Testimony from a research scholar UMIKS (UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Institute of Kashmir Studies)

Testimony Srinagar, India - 6th July 2011

His Excellency Madanjeet Singh
UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador
Founder, South Asia Foundation (SAF)


I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for your generosity in awarding this
Scholarship to me under Singh(SAF) Scholarship Scheme. am very much honored to be the recipient of this Scholarship.  generous scholarship has lessened the financial burden on my family and allowed me to devote a greater amount of time to my studies.

I am working on the theme Role of Education in Social Inclusion of Muslims in Nepal. It also focuses on the exclusion issues of Muslims, their social, economic and educational status and access to mainstream education in Nepal and India as well.

This fund supported me to visits the libraries of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) in Delhi and the Central library of Tribhuvan University,  Keshar Mahal, CERID, CNAS and Social Science Baha  in Kathmandu Nepal to collect relevant documents to my study. It also supported me to visit the field sites of my study. I visited Muslim populated districts- such as Banke, Sarlahi, Kapilbastu and Rauhat in Nepal and Baharaich of India.

This fund has also allowed me to broaden my approaches to see the issues of Muslims and minority rights at the global and South Asian context from the sociological perspective. After the completion of my fieldwork, I have found that Muslims of Nepal and India have many similarities in terms of their social, cultural, economic and educational status. Majority of the Muslims of Nepal have migrated from the Indian states like Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. They still maintain their economic, religious, marital and educational relationships with the country of their origin.

Further, during my fieldwork in Nepal, I got opportunity to publish article on the title Low Representation of Minority Groups in Civil Service and Issues of Social Inclusion in Nepal, by National Foundation for Development of Indigenous Nationalities (NFDIN) Lalitpur. I also presented a paper on Exclusion Issues of Muslims in Nepal the SNV Nepal, Lalitpur, Pulchowk.
Education is a prerequisite for the economic development, social change and Social Inclusion in every country. Because of the low education Muslims of Nepal have been excluded from different spheres- such as politics, civil service, army, police and other decision making bodies of the state. I believe that education can play vital role to bring peace and harmony in the society.

Thus, my study will help to fulfill the core value of the SAF. This study will endeavor to understand the issues of Muslims in the South Asian context in general and the Nepalese context in particular. Furthermore the study will be helpful for the government of Nepal to make policies and programs to ensure the minority rights. Ultimately this study will initiate a process to bring peace in the society andmaintain regional cooperation among SARRC countries.

These achievements would not have been possible without your generous funding. So, I would like to thank you again for your generous favor.
Thank you.

Yours faithfully

Pasang Sherpa
PhD Scholar (Nepal)
UNESCO Madanjeet Singh,
Institute of Kashmir Studies