decisions were not documented properly. In a public consultation with the researcher, it was found that the activities conducted in the hostel were not transparent, either to the School Management Committee (SMC) nor the public. The same person who was the head of the school and president of an NGO (Social Welfare Association Nepal-SWAN Nepal) — which was working in the Kamlahari sector — was blamed for unethical control of resources and students of the hostel. In being so, the donor, Plan International and its partners, had sidelined the role of the SMC and the District Education Office (DEO). Even though some educational programmes were targeted by the government for the Kamlahari girls (e.g. in terms of scholarships), they were seriously marred by funding leakages and shortages. The Ministry of Education formulated Education Support Guidelines in 2011 which addressed the concerns regarding scholarship and hostel facilities for the freed Kamlaharies . 5 In the beginning, the document had endorsed scholarship provision for the freed Kamlahari girls making their specific definition as bonded labour and the status of being freed as on 13 April 2010. In rule number 6.3, there is a provision of scholarship to be delivered by the respective schools for dress, stationery and hostel facilitation from primary to higher level (6.3.1). 6 As per the official record of the DEO of Dang, out of a total 3,000 school- going girls’ status, 2,500 had received the scholarship in Dang from 2013 to 2015, while 500 were missing out due to their incomplete documents. Moreover, some of the research participants during KIIs and FGDs also shared that every year, there used to be a larger allocation of financial and technical support for the socioeconomic development and capacity development of the freed Kamlahari girls (e.g. in DEO, DDC and DCWB). Due to lack of proper coordination between governmental agencies and NGOs, a significant amount of budget remained unutilised and became frozen. 5 This Guideline was further amended in 2014 and again in 2017 in the name of ‘Scholarships Management Guideline fo r the Schools’. 6 There are two types of scholarship supports: (a) Scholarship for the freed Kamlaharies going to schools/colleges from their own home (i.e. non-residential): Nepali Price Rupees (NPR)150 per month for ten months for 1-8 grades; NPR 180 per month for ten months (total 1800) for 9-10 grade; NPR 500 per month for ten months for 11-12 grade; and NPR 1000 per month for ten months for higher studies; and (b) Scholarship for the freed Kamlaharies residing at hostels and enrolling at the schools/colleges (i.e. residential): NPR 3000 per month for ten months (NPR 2500 for the hostel charge of lodging and food, and NPR 500 per month for maintenance of personal needs and hygiene). 1 USD=115.20 NPR as standardised transaction in 14 September 2018.
38 5.7. Going Beyond the ‘Mainstream’ The narratives of the Kamlahari girls in Dang reflect a contradiction with the mainstream view that the Tharuhat movement corresponds with anti-Pahadi 7 sentiment and resembles the ‘ethnic territory’ of the Tharu communities. For the Kamlahari with whom the researcher discussed their experiences, the issue is not that simple. For example, the
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- Summer '20
- Dr Abby
- Social movement, The Grave, Politics of Nepal, Tharu people