Kamaiya settlements. (File photo)
KATHMANDU: Over two decades into the abolition of Kamaiya system (bonded labour), freed Kamaiyas are still awaiting ‘justifiable’ rehabilitation.
The government has managed lands for them at risky areas like the river banks and forest areas, they complained, adding that similarly, they lacked basic facilities like education, health and employment opportunities.
“Freed Kamaiyas lack job opportunities for a livelihood. They are left jobless during rainy and summer seasons,” grumbled Ghasi Ram Rana, chairperson of the Freed Kamaiya Society. Without jobs within the country, they are forced to visit neighbouring Indian cities for work, he said.
They lack funds to run their own business if anyone wants to as they are short of any property as collateral, said the Society secretary Ram Prasad Rana, adding that banks and financial institutions do not accept the lands provided by the government as collateral.
Kamaiya children are deprived of education for want of money. They are forced to drop out midway without funds for paying their fees, he said. “Many Kamaiya children dropped out of school due to lack of funds. They even lacked scholarships.”
The freed Kamaiya settlement has a school. But, it is finding it difficult to offer education for lack of teachers, he said.
So far, 4,505 Kamaiyas in the district have been freed and 129 have remained, according to available data. Of them, so far, 4,289 freed Kamaiyas have got identity cards.