Dadeldhura, September 7
Freed haliyas staged a rally in Baghkhor, the headquarters of Dadeldhura district today saying that they had been deprived of facilities by the state.
Freed haliyas demanded the government to update data of haliyas and provide them with facilities of health, education and employment.
The government had declared emancipation of haliyas on 6 September 2008. Though 11 years have passed after the government declared their emancipation, the haliyas complained that it had done nothing to help them with their livelihood. Freed haliya Yasoda Tamata at Pali in Ajayameru Rural Municipality-1 bemoaned that they had undergone misery after they were declared freed. “We could manage to eat two meals a day when we used to work in the houses of landlords. When we fell sick, landlords would provide money. But, after we were declared free, our situation has turned worse,” said Tamata.
Another freed haliya Ishwori Damai complained that they were facing difficulties sustaining their livelihood with no help from the government. “We had an old house. The government gave us Rs 125,000 to repair it. But, we are facing livelihood problems. These days, landlords do not give us work. Where do we go to seek help?” Damai bemoaned. Damai said she was having a tough time feeding her five-member family due to lack of job. “There are no jobs in the village. So, I am having a hard time educating my children,”Damai complained. According to government data, Dadeldhura has as many as 2,551 freed haliyas. Dansingh Palle former chairman of National Freed Haliya Society Federation said more than 1,200 haliyas were missing from government statistics. He said exact data of freed
haliyas could not be recorded due to government’s negligence. Government’s failure to provide haliyas with education and employment had made their lives miserable, according to Palle.
(From left)A haliya family standing outside their home; a haliya woman showing her identity card in Budhinanda Municipality, Bajura, on Saturday.