With sons working in India, freed Haliyas eke out a living

Dadeldhura, December 31

Ramesh Tamata of Rumael village in Kailpalmandau VDC of Dadeldhura had to go to India at the young age of 12 to earn for his family.

A sixth grader at a local school, he had to leave due to the poor financial status of his family.

He is not the only one to drop out of school on account of poor economic condition of the family. His classmates from the same village Man Bahadur Tamata and Shyam Tamata too had to leave their studies for the same reason.

Ramesh is presently working as a domestic help for some businessman in India.

According to Latamandau Lower Secondary School Principal Manoj Kumar Das, five to 10 kids of former Haliya families leave their studies for work from Rumael village every year. “Though education for them is free, the boys are forced to quit their studies as early as the

primary level and head for some unknown Indian city or take up some work in the village itself,” he said.

Not only of the kids of Rumael village, but dozens of kids from other villages too opt to go to India for employment at the cost of their education.

“While the sons have to go to find work, the girls are bound to tie the knot at a very early age, and we can’t do away with this as it’s been our tradition here,” said Jamuni Damai, a local of Rumael. Jamuni, a former Haliya, also bemoaned the apathy the state has shown towards them and their plight.

“The government declared us free, but it hasn’t done anything to ease our living, we can’t afford to keep our sons with ourselves and let them complete their studies,” said Jamuni, also criticising the leaders.

“Every year, we hear that donor agencies provide funds to improve the quality of Haliyas’ life, but we don’t know where that fund goes and what the stakeholders are doing about it,” Jamuni remarked.