In the mountains of eastern Nepal, communities are nestled in rugged terrain. Isolated from urban centers, access to quality education, safe drinking water, healthcare, and public services can feel unattainable for many communities. However, amidst these challenges, dZi is working in partnership with community members to make a difference by eliminating barriers to basic needs and fostering sustainable livelihoods.

Communities are gaining access to safe drinking water, earthquake-safe schools, irrigation systems, and bridges. Moreover, community members are also generating employment opportunities and earning a livable income while working with dZi to develop vital public infrastructure.

In Nepal, like in many other countries, adherence to government policies, such as tax registration and payment, is mandatory for all working individuals, groups, and organizations. Due to a lack of information and access to government offices, community members employed by dZi to construct new public infrastructure projects struggled to register and pay their taxes to Nepal's government. Navigating these processes can be daunting in remote areas, especially for those experiencing multi-dimensional poverty or limited mobility. Beyond this personal stress, failure to register and pay taxes on time means you can no longer work legally.

 

Recognizing this challenge, dZi supported the Salpa Silicho Rural Municipality to organize a three-day Mobile Service Camp in collaboration with the Bhojpur District Tax Office for taxpayer services like registration and payment for individuals, groups, and organizations. This innovative initiative aimed to bring essential government services closer to rural communities – overcoming geographical barriers and ensuring accessibility for all. Additionally, community members also received bank services on-site, and people without bank accounts could open them. This helped people save time and effort, and alleviated the financial burden of traveling to distant municipal offices.  

Altogether, 129 community members, businesses, and groups benefitted from the Mobile Service Camp. Moreover, the individuals and groups who registered are now eligible to receive government grants for community development and easily participate in other employment opportunities. Now that they can legally work, more rural communities can participate and feel included in commercial commerce.  

Narita Rai, a 36-year-old resident from Jaubari, expressed gratitude for the convenience offered by the camp. "It would have taken three days and an extra $80 (about an average monthly household income for many community members) for me to just go and take the service if it was not available in my rural municipality," says Narita. 

Similarly, Sukha Bahadur Rai, a businessman from Phedi who settled his business tax for two years at the camp, praised the initiative and emphasized the need for more similar initiatives in rural areas to benefit community members. 

Narita Rai registering for her Pan Card

Beyond convenience, the camp also brought hope and empowerment to individuals like Badri Bahadur Thapa, a visually impaired man who could now obtain his Pan Card (a unique ID given to taxpayers) locally, eliminating the need for costly journeys with sight guides to distant offices.  

The success of this initiative underscores dZi's commitment to inclusivity and the power of increasing access to basic public services. As dZi embarks on a new phase of growth with a new strategic plan, ensuring that all community members – regardless of gender, disability, ethnicity, demography, or economic status – have access to basic services is paramount. Looking ahead, dZi plans to continue the dialogue with other Rural Municipalities to replicate similar initiatives. Together, we are paving the way toward a more inclusive, thriving, and resilient society, ensuring that no one is left behind on the journey toward development and prosperity.  

Badri Bahadur Thapa was overjoyed to be able to pay his taxes in his own community