600 kids of ex-Kamaiyas deprived of education

Damodar Bhandari

Bardiya, February 23:

There is not even a single school for 900 families living in Juktinagar of Dhadhabar VDC, Bardiya district.

In accordance with international standards, a school should be located at every half-an-hour distance. But unfortunately, 600 children of freed Kamaiyas are deprived of education as there is no school in their village.

The families of ex-Kamaiya are currently taking shelter at Dhadhabar’s Juktinagar by constructing temporary sheds. There is a school in the neighbouring Kalika VDC which is at a distance of 12 km. As the children cannot cover such a long distance they have been deprived of their basic right to education.

“We cannot send our kids to school as there is no school in our village,” said Kallu Tharu, a freed Kamaiya. He complained that his four children are deprived of education just like all the 600 children of that locality. “Children accompany their parents to work sites instead and work themselves,” said Tharu.

Jit Ram Tharu, 12, said he could not continue his study as the school was too far. Jagadish Chaudhary, 16, also grumbled that he could not attend school despite his wishes. “Had there been a school in our locality, I and my brothers and sisters could have continued studies,” he said. Meanwhile, school inspector of district education office in Bardiya, Suresh Kumar Joshi, admitted that local children were unable to fulfill their dream of becoming educated.

“The Education Office under the ‘Education for All’ programme is planning to run a special programme from the coming academic year for the children of freed Kamaiyas. According to the education office, there are 8,053 children of school-going age who have not been able to attend school. “The office is planning to build schools at feasible locations and would also provide scholarships,” said Joshi.