Bishnu Mijar is an active Social Activist from Sindhupalchok. He is a founder of “Ma Dalit”? campaign. His campaign ‘Ma dalit?‘ runs various awareness programs on the discrimination against minorities in his community. He is working to eradicate cast discrimination in his community.
He has been involved in different organization as civil society activist and dalit rights activist since 2014. He is mostly concentrated on promoting dalits youth participation in different local levels to national level.
Currently, his campaign “Ma Dalit?” has been started legally. He and along with his campaign friends are planning to work in 77 districts by choosing district representatives with the coordination of two NGOs.
Recently, He was selected as a “District Coordinator” in Sindhupalchowk by the International Youth Centre. He has received “Paribartan Sail Youth Award 2020” for his work. His dedication and enthusiasm towards bringing impact in society has made him one of the early change makers and recognized him as one of the Glocal’s 20under20 of 2019.
Mr. Mijar believes in change and action. His works truly empowers youths to act for positive change. We had a few conversation with him regarding his projects;
How were you motivated to work as a “Social activist”?
My motivation was my self-struggle as a dalit in my childhood. I and my family had to face a lot of problems because of this discrimination. When I learnt about the legal demolition of discrimination, I became determined to became a social activist and throw away this discrimination from the society myself. I motivate myself to fight against caste based descrimination with an aim to change Nepali mindsets.
What challenge did you face in the initial phase?
At the initial phase, it was really difficult for me to start my journey. My biggest challenge was my own family’s disagreement. But I started doing campaigns. Initially, they were not satisfied with my works; but later on they understood its need and my father also joined me in the campaigns. Another challenge was to make elderly people understand the need to end such discrimination. It took time but was slowly resolved. There were also other challenges such as the financial crisis and lack of volunteers.
How did “Ma Dalit”? Campaign started?
I used to face a lot of discrimination from friends and teachers while growing up. When I was studying in grade 9, I came to know about the demolition of the caste system in Nepal, but was surprised to know it still prevails. After SLC , me and 2 of our friends decided to do something on this matter. We decided to raise awareness and started “Ma dalit” campaign. We belonged to different places and started to have awareness campaigns in our respective places. We spoke on the non-discrimination towards dalits, their constitutional rights and how discrimination on the basis of caste system is a punishable offence. This campaign was started from Melamchi.
There was also a kind of discrimination among dalits themselves. It was quite difficult initially but we didn’t lose hope and everything fell in its place. Then, we conducted various campaigns at 12 different local levels in sindhupalchowk. We are conducting a final stage now in collaboration with 2 other organizations helping Dalits and with some government organizations.
This stage is being held in 77 districts in Nepal but has been postponed a bit due to the current pandemic. Still, we are raising awareness through webinars and social media pages. We believe such problems start from the local community, hence, we are doing our campaigns at local level.
Your current involvement ?
Now, I am working in different youth organizations, different projects and involved in campaigns. I am working as a founder at Ma dalit campaign. Currently, I am involved in Paribartanshil Kot Youth club as a president. Along with this, I made a few networks with NGOs and INGOs, and has been working in a field of educational project; called “The Holiday Academy ”. As a member at youth initiative, worked for the capacity development for youth and involved in different youth participation programmes. Also, I am involved in volunteering activities at V4ACTION Nepal to spread the awareness among the people about COVID-19.
What message would you give to aspiring teenagers ?
I want to suggest to all teenagers- Whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability. Always remember that you can choose to be happy; no matter what, pursue your passion while choosing your career. You must have to set your goals high and stay flexible because your goal may change over time. Also one thing your hard work will always take you far in life so focus on your goals.