Aapshawara Community Dalit Homestay in Vyas Municipality of Tanahu district is the first and model community homestay in Nepal run entirely by the Dalit community. The homestay has been providing lodging, food and hospitality facilities to domestic and international tourists past three years. Often considered as ‘untouchables’ by some people, the community has been delivering its services relentlessly, breaking the long chains of caste discrimination.
Muluki Ain-1963, Caste-Based Discrimination and Untouchability (Offence and Punishment) Act-2011, The Criminal (Code) Act-2017 criminalizes any forms of caste-based discrimination and penalizes the offenders with both jail terms and fine. Unfortunately, discrimination is still prevalent in today’s time, which is deeply rooted and widespread in Nepalese society. The Dalits are frequently discriminated, excluded and marginalized in the social, cultural and economic scenario. The tragic and horrendous Rukum incident in recent time is the outcome of people’s perception and outlook towards the Dalit community and also the feeble enforcement of existing laws.
Initiating silent revolution against the caste-based discrimination, the Dalit community in Tanahu district has played a commendable role in bringing the people of all community together and spreading positivity among the community. Tackling various challenges and social constraints, they are making tireless efforts to completely eradicate this evil practise. Poor access to economic resources, ineffective plans and policies from policymakers regarding discrimination and social disintegration has repeatedly demotivated them to achieve their goals. However, their consistent dedication and will power have made this dream seem possible. As of now, the homestay has been visited by hundreds of tourists from over 18 countries and has managed to build 18 houses for the homestay in the brief span of three years.
The active members of the homestay recall that the behaviour of the people towards them has drastically changed positively and many of the people have admired their audacity. The members of the homestay have been working not only for the eliminations of different forms of discrimination but also for reshaping the attitudes of other people, empowering their community, preserving the culture and setting an example in the society.
I, along with my friends, stayed for two nights at Aapshwara Community Dalit homestay and the service offered to us by them was excellent. One could experience and learn different things that people in the village did. The people residing there are very welcoming and polite. This could be a beautiful post COVID destination for a visit. Let’s promote local tourism and help to make discriminatory free society simultaneously after everything is relaxed. Stay safe for now!!
To learn more, please visit their website: https://dalithomestay.com/