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What’s not in a name?

In Nepal’s Rukum west, a 61-year-old individual does not know his real name because some upper caste officers at a local ward office issued him a citizenship certificate with a derogatory name, Kutta Badi. 

Similarly in Dailekh, Kaviram BK was given citizenship under another name, Kukur Kami. “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,” Kaviram told Kantipur, “I can not read.”

Kutta and Kukur literally mean dog. 

Rato Kami, assembly member of Karnali province in Nepal, had his ‘official’ name in a similar way. 

Fyaauro Badi, Lukhuri Kami, Kaali Gase, Nauputhe Kami, Lato Kami are some other names assigned to people from the community by upper caste individuals at identity card cells at Village Development Committees or municipalities. 

While human rights activists demand correction in identity cards of every such individual, government officers initially called it an impossible task citing the lack of provision in the constitution.

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