Sapana Tharu, 21, is learning a tailoring course these days. The monotonous sound of sewing machine may not appeal to all. But the ex – Kamlari does not mind stretching the working hours as she believes the course has offered her journey toward independence.
Skill in hand means she does not have to work like a slave at someone´s house as she did in the past as a bonded domestic help.
“The training makes me forget my painful past and dream for better tomorrow. It is boosting my confidence — I feel even I can do something for myself and society,” said Sapana, local of Bankatuwa village in Banke district.
Ex-Kamlaries who have joined the 3-month tailoring and other vocational training say they can now dream for better tomorrow. (Republica)
Sapana´s father was a Kamaiya, a bonded laborer. And that was why she was bound to become a Kamlari too and education was not in her fate, says Sapana. Later, after the tradition was outlawed and she was freed of the bond, Sapana managed to educate herself. She passed SLC with much struggle. Yet, future ahead seemed very dark in lack of means to turn it to good.
“I wanted to continue my studies, but poverty did no allow me. Now I feel lucky that I am getting to learn something useful. We see a ray of hope of our better future,” said elated Sapana.
Sixteen – year – old Kalpana Tharu quit her studies before completing the 8th grade. Just like Sapana, she looks hooked to the 3-hour tailoring course everyday.
Kalpana´s past is not any rosy either. After she and her father were emancipated by the state many years back, the family faced even hard times. “My father earns very little though he works hard as a laborer. I feel that the skill I am learning would help us to change our fate,” said Kalpana.
Kapana and Sapana are among 150 ex-Kamlaries or children of the ex-Kamaiya who have joined the 3 – month tailoring and other vocational training provided in five far-western districts including Banke by an organization called Backward Society.
“All the girls are so happy and have been coming to the classes regularly,” said Rajkumari Roka, the trainer at the Banke branch. “If they work hard, it can open a lot of avenues for them,” she added. Most of the girls coming to the training are those who have either never seen school or who were not able to continue with their studies.
“In Banke district alone, 30 girls are taking part in these trainings,” Roka said.
According to the program coordinator Birbal Chaudhary, the girls coming to the training have started to dream big. “Even little support can make them think differently, they have started to dream big.”