What is a March or Yatra?
A march or yatra is a massive grassroots’ level awareness and advocacy campaign that generates tremendous orientation in favour of a social cause. From time immemorial marches have been used to propagate faith, social awareness and independent struggles particularly promoting fundamental rights in South Asia. The case against child labour has got enormous support and help by marches through various marches like the Global March Against Child Labour in 1998, an 80,000 km spanning 103 countries which led to vast public opinion against child labour and the formulation of ILO Convention 182 concerning worst forms of child labour. During the past, particularly in Indian subcontinent, physical marches have always had tremendous success be it for independence or any other social causes that directly relate with the issue of Human Rights.
Why a Nepal March on enforcement of education as fundamental right?
Nepal is among the poorest and least developed countries in the world with almost one-third of its population living below the poverty line. Nepal has been grappling with conflict for more than twelve years. More than 10,000 people—mostly young—have been killed and many more have been injured. According to National Living Standard Survey (NLSS, 2004) about 1.8 million Nepalese children are working full time in Nepal.
The Nepal March wishes to influence the enforcement of the fundamental right to education, generate awareness among the educationists, policy makers, civil society, general administration, potential parents and children, and envisage having overall impact in the education situation in Nepal. The event is also being observed at the time when Nepal is drafting its constitution through an inclusive Constituent Assembly.
Who are the Nepal March participants?
The Nepal March would be led by a team of 120 core marchers – former Kamiayas (bonded labourers), child labourers, children who were out of school, former victims of child trafficking, child rights and education advocates, grassroots activists, representatives of the teachers associations and teachers, Members of the Parliament (Constituent Assembly of Nepal), leaders of the UN agencies and civil society, journalists, academics, and most importantly the common people who will be touched by the march.
When will it take place?
The Nepal March will be flagged off from Mahendranager in the western end of Nepal on 8 September 2009 by the Prime Minister of Nepal Madhav Kumar Nepal, Chairperson of Global March Kailash Satyarthi among other dignitaries. The second leg of the March would be flagged off from Karkarbitta in the eastern border of Nepal. Both the legs will converge on 15 September at Chitwan and the March will culminate on 18 September in Kathmandu (Capital of Nepal).
Who will partner in the Nepal March?
The Global March supports the Nepal March being led by Backward Society Education Nepal (BASE Nepal), Child Workers in Nepal (CWIN), and Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA). The Nepal March is being supported by the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Labour and Transport Management, Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture, among other government departments as well as the UN agencies including the International Labour Organisation (ILO).