Dhangadi, December 21
The life of freed kamlari Sunita Choudhary of Gulara, Lamki-Chuha Municipality of Kailali has changed of late.
She worked as a maid for her master for three years. She started a tailoring shop after taking a three-month training in tailoring soon after she was freed a year ago.
“I got released from kamlari bondage with necessary help from different social organisations. I am happy to set up my own tailoring shop after the training.
I earn around Rs 8,000 to 10,000 per month, which is enough for my children’s education and household expenses,” said an elated Sunita.
Saraswoti Choudhary of Pratappur-8, Khamaura opened a tea shop after she was freed from kamlari bondage in Kailali five years ago.
She worked as a kamlari for two years in Kathmandu. She succeeded in opening the shop after Backward Education Society (BES) supported her with a gas stove and necessary furniture.
Radha Choudhary of the freed kamlari camp at Amphanta of Ghodaghodi Municipality also opened a teashop with the help of a non-governmental organisation. With her income, she has been able to afford the education of her daughter Ranjita, who was also a kamlari earlier.
“After I started the shop, my husband gave up labour work. Now he helps me in the shop. We save at least Rs 500 to 700 per day,” she said.
Like the former kamlaris mentioned above, many other freed domestic helpers have started their own businesses. Some have opened grocery store, while others have set up tea shops, tailoring shops and fast food outlets, among others.
In addition, they are happy that they are independent and are able to run their businesses on their own.
District Coordinator Shram Lal Choudhary of Kamlari Abolition Project, said that as many as 232 former kamlaris of the district started their own business after necessary training from the project.
“We have provided different educational materials to those who want to continue their study, but in case of adult women, skilled training is provided so that they can easily earn their living.
More than 70 per cent freed women, who have taken training from our projects are self-employed now,” claimed Choudhary.
The government declared the kamlaris free in 2013.
A version of this article appears in print on December 22, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.