By Laws

Collective commitment for brotherhood and social transformation

Nepali-American Society for Oppressed Community

ARTICLE I: NAME

 The name of the organization shall be Nepalese-American Society for Oppressed Community, herein, it referred NASO Community.  NASO is a community-based charity organization, and registered under the rules and regulations of Maryland, USA.

ARTICLE II: Objective

The objective of the NASO Community is to promote community identity and integrate intercultural social life, and enhance skills and knowledge of the oppressed community and entire Nepalese society for socio-economic betterment in the United States as well as Northern America.

Furthermore, the NASO Community shall be mobilized solidarity supports such as technology, education, business or any other empowerment activities to enable social disadvantage communities and their social justice in Nepal. Other objectives are:

  • (a)    Advocate and lobby to eliminate the caste-based discrimination at international level, in particular in the Northern America.
  • (b)    Support the individuals from the marginalized communities, living/visiting Northern America during the emergencies and implement activities to build a social cohesion.
  • (c)    Build strategic partnerships and alliances with the charity organizations, human right forums as well as business institutions working towards the similar goals.

ARTICLE III- Membership and Nature

1. NASO Community shall encourage for membership to all individuals who share same beliefs, caste-based discrimination and social-political exclusion in the Nepalese Society, and who are living in United States of America. However, it is mandatory requires 18 years of age or older to be a member.

2. Nature of memberships:

  • Honorary member shall be provided by the NASO Executive Committee to those organizations and individuals who have positively contributed to eliminate caste discrimination and promote the social justice as well as to uplift the socio-economic and political conditions.
  • General Membership shall be provided to individuals who share same caste-based discrimination and socio-political exclusion in Nepal and complete the membership application form along with payment of $20 per year as membership fee.  NASO Executive Committee will review the General Membership fee time to time and adjust it accordingly.
  • Life Membership shall be provided to those individuals who complete the membership application form along with one time membership fee $250.  NASO Executive Committee shall review the Life Membership fee time to time and adjust it accordingly.
  • Affiliate Members who shall consist of persons residing outside of the United States of America. Affiliate members may be granted voting privileges only with a clear majority vote of the Board of Directors. There will be a membership fee for the Affiliate Members as decided by the Board of Directors.

Article-IV, Executive Board/Committee

3. COMMITTEES: The NASO Community shall have one central committee and other state-Committees in the state-wise as branch in United States. The State Committees shall have legal responsibilities towards Central Committee of the NASO Community.

3. (a) Central Executive Committee – There shall be 9 to 15 Members Central Executive Committee elected by  general members in general national conference of the organization. The Executive Committee shall exercise the power of the central committee in managing the affairs of the NASO. The officers of the NASO Community shall be a President, a Vice President, a Secretary, Treasurer and rest executive members. All officers shall be elected for a term of three (3) years and shall hold office until their successors are elected. No officer shall be entitled to hold an office for longer than three (2) consecutive or non-consecutive years terms. The officers shall meet every two months.

3. b.  The State Committees: There shall be 5-9 Members State Executive Committee of the organization elected by the state level general conference. State Executive Committees are responsible for promoting local level memberships, networks, and community events.

3. c. The Sub-Committees: NASO can form various thematic sub-committees by the Central and states Executive Committees as basis of its requirement.

ARTICLE –V Annual General Meeting and Board of Directors’ Election

  1.  Annual General Meeting- the Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be organized once a year and the Board of Directors will decide the date and venue for this meeting. The NASO Society members should be given at least 60 days of advance notice prior to the AGM along with the agenda and background papers. It will be the responsibility of Board of Directors to organize AGM.
  2. Board of Directors shall invite other stakeholders to attend the AGM.  For example – sister organizations, representatives from Nepalese Embassy, partner organizations, etc.
  3.  AGM shall cover the (a) approve the annual plan and budget (b) adapt the report of the board of directors and auditor’s report. The annual accounts of the Society will also be adopted and approved (c) approval of major organizational policies and strategies.
  4. AGM will elect the Board of Directors by voting system. For this purpose, Board of Directors shall set up an election body to conduct the election. Candidates shall submit their application indicating the position he/she is interested to hold on. In the event of no-competition the candidate will be declared uncontested winner.  The Society members will elect the board of directors if there is a competition. Any dispute related to election, the decision of the election body shall be the final.
  5. An Extra-ordinary General Meeting of the Society can be called by the Chairman of the Board of Directors at any time to discuss and decide on any urgent matter, to dissolve or appoint the board of directors.

Following eligibility has to be met by the candidates interested for NASO Board of Directors’ candidates.

  • Active member of NASO Community
  • Above 18 years of age.
  • has a good standing in the society
  • has faith in NASO Community mission
  1. Application

Candidates for Board of Directors positions shall submit an application clearly indicating the position of his/her interest.

–       Application should be submitted to Election Committee three days before the Election Day.

–       Application format is provided by the election committee.

–       Completed application shall be submitted to the Election Committee

–       Incomplete application shall be considered invalid.

