An ex-Kamlari, a Dalit widow become state parliamentariansThe recent selection of lawmakers from the marginalised communities under the Proportional Representation category has given a glimmer of hope for whole of the communities they represent.
The recent selection of lawmakers from the marginalised communities under the Proportional Representation category has given a glimmer of hope for whole of the communities they represent.
Former Kamlari (indentured girl labourer) Krishni Chaudhary has been selected as a member of Provincial Assembly under the Proportional Representation category from the CPN-UML in Province 5.
Krishni, 42, of Sangharshanagar in Rajapur, Bardiya had worked as Kamlari for 17 years since her childhood. She got married to a Kamaiya (bonded labourer) man at the age of 15. “My husband and I had worked as domestic helpers. I did not got the opportunity to go to school,” said Krishni, adding that she did not receive even a rupee while staying as Kamlari in her landlord’s house.
“My father still has not received freed Kamaiya ID card nor have I received the card,” said Krishni, whose family owns one Kattha two dhur land. But the family members are still jobless: her husband works as a daily wageworker to maintain two square meals a day.
Krishni, the mother of two, said she has worked in various organisations, including the Kamlari Women Development Forum, for the upliftment of Kamlari women. An active member of the UML, she had run for the post of deputy mayor from Rajapur Municipality during the last local level election. However, she was defeated by the CPN (Maoist Centre) candidate Manakala Chaudhary by 3,000 votes.
Her community has been elated after she was selected as PR lawmaker of the Provincial Assembly. Krishni said she will be aiming at ending poverty and making people literate . “I will work to empower marginalised and impoverished people.”
Elsewhere in Siraha, Phuliyadevi Sadaya Musahar of Dumari has become country’s first woman lawmaker from the Dalit Musahar community after her party CPN (Maoist Centre) selected her as a member of the Provincial Assembly in Province 2.
“It came a big surprise to me. I could not believe at first when party leaders called me to congratulate on her success,” said the 39-year-old.
Phuliyadevi’s husband Mahendra, who had been operating underground during the war-era, died after an Improvised Exclusive Device went off accidentally as he was preparing the device at Sibanagar in the district in December 2005. “Our family endured many difficulties after the death of my husband. I have to take care of my mother-in-law and three children thereafter,” she said.
Besides, she also started attending party programmes regularly, Phuliyadevi explained.
“The party recommended my name in the recent election. I didn’t expect to be a lawmaker, but I am glad that the party has honoured a martyr’s family,” she said. As a provincial lawmaker, Phuliyadevi said, she would fight for ensuring proper shelter for the Musahar community.
According to the National Census of 2011, there are 234, 490 Musahar people living in the Tarai.