The study on the ‘State of Social Inclusion in Nepal’ (SOSIN) is a pioneering research effort being undertaken by the Central Department of Anthropology (CDA) at the Tribhuvan University (TU), in Nepal. It builds on the research entitled ‘Social Inclusion Atlas and Ethnographic Profile’ (SIA-EP) carried out by the then joint Central Department of Sociology and Anthropology (CDSA), TU from 2011-2014.
The primary objective of this research project is to generate empirical data and furnish sound analysis on the state of social inclusion in contemporary Nepal. It aims at generating comprehensive quantitative data to measure social inclusion at the national level, complemented by in-depth ethnographic studies on micro-dynamics of exclusion and barriers to inclusion. The study is expected to help the promotion and monitoring of the progress on social inclusion as both a desired outcome, and required strategy, for sustainable growth and inclusive democracy in Nepal. This academic enquiry is focused on understanding the pervasiveness and nature of deep-rooted, age-old, social, economic, political, and gender inequalities in Nepali society, and identifying practical ways and strategies to combat them.
A prolonged political transition and instability, preceded by violent political conflict, has adversely affected Nepali society, economy and development. Thus, disparities in welfare outcomes based on gender and social identity have persisted or even widened to a considerable extent. The exclusion of people in participating meaningfully in social, political and economic life of the society is the key reason for such inequality and instability. Exclusion is too costly and is an impediment to economic growth; it further perpetuates poverty and powerlessness among marginalized and disadvantaged people. Consequently, “social inclusion” has been taken up as a national agenda of priority with the new 2015 Constitution of Nepal envisioning an inclusive state, inclusive democracy and inclusive society, as clearly stated in the Preamble. (See below).
The Preamble of the 2015 Constitution of Nepal
“Ending all forms of discrimination and oppression created by the feudalistic, autocratic, centralized, unitary system of governance, recognizing the multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-religious, multi-cultural and diverse regional characteristics, resolving to build an egalitarian society founded on the proportional inclusive and participatory principles in order to ensure economic equality, prosperity and social justice, by eliminating discrimination based on class, caste, region, language, religion and gender and all forms of caste-based untouchability.”