Tashi Tsering Ghale

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Washington U.

Grant number

Gr. 10112

Approve Date

April 8, 2021

Project Title

Ghale, Tashi, Washington U., St. Louis, MO - To aid research on "Infrastructure and Inequality: Investigating the Impacts of Road Construction in Dolpo, Nepal," supervised by Dr. Goeff Childs

TASHI GHALE, then a graduate student at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, received a grant in April 2021 to aid research on “Infrastructure and Inequality: Investigating the Impacts of Road Construction in Dolpo, Nepal,” supervised by Dr. Goeff Childs. This research examines the relationship between roads, lands, caste, and indigeneity. Since the declaration of Nepal as a Federal Democratic Republic and Secular country, the rural municipality governments of Bentsang and Bharbhong, in coordination with the federal and provincial governments dominated by Caste Hindu Elite leaders, prioritized the construction of roads in Indigenous Dolpo lands. After informing and discussing with Dolpo community leaders and members, this research has adopted surveys, semi-structured interview questions, key-informant interviews, case studies, and participant observation as research tools to understand the ways in which road development in Bentsang and Bharbhong shaped government officials and local people and their struggles in different forms. Based on a year-long ethnography research, their ideas, involvements, and experiences in various capacities reveal the intersection of roads and lands traverse beyond the development narrative of the Nepal state, often marked by the idea of samriddhi (progress). Without treating Dolpo as a monolith category, this empirical work primarily centering Indigenous voices and experiences is informed by the previous scholarly works on infrastructure, caste, coloniality, indigeneity and development.