Kaviram walks into the Dailekh District Administration office. He has some applications and documents. He is changing his official name.
A team of government officers issued him his citizenship certificate in 1989. He was 28 then. They named him Kukur Kami, which literally translates to dog.
“I came to know about it during my marriage registration when officers at the government office had a good laugh looking at my identity card,” said Kaviram. He was unaware about it for years as he could not read.
“All my life, I have lived with an identity I did not choose for myself,” he said, “My name is Kaviram now.”
There are hundreds like Kaviram who have been given derogatory official names by upper caste government officers. After continuous pressure from every side, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued a notice to district administration offices to facilitate people willing to obtain an identity card under another name.
“This is not enough. Our children’s citizenship certificates should also be corrected,” Kaviram demands, “They had obtained identity cards under the old derogatory name of mine. They are Kaviram’s children now.”
Journalist and activist Baburam Bishwakarma demands compensation for the victims of this state-sanctioned casteism. He asks why those government officers, the culprits, are not punished.