Harwa Charwa community demands endorsement of work procedures regarding their rehabilitation


Janakpur, April 21:  The Third National Conference of National Harwa Charwa Rights Forum concluded in Janakpur, issuing a 17-point declaration. 

Through the declaration, the Forum strongly urged the government to promptly endorse the procedures and action plans regarding the rehabilitation of the Harwa Charwa community and initiate the process to collect their details, verify their status, and provide them with identity cards. 

The Forum also expressed concern over the State's apathy towards the rehabilitation of the former Harwa Charwa community. The term Harwa Charwa is used to denote a form of bonded labour representing land tillers and cattle herders.  

Despite the announcement of the liberation for the Harwa Charwa community, their rehabilitation has not been the priority of the government, the gathering said, urging the three-tier government to take prompt measures to address the concern. 

It has also sought the implementation of a report along with the recommendations to the government presented by a committee to study the status of the community. 

The gathering puts forth specific demands before the government, including the allocation of at least 10 Kattha of land (one Kattha is equivalent to 3,645 sq. feet) for each Harwa Charwa family. They also called for skill enhancement training for those interested, a multi-pronged poverty alleviation programme targeting the community, seed capital worth Rs 100,000, and other technical support for individuals interested in pursuing self-entrepreneurship.

Moreover, it voiced the need of coordinated efforts among the three levels of government to address the issues facing the Harwa Charwa community through policy-level interventions and in the upcoming budget. 

The conference has called on the State to make alternative provisions to address the problem of more than half the Harwa Charwa people becoming deprived of social security and other facilities provided by the State as they are without the citizenship cards since they lack land-ownership and migration certificates.

It stressed on the need of issuing directives to the bodies concerned to stop, until another arrangement is made, the act of displacing the freed Harwa Charwa from the places of their residence in the name of development activities.

Similarly, the conference demanded that the State passed from the upcoming parliamentary session an integrated Act on the prohibition of forced labor to solve the problems of the freed Haliyas, Kamaiyas, Kamalaris, Harwas and Charwas in a sustainable way, to make their rehabilitation programme effective and to banish once and for all the forced labour system.

25-member working committee elected 

The two-day conference has also elected a 25-member Working Committee under the chairmanship of Dashan Lal Mandal. Shree Prasad Sada is the vice-president, Lagindra Sada the general-secretary, Mohammad Kasim Miya and Biganes Paswan are the two secretaries and Rajawati Mandal the treasurer of the Working Committee.

The elected central committee members include  Sumitra Khang, Gita Devi Sadaya, Tetari Devi Majhi, Soniya Majhi, Ramsakhi Devi Khachne (Mandal), Thakani Devi Ram, Ali Mohammad Nadaf, Shyam Sundar Sada, Madhu Sada, Devendra Ram, Khublal Ram, Dali Majhi, Dhanamanti Ram, Goliya Devi Ram and Upendra Das. 

The Newly-elected President Dashan Lal Mandal said that the Working Committee will nominate remaining four central committee members. (RSS)

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