Mohan Budhair, The Kathmandu Post, 18 July 2018
Around 2,000 former Kamaiya (freed bonded labourers) families in Kailali district are still waiting to be rehabilitated by the government, according to an NGO working for the welfare of former Kamaiyas.
The number differs vastly compared to the record at the District Land Reforms Office (DLRO) that states that only 482 former Kamaiya families in Kailali are awaiting rehabilitation, with 8,255 families already rehabilitated.
Amar Bahadur Chaudhary of the DLRO’s Kamaiya section claimed that many former Kamaiya families were living on public lands in different parts of Kailali despite receiving land plots as part of the government’s rehabilitation programme.
“There are around 440 families who are yet to get land plots despite getting land ownership papers and 173 families who do not have authentic data. Other than that, most of former Kamaiyas and their families in the district have been rehabilitated,” he said.
Jagatram Chaudhary, secretary of Freed Kamaiya Camp, disagrees with the statement of the DLRO official. He said hundreds of former Kamaiya families were still living in abject poverty.
“We have many troubles which the government has been ignoring. The rehabilitation programme after the Kamaiya liberation movement was not popular among our people because many families were asked to live on floodplains,” he said.
There are an estimated 37,000 freed Kamaiyas in Nepal; around 9,500 of them are in Kailali alone.
Flood threatens Kamaiya settlements
KANCHANPUR: Freed Kamaiya families living in Samadaiji and other parts of Kanchanpur district are at high risk of flood. These settlements are inundated every monsoon as they are situated close to local rivers and streams. Twenty-two families of former Kamaiyas live in Samadaiji. They accused the government of deliberately settling them in flood-prone areas.