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Elected Dalit Representatives in Local Governments: Experience from the first tenure

This video tells the stories of locally elected Dalit representatives of Nepal as their first tenure as elected officials of local governments (LGs) approaches an end. Filmed around November 2021 – six months before the second LG elections were held in May 2022 – this video documents the experiences, learnings, and reflections of elected representatives from one of the most excluded and marginalized communities of Nepal. In the video, four elected representatives from two of the seven provinces (Madhesh and Lumbini) tell their unique personal journeys of navigating uncharted water of local politics and governance while carrying with them their multiple social identities. They tell the tales of being introduced to local politics (some for the first time ever) and the stories of acceptance, recognition as well as prejudices and biases that came with their position and power. As they acknowledge the changes brought by the constitutionally guaranteed political reservation, they also question and challenge the current narrative of inclusion, and meaningful participation in local governance and demand a new way to look at inclusion. The perspectives and anecdotes brought by these elected officials are unique, at the same time, representative of the state of inclusion and exclusion in local governance, all over Nepal.