Introduction to Chepang Community:
The Chepang are one of Nepal’s most disadvantaged indigenous groups and are classified under the ‘highly marginalized’ category on the basis of a set of socio-economic indicators, such as population size, language literacy rate, house type, landownership, occupation and access to higher education. Although no longer a nomadic tribe, the Chepangs have largely preserved their unique tribal identity by maintaining their traditional knowledge system and continuing to practice animism.
The Chepangs inhabit in the hilly areas of the district of Nepal and is scattered mainly across the districts of Chitwan (40%), Makwanpur (29%), Dhading (20%) and Gorkha (5%) where the majority live in sheds made of tree branches.
According to the recent Nepal Living Standard Survey, almost 90 percent of Chepangs live below the poverty line, earning around 6,000 Nepali rupees per capita annually. Poverty dwindles the whole life process in acquiring education, getting health treatment and other fulfillment of basic necessities.
Immediate cause of vulnerability for Chepang is their lack of education. The Nepal Chepang Association (NCA) reported that more than three quarters of all Chepang are illiterate and that only 23% percent of Chepang are literate.
Lack of awareness:
A general lack of awareness of the importance of education among Chepang parents and the high prevalence of illiteracy also constitute a big obstacle for the education of their children. Faced with serious challenges in maintaining their livelihoods, many Chepang parents take their children out of school to help with household, agricultural and wage work. As a result, the dropout rate is very high among Chepang school children.
The remoteness of Chepang settlements is regarded as one of the main reasons behind these low literacy rates. Most Chepang villages have only a primary school and students need to travel three to five hours every day, usually over sloped and difficult terrain, to attend secondary level schools. Due to a lack of financial means, few Chepang students can afford to stay in hostels closer to educational facilities.
(C)The concept:Why community Learning centre ?
After the devastating earthquake every single house of Chepang people are cracked and there is a high risk to stay in the houses. 20-25 houses of Chepang in the nearest proximity has been completely destroyed but for making them new houses, a large amount of budget is required. And some of the people has already started making their own houses using local available resources. Hence, Self Sustaining Campaign has planned and focused to build community learning Center. The community learning Center will be monitored by the core team of “Self Sustaining Campaign”.
The community centre can be further used by the local youths, women club (aama samuha) and for any gathering in the village. The community centre is aimed to give shelter to the villagers in case of natural disaster like earthquake. The community centre will be a model of earthquake resistance as well. Further programs related to vocational trainings and other skills will be implemented as the follow up program in the village.
Self Sustaining Campaign, a group of Chepang youth working for Chepang for 3 years, is planning to build a community learning Center.
Jimling is a predominantly Chepang village seven hours walk from the nearest. Some of the basic urban facilities such as electricity and toilets are not to be found, but there are five taps in the village that supply running water every few days. There is a basic health post in the village that provides some elementary care, and a volunteer woman health assistant nominated from the village liaises with the health post.
(E)How we use Community Learning Center?
(A) Place for researchers
Compile all the information about Chepang community and conduct filing and handling
Keep all the information required for Researcher.
Achieving Universal primary education not only contributes for development and protection of children, but also helps prohibit and prevent child labor exploitation, child trafficking, child soldiers, and children with disabilities and children in conflict with laws. This will also help to bring down the child marriage rate and so on.
(i) Conduct adult literacy classes
(ii) Take volunteers to the government schools
- Show documentaries related to KRISHI KARYAKRAM,
- livelihood transformations,
- Documentry Screening
(D) Making of Chepang Museum:
Collection of antiques, museum, Preservation of dresses.
(E) Skill enhancement:
i) Animal husbandry training to rear goats, cow, chicken, duck, fish etc.
ii) Agriculture training for producing Tori, Kurilo, beans, faper, ginger, turmeric, potato etc.
iii) Horticulture training to plant and produce apple, citrus and other fruits.
To ensure the quality health, we will do the following activities:
i) Family Planning
ii) Awareness campaign
iii) Maternal and Child health training
iv) Yearly Health camps
v) Toilet construction
(G) Ensure Environmental Sustainability:
Every action of human beings needs to be environmentally friendly and sustainable. Otherwise, any development work no matter whether big or small will make an adverse effect to society. Chepang traditionally practices some slash-and-burn agriculture, or simple hoe-based horticulture along with mostly hunting and gathering from the forests, which has adversely affected the environment of nearby villages. There almost no trees nearby villages.