Shiva Hari Gyawali, who collaborated with Subhash Nepali to generate the idea and design the syllabus for the ‘Writing for the Social Justice Workshop” says, “We realised that writings don’t come on their own especially focused on Dalit issus. We needed a pool of writers, and that gave us an idea to initiate an action research project, and we believe this has become a unique model.”
“I met Subhash Nepali in Jagaran Media Center, where I worked on Dalits’ human rights issues, and heard him expressing worries about insignificant space that Dalit voice had in the national dailies,” explains how they got the idea, “I offered him to collaborate on the Op-Eds, which we published jointly in a few weeks and got wider recognition and reception.” He elaborates, “We immediately found the idea of initiative that would eventually emerge as Dalit Reader.”
Subhash Nepali and Shiva Hari Gyawali founded Dalit Reader and designed a course and the curriculum based on an extensive review of literature on Dalit, Nepali caste system, race and multiculturalism and consultation with Dalit activists, political leaders, and academic activists.
Dalit Reader provides opportunity for the participants to take active part in the discussions and interactions with the leading authors of the subjects to develop critical understanding of Dalit issues. They also get the opportunity to interact with the editors, desk editors and established writers on creating space for Dalit issues in national media.
The participants so far express hope that the initiative will open doors to inspire similar initiatives to increase space for the voices of the most marginalized groups. But both Shiva Hari Gyawali and Subhash Nepali believe that team spirit, good mentorship and collaboration with editors are key to creating more media space.