“This is my seat”. I want to be seated on reserved seat. “What!” He exclaims. “Yes, this is mine it is reserved for us women”, I make him clear. “I came first so it’s mine, I don’t vacate.” He answers. “Hey sister, why are you fighting? go back side. You must be shameful to ask for seat though you are late to come”, vehicle’s helper gives support to his first passenger and others just enjoy hearing my single voice. # Dil bahadur (differently able person) spill his anger and worries: “we stop the vehicle but they don’t stop. Even if they stop it’s not easy to get rid on. No each of vehicles is disable friendly, so reservation for us is worthless to write. I ask him if he has raised the voice about it or not. His answer, “who will hear our voice?” # “Have you ever seen the lines written on vehicles about the reservation seat?” I question to my friend and she gives an affirmative nod. But she never cares for it because she supposes that to speak about the issue is to be weird because nobody either staffs or other passenger supports.

Yes, above are some examples to prove that though we are educated, though we have voice, though we are aware we still have been fertilizing the culture of Silence. We still feel hesitation to speak up about rights. We feel better to mute the voice to become like gentle person.

After feeling relief from ten years long Maoist armed conflict, Nepal finally declared the Democratic Republic in 2008. By then, Nepal is practicing to be more inclusive in every aspect and being more liberal to ensure people’s rights. Developing the concept of reservation is to ensure people’s rights and to include marginalized group such as ethnic and indigenous people, third gender, dalit (so called lower caste), woman and people with disability. Though the government’s step is commendable giving rights is not the complete solution, unless we cannot implement effectively.

As per need and as per plan, Nepal government has passed the code of conduct for public transportation to keep reservation for woman and people with disability in 2067 BS (one year before).By then, every public vehicle has mentioned for certain percent of seat as reserved for woman and people with disability. But it’s being just the new theme to write on the vehicle’s wall instead of poem or quote as the rule has not been followed by vehicle’s staff as well as people.

Making the rule is easy but implementing and establishing the system is hard, it’s the reality across the globe and we are going through the same realism as nobody is ready to accept the rules and nobody feels responsible to speak to make use of the rights. We have enough example of people’s power locally and globally. Centuries long regimes have been overthrown by the people’s power. Although we acknowledge this actuality of power of people, we overlook on these issues which is completely irresponsibleness. Who care if we people don’t care? , who speak if we people don’t speak?

It’s bitter reality, when a woman is ready for standing near the door but she is not ready to ask for reservation seat even seat is covered by young boys. Similarly, the boys also do not feel responsible to vacate the seat for standing woman, elderly people and disable. We never are supportive when someone speaks for rights. We just enjoy being dumb viewer which is pathetic. Undoubtedly, to execute new law is not trouble-free and it takes time. But keeping ourselves silent may make the time longer. For making an effective implementation, monitoring by governments and other stakeholders must be regular. Moreover, first thing is for whom it’s made for? is important to think. As river don’t haunt, thirst should haunt the river so we should be aware and we should sound off. We know unity is the strength but why we don’t unmute our voice when someone speaks for! Let’s break the culture of silence for our rights, let’s be united to make single voice loud.

Hey dear all would be grateful if you give any suggestion on my Op-Ed! many thanx.

Comment on this Post


Dear Sister

I liked the way you structured it and I liked your 'call to action'. The only minor suggestion I have is that you add some numbers. What is the population of disabled people in Nepal? What is the percentage of reservation instructed by the government? Are these both for govt and pvt buses? Who has started following them? These few things will make the picture a clearer and highlight the injustice. There are some grammatical errors, which I am sure, you will take care.

Very best of luck! Love

Stella Paul Twitter: @stellasglobe

Hi Usha, I like the way that you present your case with examples, and how you make your claim that people need to be supportive of the rights entitled to them.

One thing that was missing for me, is a short sentence or two of acknowledging the opposing viewpoint. Some people probably think that reserving seats for women or elderly people is unnecessary. If you acknowledge that point, and give a reason to refute it, your argument will be that much stronger.

Good draft! Looking forward to the next round, Scott

Scott Beck

Hi, Usha, For those of us unfamiliar with the Nepal laws and practices of reservations, can you explain a bit more, such as how long this has been in effect, how many people use it? I think keeping the anecdote in the beginning shorter will help get to the point more quickly. I can help with some of the English grammatical questions on here, but I also do want to know some more concretely about the reservation issue. Thanks so much for contributing this important piece. Michele

Michele Weldon Author, Journalist, Northwestern University Medill School Assistant Professor, Workshop Instructor, Keynoter, Multimedia Expert michele@theopedproject.org www.micheleweldon.com http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michele-weldon