Ms. Anjana Shakya Research Team Leader SIRF 2006 Submitted: May 6, 2009
Social Impact of Armed Conflict in Nepal – Cause and Impact
This research process has been not only a project or academic exercise but a journey into acquiring knowledge and building relationships too. Personally this has been an opportunity for me to work on the issue of importance, inclusion which I have been working on since 1994 from the preparatory process for the Fourth World Conference in Beijing, 1995. I initiated a process to facilitate the voices of women from all districts, caste, ethnic, religious, differently able, age groups, professional groups of Nepal in the process. Then I was severely criticized by leading women's groups for working with the inclusive process. Furthermore, this has been an opportunity to build on the analysis from the structural violence lens as one of the major root causes of armed conflict in Nepal which I had been working since 2001 with my academic research papers from Eastern Mennonite University, USA. This has been an exciting opportunity to closely understand the impact of inclusion and exclusion and its link with the root causes; its impact in the 11 years of armed conflict. Our excitement of this opportunity did not let us limit ourselves to targeted five districts in various geographical and development regions as proposed in the research proposal but any opportunity we had with other programs was not wasted. HimRights team made positive comments as "Here they start again" with a big smile. Especially during the evenings after the programs were over for the day we sat with relevant participants to conduct in-depth interviews. The best part of interviewing participants of HimRights program was the respondents trusted us easily due to which we did not had to spend time either as ice breaker or convincing we could be trusted as oppose to when we conducted interviews with participants from targeted districts. On the other, it helped HimRights programs too as in-depth interviews helped to know them/us better as well as they felt privileged, respected, and special to be selected for interview amongst about 70 others in each program. One Dalit participant from Mock Youth Parliament said, "I am so honored to be selected for the interview out of 70-----" Even quiet participants started to be more articulate and self-confident. They started to take responsible roles. Doti was a very difficult place to work as they feel "these merely NGOs they know nothing just had come to justify their use of dollars" But after interviews the respondents helped to facilitate and encourage others to actively participate and to be respectful. In the 13 day workshop to produce the comic book "Path to Reconciliation" all the child soldiers were not going to be selected after the first phase because they did not talk but after our interview we realized the blunderous mistake that was going to happen; without their experience and meaningful participation the comic book would not have the depth in the story. We interviewed all the participants from Jhapa, Udaipur, Morang, Bhojpur, Bara, Makwanpur, Sindhupalchowk, Ramechap, Salyan, Jajarkot, Bajhang, and Banke. Other than that we also conducted interviews in Okhaldhunga, Morang, and Dhading. We would like to thank all the respondents in enriching this research without their cooperation we would not have had much to say. I would like to thank Sindhuli Maoist Cantonment Authority for letting us talk freely to respondents and unrestricted movement in their Cantonments. We would like to thank SIRF for giving us the opportunity to conduct this research. I believe this research would lead to programs and support activities with children and women directly affected by armed conflict. I Social Impact of Armed Conflict in Nepal – Cause and Impact
would like to thank Social Science Baha for their research...