The Dalit Development Society (DDS) is dedicated to addressing the needs of marginalised people, especially those from dalit ('untouchable') caste groups in Nepal. DDS works to create a more just society. It focuses on victims of the recent conflict and dalit people, promoting basic human rights and re-integrating marginalised people. DDS works to address social exclusion, in the belief that caste discrimination is a major contributor to the conflict in Nepal.
Mala Pariyojana (Mala Project)
The Mala Project aimed to rehabilitate and reintegrate children affected by conflict, who are particularly vulnerable in today's Nepal. The first phase took place in ten districts in the mid-western region of Nepal from 2005 to 2006, and the second phase in four districts from 2006 to 2009. Salyan District was included in both phases, as it was badly affected by the recent conflict. Three DDS facilitators were trained by the Centre for Mental Health and Counselling in general and psychosocial counselling for children. These went on to arrange services such as:
- Reintegrating children into families Offering support by providing food, clothes, and shelter;
- Enrolling children in school, providing educational materials, and offering remedial coaching; and
- Vocational skills and income generation training.
Children in very deep shock were referred on to the Centre for Mental Health and Counselling in Nepalgunj or services in Kathmandu. 165 children have so far taken part, forty of whom are completely recovered and need no further support.
DDS has been continuously working for ending caste discrimination which they see as one of the causes of armed conflict. It has been working with children, young people and adults with the aim of ending the caste discrimination from very early age. It has been also working for facilitating peace at the local level focusing particularly the conflict of related to caste.