Why the Musahar caste
The Musahar are an untouchable caste whose members live in the southern plains (Tarai) region of Nepal. The people of the Musahar caste are known as the Musurey and are a population of an estimated 240,000 individuals. Like many other untouchable communities in Nepal, the Musurey suffer greatly from severe poverty and a lack of education. Musurey women work 14 to 16 hours a day (as sharecroppers) in the landlord’s fields and are still unable to buy enough food or clothing for their children or to send them to school. The people who benefit from the Musurey's labor are local high-caste leaders. Musurey parents want to educate their children and give them a better future. However, grinding poverty means that children are forced to work from an early age to help support their families.
Because of ongoing caste-based discrimination the Musurey have received little or no help from Nepal's government, or, indeed, the country's ruling class in general. Funds from abroad, combined with the dedicated efforts of some caring individuals, offer an opportunity for the Musurey to build a better life for themselves.
Based on our travels to this area and our interactions with those that live there, we have found the Musurey to be warm hearted and welcoming. They are very generous, loyal, dependent, and tolerant. They speak a language that is not the predominate Nepali language spoken throughout Nepal.
We have found that the U.S. Dollar goes a long way in this region of Napal. Labor is inexpensive and we can make major changes through relatively small investments. In future years, access to the area from Katmandu, the population and economic center of Nepal, will be changing. What is presently an arduous 8-hour trip will be reduced to 3 hours due to the construction of the "Fast Track". The new road is presently under construction and will provide new opportunities for travelers to access the area and for goods and services produced by the Musurey to reach larger markets both in Nepal and abroad.
MAP OF THE MUSAHAR REGION