Dang, August 4, 2007: Backward Society Education President and leader of freed Kamaiya movement for rehabilitation in Nepal has ultimately signed an historic agreement with the government, according to which all the ex-Kamaiyas of five districts –Dang, Banke, Bardiya, Kailali and Kanchanpur will rehabilitated in accordance with their ten-point demands put forward during their sit- in protest in front of the Singhdarbar from July 17 to 25, 2007 in the capital.
The agreement was signed after the Prime Minister Girija Prasad agreed to settle down this problem once for all after meeting the delegation of ex-kamaiyas at his office in Singhdarbar.
During their nine day protest in the capital around 150 ex-Kamayas and their leader Dilli Chaudhary were rounded up seven times and put in custody to force them to stop agitating against the government. However the undeterred spirit of Dilli Chaudhary and his colleagues forced the government and police to calm down and come to an agreement with the agitating ex-kamaiyas and listened to their genuine demands for rehabilitation.
Since the ex-Kamaiyas had gone to the capital from five districts of Dang, Banke, Bardiya, Kailali and Kanchanpur, their friends in these five districts also protested against the government's nonchalant attitude.
When one of rounds of talks were inconclusive, the ex-kamaiyas of Dang, Banke , Bardiya and Kanchanpur even burnt down the effigy of Land and Reform Minister Jagat Bogati demanding for his immediate resignation too. However, the Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirla later conceded to the demands of the ex-Kamaiyas and agreed to resolve the issue within one year which was followed by the formal signing of the agreement between the government and the ex-Kamaiya delegation led by Dilli Chaudhary.
The ex-Kamaiya movement hogged the headlines of the most of the daily news papers in the capital including Kathmandu Post, Kantipur daily, Annapurna Daily, the Himalyan
Now with this outcome, 18000 ex-kamaiyas will be provided lands in the five districts. It may be recalled that 13000 have already been provided lands by identifying them as ex-kamaiyas soon after the government declared them free from the houses of their landlords.
When asked how he lookd at the recent agreement with the government, Dilli Chaudhary said, "We will see the government's moves for at least three months. We are hopeful that the coordination office to be established in Nepagunj will be fruitful in this case. However if the government does not act according the spirit of the recent agreement, we will knock the doors of the court for further justice." The English translation of the agreement signed with the government has been given as follows while the agreement in the original form is also available for your perusal.
Thus Dilli Chaudhary has succeeded in championing the cause of the ex-kamaiyas by leading a intensive movement against the government in a matter of one week, although the preparations were being made for a long time in the past and recent days. Dilli Chaudhary will continue to commit himself for the betterment of the ex-kamaiyas as most of these families and members hail from Tharu community and for them Dilli Chaudhary can go to any extent to support them and emancipate them from the shackles of bondage and slavery.
Agreement with the Government
Unofficial translation of the agreement signed with the government is as follows:
- The kamaiya rehabilitation committees have been formed in five districts of western Nepal Dang, Banke, Bardiya, Kailali and Kanchanpur and one contact office for the monitoring and coordination has been established in Nepalgunj. One senior level office coordinator will be sent to the contact office to make the monitoring and coordination effective.
- The ex-kamaiyas of Dang district will be rehabilitated within the six months, Banke and Kanchanpur district within nine months and Bardiya and Kailali district within one year. It means the ex-kamaiyas of all the districts will be provided land in the same place where they are living at present within one year.
- Each of the kamaiya family will be given 35 cubit feet wood and NRS 10,000/-.
- The kamaiya families who have received less than 5 kathas of land will be given the complete land as agreed.
- The process of providing alternate land to those families will be given continuity.
- The process will be moved forward with the coordination to Ministry of Education and Sports, Health and Population as well as Labor Ministry.
- The programs that are being conducted for the rehabilitation and economic development of the kamaiyas will be given priority and the Nepal government is committed for it within the fiscal year.
The following is the agreement paper signed between the ex-Kamaiya delegation and the government.