesh organizations are in poor condition with regard to development, where as the hilly organizations are turning lucrative overnight. The cause for this is the discriminatory policy of the donor agencies.
The donor agencies aren’t positive towards Madhesh since they are unable to influence the strong cultural, religious and linguistic background of Madhesh. We all Madhesi people should be united for our development creating the pressure to the donor agencies.
Mr. Uddhav Sigdel(Researcher and Analyst)
Since the donors are unable to fulfill their vested interest, they are neglecting Madhesh. They should be involved in Madhesh development without any ill intention. Otherwise, the donors and UN agencies will have to lose so many things from Madhesh’s Social uprising as the Nepali rulers have realized to have lost so many things. The donors should be aware on time in this regard.