Badi movement leader Uma Devi among BBC 100 Women

Badi movement leader and Provincial Assembly Member of Sudur Paschim Province Uma Devi Badi has made it to the list of BBC 100 Women 2018.

The BBC on Monday published the list of 100 women. It ‘names 100 influential and inspirational women around the world every year and shares their stories’.

Born in a Badi family in Thapagaun, Salyan district in 1965, Uma was the leader of the 48 day-long Badi movement, which has left a mark in Nepali history. Her struggle for the rights of and opportunities for the Badi community had grabbed a lot of attention and appreciation in and outside the country. She was elected a provincial assembly member from the Nepali Congress (NC) last year.

In 2007, around 500 Badi activists from 23 districts had started a journey from the villages to Singha Durbar, putting forward a 26-point demand under the leadership of Uma Devi. “Uma is from the Badi community, which is considered ‘untouchable’ in Nepal, and is working to change that perception,” reads the BBC website.

Badis have put forward demands for permanent shelter, an end to their prostitution and untouchability, and the registration of births and citizenship in the name of mothers, among other things.  Uma doesn’t have  children of her own but she has raised two sons of her sister.

Chanira Bajracharya, a former Kumari or living goddess,  and mountaineer Lhakpa Sherpa had made it to the  BBC 100 Women list in 2016.

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