Bishnu Maya Pariyar, M.A. Bishnu Maya Pariyar, Founder and President of “Empower Dalit Women of Nepal” (EDWON), is a prolific social entrepreneur and a most admired personality in Nepal’s Dalits, the so called low-caste or untouchable people who are traditionally marginalized in the society. A bright student from her early school years, she beat many social and economic obstacles and exclusion she faced due to her caste, gender, and poor economic standings and emerged to become a award winning scholar and a social entrepreneur. Today, she has won more than a dozen scholarships and awards and became a rising youth leader in broader Nepalese community, not just Dalits. Having earned a Bachelor’s degree in Social and Political Systems from Nepal and the USA and a Master’s degree in International Development and Social Change from Clark University, she now works in the USA as an advocate and councellor on domestic violence, while dedicating the rest of her time in uplifting of Nepal’s marginalized people.
Having realized that low caste women have no advocates and are not served well by established aid organizations, Ms. Pariyar founded EDWON with an exclusive objective of serving Dalit women and children of Nepal. She was only 20 at the time she founded EDWON. Today, she has made significant impact in the fields of human rights of women and Dalits as well as in bringing social change through development. And her contributions have not gone unnoticed. In recent times, she has lectured at Harvard University and other prestigious universities and colleges and has been panellist and speaker at national and international conferences. Added with these credence are awards including The Bridge Builder Award from the Harvard University, Perdita Hudson Human Rights Award by United Nations Association of USA, Dr. Ambedkar Award by Association of International Dalit Organizations, Margaret McNamara Memorial Award by World Bank Family Network, Pauline Tompkins Award, Women’s Leadership Award and President Cup Award from Pine Manor College, and Social change Fellow from Clark University.