ADWAN: Association for Dalit Women Advancement of Nepal (ADWAN) is a human rights organization for Dalit (so called low-caste) women and children. It is a non-political, not profit making and non-government organization (NGO) legally registered at Kathmandu District Administration Office (D.A.O. Reg. No. 99/055/056) and is affiliated to Social Welfare Council. The organization was founded in 2055 B.S. (1998 A.D.) by a group of young and motivated Dalit women who had overcome immense obstacles of poverty, gender and caste discriminations and is run by them.

Its main objective is the empowerment of Dalit women and children. It is working in rural Nepal promoting solidarity for women across caste lines and empowering them through education, micro finance, human rights awareness and health trainings

Through education, literacy-led saving groups and awareness programs the women become catalysts for social change, especially in terms of children’s education, domestic violence and caste-class-gender relations. ADWAN aims to foster a measure of economic independence, to boost self-esteem, and to instill solidarity and a sense of national pride. ADWAN currently operates in Gorkha, Ilam, Arghakhanchi, Baglung, Jhapa, Chitwan and Sarlahi.

Bishnu Maya Pariyar is the founder of the organization. Ms Pariyar is one of eight daughters from a Dalit (Damai) family of traditional tailor in rural Gorkha. She has personally overcome immense obstacles of poverty, gender and caste discrimination to become a social worker and activist. She has currently graduated Master’s Degree from Clark University (one of the world’s top university in the USA) in “International Development and Social Change”.

ADWAN believes that Dalit women can be empowered through three themes. So, it works on integrated programs of all three themes. The activities of those themes are:

Theme 1: Educational Programs

  • None Formal Education
  • Pre-school Classes (Early Child Development)
  • Scholarship for school level children (Up to grade 10)
  • Scholarship for college level girls (After Grade 10)
  • Scholarship for Technical Education.

Theme 2: Income Generating Programs

  • Group Saving and Credit
  • Micro Business Loan
  • Vocational Trainings
  • Small Entrepreneurship


Theme 3: Advocacy and Awareness Programs

  • Human Rights trainings
  • Social and Political awareness trainings
  • Women Health and Hygiene Trainings
  • Workshops and Interaction at community level
  • Gender and Human Rights Advocacy

Friends of ADWAN Nepal (FAN) have been established in Boston, USA to raise the CORE fund for ADWAN. This is the only core-funding source of ADWAN. FAN generate fund through charity sales of Nepali handicrafts goods, presentations, grant proposals, etc. Individual donors and sponsors are the main funders of EDWON.

On-going Activities:

ADWAN is working dominantly in Dalit & Marginalized communities of rural parts of Nepal, neglected by other development agencies. It focuses on community mobilization, and creates women’s solidarity groups, where possible of mixed castes. ADWAN has organized 75 saving and loan groups comprising of more than 2000 women (Dalit women in major roles and number). Groups formed since 1998 and onwards are thriving and growing. Over 1500 secondary level students are benefited by uniform stipend program, 104 students are individually sponsored by US citizens and 21 college students (girls) are benefiting from higher study scholarship program called “Ambitious Girls’ Fund”. 126 women from 20 groups are now engaged in micro enterprises with the loan provided by ADWAN’s Micro Loan Project. 4 literacy classes and 6 pre-school classes are ongoing. The group women have become the role model of community development and social transformation. The major on-going activities are:

  • Pre-school Classes for pre-primary children
  • Uniform Stipend and Sponsorship for school level children (girls and boys)
  • Scholarship for college level girls
  • NFE
  • Building Community Meeting Houses
  • Group Saving and Credit
  • Micro Loan
  • Human Rights Workshops
  • Advocating Human Rights, Violence against Women, Dalit and Marginalized Women
  • Skill Development and Capacity Building Trainings
  • Advocating human rights violation cases against Dalit and Marginalized Women


Affiliated with:

  • Dalit NGO Federation (DNF)
  • Dalit NGO Federation-Nepal (DNF-Nepal)
  • Durban Review Committee (DRC)
  • Dalit Citizen’s Movement
  • Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO)
  • Jagaran Media Center (JMC)
  • Jan Uttan Pratisthan (JUP)
  • Kathmandu Training Center
  • Local area Development Trust Fund,
  • National Alliance for women human right defenders (NAWHRD),
  • National Badi Right Struggle Committee,
  • National Coalition Against Racial Discrimination (NCARD),
  • National Dalit Commission (NDC),
  • National Human Right Commission,
  • National Women Commission,
  • Protection Desk-Nepal,
  • Rural Empowerment Society,
  • SAHAS Nepal,
  • Women Rehabilitation Center (WOREC),

Stake Holders:

  • Bakrang Village Development Committee,
  • Bhumlichowk Village Development Committee,
  • Bungkot Village Development Committee,
  • Corp Development Department of Agriculture office, Gorkha,
  • District Agriculture Development Office, Gorkha,
  • District Education Office, Gorkha,
  • District Development Committee, Gorkha,
  • Fruit & Vegetable Collection Center, Gorkha,
  • Ghairung Village Development Committee,
  • Leader Farmers’ Group, Gorkha,
  • Manakamana Model Village Development Committee,
  • Makaising Village Development Committee,
  • Taklung Village Development Committee,
  • Tanglichowk Village Development Committee,
  • Prithvi Narayan Municipality.