Panchavati Sada is an example of how a person is forced to live without his/ her citizenship for so long. She belongs to a poor Dalit community who is now a Nepalese woman having her citizenship certificate at the age of 67 years. Now she has learned about her rights and firmly believes that she is eligible to receive social security support by the Government of Nepal.
It was not an easy task to get her citizenship. She had to go through lots of struggles. She visited the DAO many times but had to return home empty-handed after hearing excuses from a difficult bureaucratic system. Panchavati was married at an early age when she had
No idea about marriage or citizenship registration certificates.
Her father died when she was very young. She had no possession of any records of her father’s death registration. Due to the lack of necessary documents, the DAO staff could not cooperate and grant her citizenship card and there was barely anyone who supported Panchavati in this process. There was a campaign on citizenship certificates and vital registrations, one year before the last election took place in the country. Unfortunately, during that time she was in the hospital after a nearly fatal accident. So she was unable to register her name in the campaign. Due to which even her son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren were unable to make their identity cards. Mukti Nepal, a partner of ASN for the Action had formed community dialogue centres (CDC) in all 23 wards of Siraha district under the project supported by the European Union. Having the aim to ensure the access of marginalized communities to the constitutional rights guaranteed by the state, there were several rounds of discussion in the CDC on rights and entitlements provided by the local government. Finally, Panchavati got informed about the citizenship campaign being organized by the MN through her daughter-in-law who is also an active member of the CDC. MN team with the support from its project staff and volunteers (change agents) through a survey came to know that 42 individuals who belonged to the Musahar community of Karjanha Palika-ward-4 of Siraha district were deprived of citizenship certificates, and Panchavati was one of them. After an interaction with the project team the Mayor of Karjanha Palika, Ganga Paswan in coordination with the DAO, ensured that every individual including Panchavati would receive their citizenship cards.
The effort by CDC members, Palika and DAO officials resulted in 18 out of 42 individuals receiving their citizenship cards and putting others under process. Panchavati is now motivated that group mobilization and efforts result in bringing a desired change within the society. She states,
“I feel that my self-esteem has been boosted after receiving the citizenship card and I am very excited that now I am eligible to claim social protection allowance given by the Government”.