Introduction of Humla Districts
Humla is one of the blessed with boundless opportunities district of Nepal. It is elevated from 4000 to 24064 ft. and the population of the district is 49863. In spite of natural abundance, hardworking and laborious people the district are counted as one of the least developed and remote of the country. The district is scattered in 565500 hectare. Out of the total area, forest covers74783.4 hectare, grazing land 141494.4 hectare, fertile land 5020 hectare, snow covered 50570 hectare, residence 352 hectare, river 33500.6 hectare, gravel and rocks 307583.6 hectare, Lake 140 hectare. The district has 27 VDCs and Simikot is the district headquarters. The total life expectancy in the district is 54 years and Literacy rate 26.62 % and women literacy 8 %. 20% population of the district is occupied by with marginal living condition. The average landholding per household is 0.5-0.6 hectares compared to the national average of 0.7 hectares. Although most people own land, agricultural production is very low, about 1 metric ton per hectare of cereal crop (the national average is double this). This is due to a lack of irrigation facilities and persistence of low production traditional farming systems. The harsh environment and weather conditions restrict farmers to a relatively short production seasons, and between December and March most of Humla is under snow. This reduces mobility, farming and employment opportunities for effectively a quarter of the year. During the food deficient months, men seek employment outside of the district, leaving women to manage crops, look after livestock and manage the household. Villagers highly depend on tradition farming and labor work for their livelihoods. In Humla only 64.5% people have access to drinking water and 18.3% people have access over to toilet. The district is not connected with the road network and people have walk long 5-6 days to arrive the nearest bust station. The northern border of the district is connected with the Tibet, where the bus other transportation facilities are available. The district is developing as tourism hub for Mansarobar. Humla has a regular small plane service, although it is dependent on favorable weather conditions, and is often cancelled during the rainy and snow season. Goods are transported by very expensive transportation cost. However, the air facilities from Nepalganj to Humla simikot has made easy to go to Hilsa. The temporary facility of Helicopter from Simikot Humla to Hilsa has promoted Humla as tourism hub. Many Hindu people from Nepal, India and other countries are visited Mansarobar and Simikot is one of the major transit point for Mansarobar. There are many other tremendous opportunities including tourism, agricultural, herbs, handicraft are available in the district.
The Existing situation of Social Development at Humla
This district is out of national road network; it has a regular small plane service, although it is dependent on favorable weather conditions, and is often cancelled during the rainy and snow season. Many goods are transported into the district by air at 140 Rs. per kilogram; prices for even basic food stuffs are too high for local people. Life expectancy in the district is 54 years (national average is 62.8 years). Over 60% of the population lives below the absolute poverty line (earning less than US $ 1/day). This compares to the national average of 32%, it has no other development facilities i.e. electricity, communication and others. It is one of the most backward districts in overall socio-economic indicator of development of the nation. As per the Human Development Index of United Nations Development Program Report 2004, Humla district belongs to 74th rank out of 75 districts which is 0.224 and 75th rank in food deficit as per the SNV district assessment report. The study has indicated that the subsistence type of traditional farming has not contributed in economic opportunity for the people of Humla. The government is also playing a facilitative role in improving the capacity and institutional developing of community based organizations (CBOs) and local level civil society organizations, in the light of the present absence of locally elected representatives at the Village Development Community (VDC) and District Development Committee (DDC) levels. The activities of this project are directed towards the improvement of service delivery capacities of CBOs, federations and cooperatives, so that they can carry out their development activities in the absence of elected local government
Society and Culture
Existence of various religious, cultural, social, economic and political groups and successes of participatory development processes at micro-level provide unique strengths to form inclusive democracy with characteristics of equitable power sharing among diverse groups in the areas of political, social and economic realms. Economically, the mechanism, process, and strategy of inclusion are reflected in the recognition and protection of the people’s right to development. The issues of economic development are thus inseparably connected with the process and strategy of democracy. Democracy is reflected on the need of recognition and protection of cultural practices, including languages. Politically, inclusion is an inherent right of individuals association with the concept of sovereignty. The question therefore is not whether every segment of the population irrespective of race, caste, and sex is included. In Humla the problem of democracy is refusal of the concept of people’s sovereignty, Imposed marginalization of the community, for the advantage of some and disadvantage of others which rejects the notion of equality and continues the status quo. Social, economic, and political stratifications of the population that excludes certain segments of the population from mainstream participation and socialization for the exclusives benefit of others. The elites and power center created to monopolize the state power by a smaller segment excluding others where exclusion permeates the environment.
