Ex-Kamlari students cry for medical careFollowing the deaths of three freed Kamlaris (indentured girl child labourer) at hostels due to lack of proper medical treatment in Dang and Bardiya districts in one and half years, other freed Kamlari students are dreading they might meet the same fate.
Following the deaths of three freed Kamlaris (indentured girl child labourer) at hostels due to lack of proper medical treatment in Dang and Bardiya districts in one and half years, other freed Kamlari students are dreading they might meet the same fate.
Ex-Kamalris Hema Chaudhary of Dhangadi, Mina Pun of Rolpa and Sabita Chaudhary of Bardiya, who had been living in the hostels at Dang and Bardiya districts, died due to lack of treatment.
Freed Kamlari Seema Tharu, a 10th grader, who stays in a hostel at Bangaun in Dang, said they had been deprived of proper medical care. “The school has informed us to keep receipts of medicines. But the school has not reimbursed the expenses. How long do we get loans for treatment?” asked Seema, who has nobody to care her.
A total of 153 freed Kamlari students are staying at Narti and Bangaun hostels in Dang. Laxmi Tharu, another 5th grader, demanded that the government provide proper treatment to them. “How can we continue our studies this way?” asked Laxmi.
Freed Kamlaris said they do not even have proper beddings in the hostels. A majority of girls, according to them, have been wearing the school uniforms while staying in hostels.
The government has been providing funds for ex-Kamlaris’ food and accommodation only for 10 months a year. They get Rs3,000 each for food and other expenses every month. However, Bal Janata Higher Secondary School in Bangaun have difficulties managing hostel due to the insufficient fund, according to Headmaster of Krishna Prasad Bhusal. “We are not provided funds for medical treatment,” he said. Another Headmaster Bishnu Paudel of Surya Binayak School in Narti also said that the ex-Kamlaris have been facing difficulties due to lack of medical expenses.
According to the girls, no one has shown interest in helping them after the government started providing financial assistance. “We have been facing hardships due to lack of proper food and accommodation,” said Basanti Chaudhary, another freed Kamlari at Narti hostel.
Chief District Officer Dipak Kafle said the schools and hostels should be responsible to ensure daily needs of freed Kamlaris. “The hostels and schools should use the funds in a transparent way,” said Kafle.
District Education Officer Praladh Aryal said the schools should take responsibility in providing balance diet and proper accommodation to ex-Kamlaris. There are 414 freed Kamlaris are living in five hostels at Dang, Banke, Bardiya, Kailali and Kanchanpur districts.
“Most of them have no one to look after them and some of them are also from impoverished families,” said Chairman of the Freed Kamlari Development Forum Bimala Chaudhary.