The Karnali province government has formulated a policy to mainstream the endangered Raute community.
Under the policy formulated by the Ministry of Social Development, members of the community shall be provided a place to settle permanently and issued citizenship certificates. The government shall also take measures to preserve their culture by helping transcribe their language.
The policy comes amid reports that the Rautes’ language, religion, culture, and traditional livelihood are disappearing. Rautes spend most of their time building and demolishing temporary settlements due to their nomadic lifestyle.
Reports also show that they live in unsanitary conditions and children are deprived of education as traditional beliefs forbid doing so. The community suffers from high birth and mortality rates, and malnutrition.
The main objectives of the policy are to build an egalitarian society for the community by protecting the identity and human rights of the community, which has a long history.
According to the latest census, 618 Rautes live in Nepal. As of now, 143 people, including 68 children, from 44 families live a nomadic life in different districts of Karnali. Hunting and making wooden goods and exchanging them for food is their main source of livelihood.
The policy, which identifies education, health, and livelihood as the basic needs of the community, underscores the need to end all forms of violence and discrimination, including gender discrimination and sexual harassment, perpetrated by non-Rautes on Rautes.
Similarly, a museum to portray Raute identity will be established. The ministry has presented the policy to the Social Development Committee and the Provincial Planning Commission.
According to Krishna Prasad Kapri, secretary at the ministry, the policy will ensure the right of Raute children to receive an education. The policy proposes the formation of a steering committee under the chairmanship of the Minister of Social Development to implement the programs laid out in the policy, provide guidance to officials for the mainstreaming of the Raute community, coordinate internal and external cooperation, manage budget, and monitor work related to the Raute community.
The committee shall have secretaries from the Office of the Chief Minister and Council of Ministers, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Planning, Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperatives, and Ministry of Physical Infrastructure as members. The chief of the Social Development Division shall work as a member-secretary.