Social Inclusion and Democracy
In Humla, four major political parties and 14 sister organizations are actively campaigning in Nepalese politics. The male and female in the leadership ratio is 91.30% and 8.69% whereas this ratio in sister organizations are 88.66% and 13.33%. In Humla the issue of democracy is a plain and straightforward issue of social justice. Since democracy becomes a handy term for politics, political leadership, and political economy that cannot embrace egalitarian or equity oriented policies and, nevertheless, wants to projects its social orientation in favor of equal opportunity for all. In the context of Humla, the issues of democracy are three inter-related dimension. One, it is about social discrimination, by design and political outcomes, against the Dalit, women, some groups and indigenous people, and specific geographical areas. Two, issues is about deprivation of a material nature related to other groups of people who enjoy social and economic privileges and political power in the nation state. The deprivation arises from not having access to resources and services by virtue of being consigned by history to some specific identity. The third dimension is critical. It is exclusion that is directly related to governance. Specific group are excluded and feel excluded because the system that generates the space for political participation and public policymaking is designed and operated in such a way that their proximity to political power and economic opportunity is never assumes.
Political Power and Inclusive Development
In Humla, a deep correlation exits between social exclusion and economic and political power. In Humla, the elite and feudal class of society regarded them as symbols of power to be worshipped and feared. Socially excluded groups including Dalit and ethic and indigenous groups along with women are the prime victims of deprivation from the right to live in dignity. They cannot enjoy the basic rights of education, health, and employment opportunities and are forced to live as poor farmers. Excluded communities have always been deprived of positions in the legislative, judiciary, business, education and health sectors. Due to state’s neglect and geopolitical and economic reasons, communities in Humla is isolated and sometimes physically encroached upon political aspirations. As a result socio-cultural harmony of the communities is disturbed. They are also excluded and neglected politically. These people have thus little opportunity to put forward their agendas and lose out in all fronts of life. It is this isolation they are the potential forces to join arm violence. The concept of the inclusiveness is not simply a process of participation. Rather it is participation with autonomy in the rule making process and discretion in affairs related development. From the perspective of human rights, the issue of inclusiveness refers to the constitutional and legal framework that guarantees the enjoyment of right to self determination. And from the respective of the principles of good governance, the issue of inclusiveness is a source of legitimacy for the political system. Neither society can develop nor human right ensure in the absence of the inclusiveness. Any attempt to evolve autonomy to the people for governance and for secure devolution of power thus becomes a strategy to transform the excluding system to inclusive system. In a heterogeneous society, the recognition and protection of diversity is the core value of the society. Humla is a typical heterogeneous society. Social exclusion means rupture of social bonds. “The process through which individuals or group are wholly or partially excluded from full participation in the society in which they live. Poverty is an end state in which implies a lack of entitlement to the basic for survival. Poverty itself becomes a prime factor for people’s exclusion for reasons that they are poor and have no time to participate in any activities.
Human Rights are the inherent rights of the human beings universal declaration of Human Rights 1948. As a responsible member of the UN and international community, Nepal has been signatory of millennium Development Goals, International Labor Organization and SAARC declarations as well as more than 20 international instruments on human rights, and Nepal has also been trying to implement the provision of all these instruments through national laws and policies. As Nepal is passing through a transitional phase and, violation of human rights has been increasing. This has caused problems in maintaining stability in the political, social, and economic sector. Due to growing conflict among the political parties then impunity is growing up in the country and in Humla as well. Some activities are carrying out in Poverty alleviation and social justice bur not well institutionalized by ensuring peace, security, and socio-economic development. The weak implementation of law discrimination to the women, schedule caste, poor, and minority group is fueling for the violation of the human right. The reconciliation process of arm conflict victim has not been initiated. Due to impunity the society has been divided. Because of low literacy rate, neither people are aware about constitutional and legal rights nor the civil obligation and duty. However, after restoration of democracy and people movement -2, the political consciousness in increased in people but due to very limited sources of income the life is still hard. The so called upper casts are still dominating to the lower case and the lower caste voices are being not heard in development activities and they are always look down in the society.