Brief Introduction

Mahottari is one of the six districts of Janakpur Zone, located in the Central Development Region of Nepal. The district is bordered by Dhanusha district on the east, Sarlahi on the west, Sindhuli in the north, and Indian state of (Bihar) on the south. Jaleshwor is the district headquarters (DHQ). The total area of the district is 1,002km2 and Mahottari’s population numbered 627,580 people, 50% of them female. There are 71,309 children under five in the district, 68,455 adolescent girls (10-19), 149,074 women of reproductive age (15 to 49), and 50,210 seniors (aged 60 and above; see also annexed age profile). The population of males aged 20 to 34 is noticeably smaller than that of females due to the dynamics of migration. 2 In terms of religion, the majority of people (84%) in Mahottari are Hindu, 14% are Muslim, 2% Buddhist, and smaller shares of Kirat, Jain, Christian, Sikh, Bahai and or of other religions.4 The district’s caste/ethnic composition in 2001 was 21% Dalit, 16% Janajati, 9% Brahmin and 2% Chhetri, among other groups. A typical household in Mahottari is made up of five or six people and owns its home (98%). Most households use firewood (56%) or cowdung (36%) or for cooking, and electricity (63%) or kerosene (35%) for lighting. A majority of VDCs (67 of the 76) are connected to the national electric grid. Only 7% of households in Mahottari have motorcycles, but 53% have bicycles. Altogether not that many (35%) have radios, fewer (32%) have televisions, and only 6% are connected to cable television.6 However, 51% have a mobile phone. Telephone services are available in all VDCs and the municipality in Mahottari. There are one district postal office, 12 Ilaka postal offices, and 61 additional postal offices in the district in addition to three private courier services; four VDCs (Akarhia, Kolhubabgia, Pigauna and Sugabhawanipatti) are not covered by postal service.
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