Freed Kamaiyas on deforestation drive

Himalayan News Service

Dhadhbar (Bardiya), April 4:

Some 125 Kamaiya families, who could not benefit from the government’s resettlement programme, have been felling trees in Bangai of Dhadhbar VDC-6, Bardiya district, for making shelters. Since their names were not included in the freed Kamaiyas’ list, they could not get their share of the government-allocated land.

Rajuwa Tharu of Bardiya Patabhar-5, Ultanpurawa, said he could not get his share of land because some people told the team that had come to collect the list of freed Kamaiysa that he was a squatter, not a freed Kamaiya.

Kallu Tharu, another freed Kamaiya, said that the government move to free the Kamaiyas had not benefited the Kamaiyas. “Had the government not liberated us, we would not have left the landlords’ houses,” he said, adding, “our condition has worsened ever since we left the landlords’ houses.”

Bishnu Chaudhary, another Kamaiya on the receiving end, said he had to move to Bangai since he could not support his five-member family despite backbreaking labour at his place. He also missed the government largesse because the landlord did not say that he had to fill up an application form to get his piece of land. He filled the application form later, but doesn’t know what happened of it.