Leaders of the Chepang community gathered at the seventh central national assembly of Nepal Chepang Association in Bharatpur, Chitwan, and urged the swift implementation of the ‘Chepang Protected Area.’
Expressing discontent, they revealed that despite the Bagmati provincial government’s previous declaration, the initiative remains stagnant due to the absence of allocated funds. Participants also stressed that mere declarations were insufficient.
The assembly called for the Chepang-inhabited region to be designated as a specially protected zone, invoking Article 56 of the Constitution. Other demands included the recognition of the Nwagi festival as a national event, addressing discriminatory laws affecting the Chepang community, and ensuring access to forests.
The Chepang community, recognized as indigenous, predominantly resides in the Mahabharat mountain range across 26 districts in Nepal, with a total population of 84,364 according to the 2021 census.