–       Withdrawal of candidacy is permitted one day before of election.

1. Election Campaigning

Candidates shall run campaign in their own ways to attract support from voters. However, candidates are not permitted to campaign inside the hall two hours before the election.

2. Voters Registration

Active NASO Community members will be the voters to elect the Board of Directors. The election is based on the principle of one-person one vote and proxy voting is not permitted.

  • If there are more than one candidate for President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer positions, candidates will be selected by secret ballots.
  • Similarly if there are more than specified candidates for member positions, candidates shall be selected by secret ballots.
  • Non-contested candidates shall be considered automatically elected.
  • Election Committee shall make the details of election procedures available to voters. This includes ballots, declaration of candidates and vote casting.
  • Votes shall be counted in the presence of candidates or their representative/s. Candidate shall nominate him/herself or one representative to be observer while counting ballots.
  • Election committee reserves the rights to make a final decision on disputed ballots as well as to make a call for re-election.
  • Final election results shall be documented and signed by the Election Committee members and those attending during the vote counting. Election papers will be handed over to the newly elected Secretary.
  1. Announcement of Election Results and Introduction of New Representatives.

Election Committee shall announce the election results and introduce the elected or non-contested candidates.

ARTICLE – VI: OFFICERS

GENERAL

The officers of the NASO Community shall be a President, two Vice Presidents, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. This group of officers will also be known as Executive Committee. All officers shall be elected by the Board of Members for a term of four (4) years and shall hold office until their successors are elected. No officer shall be entitled to hold an office for longer than two consecutive terms. The officers shall meet every month or as required basis. The officers of the NASO Community are called the Executive Committee, which will function on behalf of the Board of Directors. The President is authorized to appoint up to three members from within and outside of Board of Directors into the Executive Committee.

PRESIDENT

The President shall preside at all meetings, shall generally supervise the affairs of the NASO Community, and may sign or countersign contracts and other instruments of the Community. The Executive Committee Chairman may delegate the power to sign contracts to any other officer, agent or employee of the Community. The President shall report to the Board of Directors and perform all such other duties as are incident to his office, or are assigned to him/her by the Board of Directors.

TWO VICE PRESIDENTS

Vice Presidents on rotation basis shall exercise the functions of the President during the absence or disability of the President, and shall have such powers and discharge such duties as may be assigned to him/her by the Board of Directors or the President. One of the Vice President shall be in-charge of financial matters including fund raising, audit and another for institutional capacity building including program activities. Vice President for Finance may establish a sub-committee of finance with 3-5 members, who are expert in this field. Such members could be outside of the Board of Members. Similarly, the Vice-President for Institutional Capacity Building may establish similar sub-committee to strengthen the organizational capacity of NASO. These committees are required Board of Director’s approval.

SECRETARY

The Secretary shall responsible for keeping records of the Board of Directors’ actions, including overseeing the taking of minutes at all Board of Directors meeting, sending out meeting announcements, distributing copies of minutes and the agenda to each members and maintain records. He/she shall keep the seal and the books, shall sign with the President such instruments as require his/her signature, and shall report and perform other duties as assigned to him/her by the Board of Directors or the President.

TREASURER

The Treasurer shall keep and be responsible for all funds, securities, receipts and disbursements, and shall deposit or cause to be deposited, in the name of the NASO Community, all moneys or other valuable effects in such banks, trust companies, or depositories as may be designated by the Board of Directors. The Treasurer shall maintain full and accurate accounts of all assets, liabilities and transactions and shall render to the President and the members of the Board of Directors at regular meetings of the Board of Directors, or whenever they may require it, an account of all financial transactions of the Society and of the financial condition of the Society. In general, the Treasurer shall perform all the duties ordinarily incident to the office of a treasurer of a corporation, and such other duties as may be assigned by the Board of Directors or by the President.

VACANCIES

All vacancies in any office shall be filled promptly by the Board of Directors, either at regular meetings or a meeting specially called for that purpose. Any vacancy in the office of the President shall be filled by the Vice President.

RESIGNATION

Any officer may resign his office at any time. Resignations must be written. Resignations take effect immediately without acceptance, unless the resignation states a different effective date.

OFFICE & EMPLOYEES

NASO Community shall hire a team of staff and establish an office to implement or manage specific activities as approved by the Board of Directors. 

ARTICLE – VII: MEETINGS

(1)   The meeting of the Board of Directors shall be held approximately once in every three months.

(2)   Agenda of the meeting will be prepared by the Secretary in coordination with other executive members. At least two meetings in a year will require a report presentation from the president highlighting the NASO Community’s progress including financial status. These meetings will ratify the decision taken by the executive members during meeting period. Decision on the date and venue of the next meeting.

(3)   Minutes/Proceedings of the Meetings will be prepared by the General Secretary or anyone designated by him/her. The minutes of the meetings will be circulated among the executive members for their comments within 7 days after each meeting. The finalized minutes will be put on the AGM for approval. The approved minutes will be open to the statutory auditors and the internal auditor for examination. Depending on the subject matter and their confidentiality, the executive meeting minutes will be posted in the NASO Community Website.

