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Tharus are one of the indigenous people of Nepal. Before 1983, most of the Tharu boys and girls were working for landlords instead of schooling; for repaying back their parents’ loan. Tharus were discriminated by so called high caste, to the attempts of social, economic, and political exploitation, this is why Tharus had been gradually migrated from Dang to Banke, Bardiya, Kailali, Kanchanpur and India.

In January 1985, Backward Society Educatioin (BASE) was founded as a pioneering movement (Charpate Club) to fight against human exploitation within some of Nepal’s poorest communities. Under the leadership of Mr. Dilli Bahadur Chaudhary, a social activist and member of the indigenous Tharu community, a group of 34 youths raised NRS.735 through cultural shows within Dang district of Western Nepal during the period of Maghi (Tharu New Year). Since the restoration of democracy in 1990 in Nepal, membership of BASE has grown bigger, boasting a membership of over 200000 people. BASE’s continued commitment to fight against the exploitation of bonded labor and slavery, social and political discrimination, illiteracy and poverty of the Tharu people, and other marginalized communities, has inspired a grass-root oriented social movements focused within 8 districts in min and far western regions of Nepal. BASE aims to bring about a transformation in the outlook of the downtrodden people, as well as those of their oppressors focusing on other more districts apart from the working districts.

The board members of BASE are known as “People-people”, while the administrative staffs are labeled as “paper-people”. They engage in policy and procedure formations along with implementation, fundraising, strategic direction, advocacy, monitoring, evaluating and social and public audits. Although most of the projects are designed by the “paper-people”, this is all following the guidance and research of BASE’s “people-People”.

Thus, BASE is a mass membership based organization, and as a pioneer institution, devoted to fighting against exploitation and deprivation of the Tharus, and other marginalized people at the same locality. Started as a grass-roots social movement, it now works through education, social mobilization & community development under the slogan “Education first”. The main aim of BASE is to uplift the livelihood of Tharus and other exploited people in Nepal, whose lives are often characterized by extreme poverty. It has a total 200000 general members.

BASE has been extremely successful in mobilizing a huge group of people not only Tharus, but also other indigenous people and so called “untouchable” groups in eight districts namely; Rukum, Salyan, Dang, Banke, Bardiya, Kailali, Surkhet and Kanchanpur.

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