Friday, October 19, 2018

Nepal is a county of diversity. National Census 2001 has identified 103 caste and ethnic groups in Nepal. These caste and ethnic groups belongs to different race, religion, language, culture and geographical location. Because of a person or group’s association with certain sex, race, culture, religion, geographical location or physical status have brought them to the situation of social exclusion. According to the Ministry of federal affairs and Local Development of Government of Nepal, Women, Dalits-socially low caste groups, Adhivashi Janajatis-Indigenous ethnic groups, Madhesis-Plain dwellers, Muslims-religious minority group, children below the age of 16 years, senior citizens above the age of 60 years, persons with disability and people living in geographically remote area have been defined as socially excluded groups..

Affirmative action or distributive justice is related to the wider agenda of inclusion with political ramification. Its emergence in Nepal is the making of the contradiction between the social reality and the ideology of homogenization. The spirited debate on affirmative action has spawned a plethora of terminologies either synonymous or proximate. Some of these areas:  affirmative discrimination; distributive justice, equal opportunity, positive discrimination, preferential policy, race targeting, reservation or quota system, special measures/protection/ treatment, substantive equality and so forth. All of these mean to create space for opportunity to specified disadvantaged groups. These disadvantaged are facing a problem of social issues, which requires a solution on the basis of the principles of equality and human rights. So, affirmative action and gender and social inclusion should get top priority in the organization and staff recruitment processes. In this context, affirmative action and gender and social inclusion (GSI) issues have been the key focus of our organization. The organization has emphasized employment centric, equitable and inclusive development as its objective. It has been valuing diversity, emphasizing  equal rights and status of women, indigenous, and other cultural groups and has been aiming to address issues of rights of those who are excluded because of their cultural identity or historical processes for equitable representation in the organizational board, staffing and at all levels of developmental works and governance.

Since the establishment of the organization, it has been emphasizing to affirmative action and on mainstreaming the GSI at different levels of the organization and project activities – from intervention to impact levels including this project. Our organization has always realized the need of addressing issues relating to GSI such as equal and meaningful participation in decision making processes, access to and control over resources, benefit sharing and expanding economic opportunities, condition and position enhancing of women, Dalits, Adhivasi Janajati and the poor. It has been incorporating equity as a critical element of its strategy by creating sensitivity and awareness of inequality issues in every sphere. The issue of marginalized, vulnerable and women groups have been dealt by the organization and the project having necessary safeguards and promotional elements in every activity and with compulsory and meaningful participation by them in various groups and committees. The planning framework of the organization has always demanded the promotion of these groups of people’s participation at all levels of project implementation. The rationale for increasing their participation is more far reaching than just a numerical expression of their participation. The active participation of deprived groups in all facets of project activities would gradually lead them to a state of empowerment through their economic growth and path of social transformation. Persistent gender inequalities are hindering the development, especially for girls and women in Nepal. Our organization has been incorporating gender equity as a critical element of its strategy by creating sensitivity and awareness of gender issues in the economic, social and legal spheres. The organization has adopted the policy of Gender equity thereby incorporating them in project portfolios and management. Likewise, the organization has also adopted its policy of including the deprived and excluded groups and sections of population in its organizational set, decision levels, recruitment process and basic service delivery systems. It has its policy of providing common space and reservation to such deprived and marginalized groups.

The general assembly (GA) is the supreme body of our organization namely Paropakar Primary Health Care Centre (PPUK), Kavre, which elects the board of executives. The executive board/committee comprises chairperson, vice chair person, secretary, treasurer and executive members. All the representatives of the executive board/committee have their own functions, roles and responsibilities. The executive committee fulfills the vacant seats of any members of the executive committee either by adoption of nomination or by the election. The chairperson as per the requirement calls the meeting of the executive committee. If 51% of the executive members insist to hold the meeting, the chairperson will call the meeting at any time. All the members of the executive committee attend the meeting. The consensus decision of the committee remains the final decision. In case of equal voting of taking the decisions, the chairperson makes the deciding votes. The minutes of agenda and decision is written in minute book in which 51% attended members will sign. The written decision of all members of the committee without holding meetings will also be as valid as the decision of the executive committee meeting. In order to develop the true image and the effectiveness of the objective of the organization, the committee formulates necessary policy, chalk out planning and programs, carryout execution and evaluation, and then performs tasks relating to personnel and financial management and all decisions relating to income, expenditure and budget transfer.

The organization is also managed by a board of directors and one of who acts as an Executive Director (ED) for daily management and administration of the office/organization. The functions of the executive board and staffs are different. Staffs are obliged to perform their duties as mentioned in their Terms of Reference (ToR). They all are paid whereas executive board members are not eligible for drawing salaries except some incentives while attending in the meetings,. Staffs work on direct supervision of executive board or board of directors of the organization. Obviously, there is no provision of constitution/by-laws regarding the inclusion of same family members in the board. Hence, there are no close relatives in the board and in the executive office bearers/holders in the organization.