Rehabilitation package not enough, say freed Haliyas

Dipayal, October 4

Freed Haliyas from Doti today expressed dissatisfaction over the government rehabilitation package, saying that it would not help solve their problems.

Pabitra Koli, a freed Haliya, said Rs 4,50,000 she received from the government as rehabilitation fund was not enough to procure land. “The amount is inadequate even to buy a piece of land and build a house there in far-flung areas, let alone in urban areas,” Koli said.

Another freed Haliya Manuwa Bhul said the government should have given relief fund keeping in view inflation in the market. Amounts allocated for Haliyas are still remaining in the bank account as the money is not sufficient for rehabilitation.

Another freed Haliya Gorakh Sarki from Doti demanded a minimum of Rs 1 million per family for their rehabilitation. “The amount currently provided is inadequate for our rehabilitation,”Sarki said.

National Haliya Liberation Society said rehabilitation of Haliyas would be delayed due to fund crunch. “A district has 50 to 60 quotas for the rehabilitation package whereas a single district has more than 1,000 freed Haliyas,” Haliyas from NHLS said.

The government has put freed Haliyas into four categories. The landless and homeless are under category ‘A’ and get Rs 400,000 per family. With the money, they are supposed to procure three ropani land and construct a house on it.

Those with house but without land are under category ‘B’. They are entitled to Rs 1,00,000. Likewise, those with land but without house are under category ‘C’. They get Rs 3,00,000 from the government. Those with both house and land get Rs 1,00,000 as relief fund.

Doti Chief District Officer Kumar Khadka said the rehabilitation process of freed Haliyas had been delayed. “We are yet to collect complete  data of Haliyas,” said Khadka.

Of the 19,059 families identified by the government as freed Haliyas in the mid- and far-west regions, only 11,606 have been verified. Of them, 8,791 families have received their ID cards. Only 500 freed Haliyas were considered while distributing rehabilitation package.

Hukum Sarki, a Dalit, complained that nine years had elapsed since Haliyas were proclaimed free, but their problems were unresolved.