Freed Haliya struggle to make ends meet

KANCHANPUR: The freed haliyas (bonded agricultural labourers) in the far-west are finding it difficult to make their ends meet due to the nationwide lockdown imposed by the government to stem the spread of Coronavirus in the country.

Haliyas, who depend on daily wages for livelihood, have been directly affected by the lockdown. The food stock bought with the daily wage earnings has depleted and we are now surviving by borrowing from our neighbours, said Hari Damai, a former Haliya.

However, now that the neighbours too are running out of stock, we are now left to starve. The relief support being provided by the local level government and various donors are yet to reach the freed Haliya families. "We have been asked to stay indoors to stay away from the virus," said Mandhwaj.

Central President of National Freed Haliya Federation Ishwar Sunar said that the community is looking forward to receive more of government-sponsored relief essentials.

Sunar has also appealed to national, international non-government organizations to come to their rescue.

According to the federation, there are more than 16,000 former Haliya families living in the far-west region of the country.