Freed Kamlaris Warn Of Protest The ‘Failure’ Of Government

Freed Kamlaris in five eastern Tarai districts have warned of taking to the streets to protest the “failure” of the government to implement the 10-point agreement reached with the Freed Kamlari Struggle Committee on June 7, 2013.

Freed Kamlari Development Forum (FKDF) in Kanchanpur submitted a memorandum to the District Education Office (DEO) and District Administration Office (DAO) on Monday, demanding that the 10-point agreement be implemented immediately.

Sulochana Chaudhary, FKDF chairperson in the district, said the organisation also submitted memorandum to the DEOs and DAOs in Dang, Banke, Kailali and Bardiya.

“In the first phase, we submitted memorandum to the DEO and DAO. We (representatives of the FKDF and organisations working for rights of Kamlaris) will also go to Kathmandu on April 25 to submit memorandum to concerned ministries,” she said, adding that most of their demands have not been implemented so far.

Their demands include the immediate rescue of Kamlaris, action against their masters and amendment of freed Kamlari education directives. Likewise, freed Kamlaris should be provided with identity cards, she said. They have also asked for the implementation of a special programme to rehabilitate freed Kamlaris.

Basanti Shahi, programme coordinator of the Kamlari Abolition Project of the Nepal National Social Welfare Association (NNSWA), said that 1,173 Kamlaris have been freed from the district with the joint efforts of the FKDF and the NNSWA. She, however, said that 59 are yet to be freed.

Organising a press meet at Ghorahi in Dang on Monday, the FKDF informed that they would start an agitation from April 26 if their demands are not addressed. Bimala Chaudhary, central chairperson of the FKDF, said they would stage a sit-in in front of the Department of Education on April 27, as part of their agitation.

Urmila Chaudhary, district chairperson of the FKDF, said the government is not serious towards the issue of Kamlaris and that 11 Kamlaris, who gave birth after being raped while working as slaves, are yet to get justice. She said six Kamlaris are still missing from Dang, five from Kailali, six from Banke and five from Bardiya. Likewise, she said 73 Kamlaris in Dang, 65 in Banke, 242 in Kailali and 119 in Bardiya are yet to be freed.

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