(4)   Venue of the Meeting will be decided by the previous meeting. If the venue has not been decided the meeting will take place in President’s resident which is considered a temporary NSO Community office.

(5)   Notice period for the meeting will be at least 14 days. The agenda and the background information for the meeting will be sent with the notice.

(6)   In the event of urgency, the President and General Secretary are authorized to call a special meeting with a shorter notice.

(7)   A quorum must be attended by at least 40% of the executive members before the meeting can be transacted or motions made or bills passed.

ARTICLE – VII: NON-DISCRIMINATION 

NASO Community as an organization not only adheres the principles of equal opportunity and non-discrimination but also advocates it as a fundamental organizational policy. Therefore, NASO Community’s Mission does not discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, color, religion, place of origin, sex, caste, age, disability or any other legally protected characteristic, in programming, services and staffing

ARTICLE – VIII: INDEMNIFICATION 

NASO Community’s current and former officers shall be indemnified out of the assets and funds; of the NASO Community from or against all bona-fide suits, proceedings, costs, charges, losses damages and expenses which they or any of them shall or may incur or sustain by reason of any act done or committed in or about the execution of their duties in their respective offices except those done through their willful neglect or default. Any such officers shall not be answerable for acts, omissions, neglects or defaults of any other officer.

ARTICLE – IX: AMENDMENT

These by-laws are guidelines for efficient functioning of the Board of Director and Executive Committee. Any amendment, alteration and repeal or addition to these by laws can be done only by the Board by a two-third majority. Secretary shall send the proposed amendment to all Board of Directors prior to the meeting.

ARTICLE – X: FISCAL MANAGEMENT 

  1. Fiscal Year: The Fiscal Year of the NASO Community shall be October through September (similar to the US Govt). If required to realign the NASO’s Fiscal Year with other stakeholders, the Board of Directors shall determine changes to the fiscal year.
  2. NASO’s accounts shall keep details of all sums of money received and expended as required by the law. The account shall be open to the inspections by the Board of Directors or designated person or firm. Books of accounts shall be preserved and maintained for a period of five years.
  3. Audits: The Vice-President of Finance shall provide an oversight to overall financial matters of the Society. He/she will review the balance sheets for their accuracy. He/she will hire an auditor to examine NASO’s finance using standard practices.
  4. Financial Reports: The Executive Committee shall require submitting to the Board of Directors showing income, expenditures and pending income. The financial records of the NASO Community are public information and shall be made available to the membership, Board of Directors and the public.
  5. Statutory Requirements:  NASO Community shall make requisite annual report as required by the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
  6. Any fund raising plan prepared by the Vice-President of Finance and/or sub-committee shall require the Board of Directors’ approval.

ARTICLE – XI: DISSOLUTION

Upon the dissolution of the NASO Community, the Board of Directors shall, after paying or making provision for the payment of all the liabilities of the NASO, dispose of all assets exclusively for the purpose of  the NASO in such a manner as described under section 501(c) (6) or 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. Any assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by the Court of Common Pleas of the county in which the principal office of the NASO Community is located.

ARTICLE – XII: SUB-COMMITTEES AND BRANCHES

NASO Community shall establish sub-committees and task force groups as required to carryout its operation. The examples of sub-committees are:

A. Sub-Committees

(i) The Cultural Committee will be responsible for promoting events, talks and seminars conducive to furthering the literary and cultural attributes of the heritage of marginalized communities (formerly known as untouchables castes).

(ii) The Educational Committee which shall oversee the continuous educational endeavors to advance the living conditions, skills, languages and literature of Nepali traditional occupational caste people.

(iii)  The Membership Committee which shall oversee membership, recruiting and renewals of the Society’s membership.

(iv) The Publications Committee which shall have the primary responsibility of ensuring regular publication of Newsletter, website and other literature.

(v) The Youth Committee will be in-charge of setting programs and events for youth and children.  .

B. NASO Community’s Branches/Chapters in other Locations

With prior approval of the Board of Directors a branch in other location shall be opened, which will be an affiliate of NASO Community and shall promote the NASO’s goals and objectives. Such branches should submit an annual report covering its overall activities to the principal office of NASO. The Chairman or Executive Director of the chapter will automatically be the Board of Directors with voting rights.  Principal Office may request to its branches/chapters to participate and contribute in program activities initiated by it.  The Board of Directors shall further elaborate the guidelines for establishing and operating branches/chapters to maintain organizational uniformity and solidarity.

ARTICLE – XIII: MISCELLANEOUS 

  1. The current address of the NASO Community is

c/o Dharam Bahadur Bishwokarma,

6485 Woodland Forest Dr,

Elkridge, MD 21075, USA.

  1. NASO Community’s logo will be as selected by the Board of Directors.
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