Budget for freed Kamaiyas frozenA budget freeze after concerned authorities to failure to utilise the Rs 22.1 million allocated for rehabilitation of freed Kamaiyas within the last fiscal year, several families awaiting the fund are now at their wit’s end.
A budget freeze after concerned authorities to failure to utilise the Rs 22.1 million allocated for rehabilitation of freed Kamaiyas within the last fiscal year, several families awaiting the fund are now at their wit’s end.
Local authorities blamed the delay in receiving the budget. We received the money only in the last month of the last fiscal year, which ended in mid-July, they said.
“And there were local level elections, due to which also the budget could not be utilised,” said Krishna Prasad Gyawali, member secretary of the Freed Kamaiya Rehabilitation Committee. “On top of that, around 56 freed Kamaiya families are out of contact for a long time.”
According to records at the Freed Kamaiya Rehabilitation Committee, the number of freed Kamaiyas in the district stands at 11,875. Dukharam Tharu, one of freed Kamaiya leaders, said the Kamaiya families are yet to be rehabilitated due to the failure of the concerned authorities to pay heed to their concerns and distribute funds on time.
Each freed Kamaiya household is entitled to receive Rs 335,000 from the government to buy land and build home.
In the fiscal year 2016-2017, 87 former Kamaiya families were rehabilitated in the district. There are around 25,000 freed Kamaiyas living in various districts, including Bardiya, Banke, Dang, Kailali and Kanchanpur.
The Kamaiya system was abolished in Nepal in 2000, and the government then initiated the process to rehabilitate the freed Kamaiyas. But even more than a decade and a half, the rehabilitation process has been sluggish, with many in the western Tarai districts of the country yet to receive the government-announced grant due to various reasons, including red tape and authorities’ lackadaisical approach to address their woes.