Dalit communities across the country have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19, pandemic-induced restrictions and other containment measures, a nationwide study shows.

The Samata Foundation study found that nearly 82 percent of Dalits who participated in its survey reported financial distress due to the Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions imposed to contain its spread.

“Such financial distress was higher among Dalits from Lumbini Province and Sudurpaschim Province,” said Gopal Nepali, senior researcher at the foundation. “The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in an economic crisis for the Dalit communities.”

The study titled Impact of Covid-19 on the Dalit Community of Nepal was conducted among 1,5oo respondents from 753 municipalities in all seven provinces of the country. Likewise, 35 Dalit leaders from local, provincial and the central level and 11 civil society members were also interviewed to assess the effects of the pandemic on Dalit communities across the country. Due to travel restrictions, interviews were conducted over the phone, said Nepali, the lead researcher.