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Visually Impaired Teenager Disowned For Marrying a Dalit

Editor's Note: This article is reprinted from the Himalayan Times, Nepal, September 12, 2007.

Katmandu--The family of a visually impaired youth have disowned him for marrying a Dalit {someone belonging to the lowest social and ritual class} girl in Ilam district. Surya Sauden Limbu, of Ilam's Sulubung-7, married Sita Pariyar, of Soyang-6, also visually impaired, following their one-and-a-half-year-old affair.

When Surya informed his father about his marriage with Sita on August 26, his father disowned him. His father told him, "You are dead for us. We have already performed your last rites."

"We are not allowed to go home. We are living in a rented room," Surya Sauden said.

Surya and Sita met each other at a convention of the Nepal Association of the Visually Impaired two years ago.

"Since both of us know braille, we exchanged letters," Surya said.

"We wrote as many as 22 letters a month," said Sita.

Nineteen-year-old Surya is a student of Grade IX at Amar Higher Secondary School, while 18-year-old Sita studies in Grade V at Adarsha Lower Secondary School. They are willing to continue their studies.

Surya said he would continue to fight against caste discrimination. "We are working for a candlelight factory run by the Nepal Association of the Visually Impaired. We will not have a child until we become self-reliant," Surya said.