Freed Kamlaris celebrate Maghi
Jan 15, 2015-
The freed Kamlaris (indentured girl child labourers) living at the Lawajuni hostel of the proposed Surya Binayak Secondary School in Sonpur VDC celebrated Maghi, a major festival of the Tharu community, with much fanfare by dancing and merry-making on Wednesday.
The 103 freed Kamlaris, who are also orphans, had invited the Chief District Officer Parshu Ram Aryal along with other distinguished personalities to participate in the Maghi celebration wherein they entertained the guests with their dance performances and various traditional delicacies.
Asking whether they were facing any problems living in the hostel or are in need of clothes and food supplies, CDO Aryal told the Kamalaris to enjoy the moment by forgetting their bitter past.
The hostel had suffered from serious shortage of daily essentials recently, as the former Kamlaris were denied proper meal for upto a month. However, the school management had sorted out the problem following Aryal direction to resolve the plight of former Kamlaris, the girls said.
Even lawmaker Shanta Chaudhary, a former Kamlari herself, was present on the occasion. Stating that the festival was previously known as the day “when a girl child went to stay as a Kamlari” in rich people’s household, Chaudhary said that now the day has become a symbol of freedom by doing away with the negative connotation associated with it. Likewise, chairperson Urmila Chaudhary of the Freed Kamlaris Development Forum, who celebrated the festival with much fanfare along with the girls urged that they celebrate the day with fervour and take it as an opportunity to make resolutions for the future.
The government has been providing Rs 3,000 as monthly allowance to each of the freed Kamlaris staying in the hostel. While Rs 2,500 is provided for food expenses, Rs 500 is given as “pocket money”. However, as the government only provides the amount for 10 months, the girls face a hard time managing food for the remaining two months each year.
On the day of Maghi, the Tharu people take bath early in the morning in rivers and ponds for ablution. All members of the family take part in dancing and singing programmes on the auspicious occasion of Maghi Festival. Seniors put Tika on the foreheads and bless the junior members of the community.
Published: 15-01-2015 08:57