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Organiser's Profile

Asma Chaudhari

I was born in 1965 in a bonded family. I have six brothers and one sister. My parents were bonded labourer for long time. That's why, I started to work for landlord family, since my childhood. I used to work there almost all time. I was not allowed to go to school. I got some idea about our right through popular movement in 1979/80 and knew that I should learn to read and write. During that time

Netra Paudel sir (one of the under ground leader) used to come in night and teach us about exploitation we are facing and encourage us to be organised to fight against it. We were shocked by his killing in 1981 but it strengthened our commitment toward the movement.

From 1984 -88, I was Kamlary in landlord's house with one quintal paddy for one year as salary. I used to work there almost 20 hours. I was very much enthusiastic to go to school. Because of contact with under ground leaders, my family was quite aware and could understand the significance of education. I joined night school, but was not allowed to leave the Landlords house until late night. I requested my mother to work in the landlord's house after nine o' clock, so that I could go to school. I passed class five from the night school and became literate.

Since, we did not have much Saunki ( Loan), I left the landlord house after four years and started to work as daily wage labour. Our whole family was devoted in the people's movement in 1990. After that because

of quite loose political situation, I started to work openly with All Nepal Women Association (ANWA) as a district committee member.

In 1994, I got married and had to leave ANWA. Before marriage, it was quite easy to convince my family, as they were already somehow politically aware. But after marriage, it is not easy to convince my husbands family as it was a new place for me and I can not make decision myself.

My husband, Lautan Chaudhary is also working with Youth Federation and he does not have any problem in my involvement in organisational activities, but since we live in a joint family, we should respect the opinion and get consent of other family members to go out from home.

But now, the situation is quite different. I have been elected woman member in Saudiyar Village Development Committee. I should work for my society to fulfill my commitment and I have decided to work with Bonded Labour Liberation Front.

In Bonded labour area, it is not easy to spread awareness and to organise them under the union. But now that GEFONT started the appeal movement in five selected VDCs, it has given a lot of encouragement to us to fight for our right and liberation. It is to be noted that, within three month 16 bonded have been freed under this campaign. We are very much hopeful that all bonded will be freed one day through our movement. To achieve the final goal, we should make women aware and organise them. That's why we are developing program together with CWWD- GEFONT to form women department under the Bonded labour Liberation Front.

Baliswara Chaudhari

I was born in a Bonded labour family in Dharahari VDC in Bardiya, Nepal. Being the oldest child among four sisters, I got married at the tender age of 10 to Ram Prasad Chaudhari from Rajapur

VDC. Since my marriage I has been working with the landlords family. Initially my work involved taking the cattle's for grazing and doing household chores.

After 14 years, my husband started to work as a bonded labourer and I started my Bukrahi life ( working for the landlord without any payment as a supplementary person to the husband) . Since we sign yearly contract, we have already changed many landlords. At present my family is working in Bardiya with one landlord for two years. Landlord pay us 3 quintal paddy for one whole year as payment for the work of the whole family.

Replying to the question of age, she mentioned that she does not know how old she is now but said that she got her citizenship 10 years back. She is the mother of four children, but eldest one died and now she has two sons and one daughter. The eldest living son is 14 years. All of them are going to school , but are often harassed by the landlords family to take care of their domestic animal and help in other work.

Bilaswara says she can read Nepali printed text, but can not write. "We bonded workers have been very much exploited, because of our illiteracy. Whenever we borrow small amount of money, landlord always write a much larger amount in the paper , which we should pay silently. Because of this situation, later I joined night adult literacy class and learned a bit to read, but my husband refused to go to school and is still illiterate. Having experienced the difficulties, I like to send her children to school so that they do not have to face a similar situation when they grow up..

Talking about her work with the organisation, she says, "We have to work in the landlords house until late in the night, but after that we should go to visit other people to talk about exploitation, liberation and our organisation secretly. If landlord would know it, he can take action on us".

She mentioned that now a days, there are some awareness class in the evening run by various NGOs. We use those class also to talk about our situation and work.

"Now, GEFONT has started an appeal movement. In this regards, I called a gathering of women bonded workers on last February to talk about the movement. About, 60-65 women were gathered and talking about the movement. By the time, the landlord arrived and shouted to us. All my friends ran away and landlord try to beat me.

In the evening he asked my husband to beat and keep me in control or otherwise he will beat him up. This is a example of the suppression we are facing everywhere."

Talking about the future plan, Baliswara mentioned that, "After attending meetings organised by GEFONT and meeting many friends, I have felt very much confident to continue my work in the organisation. Now, I felt that we have very strong support from other sectors to achieve our goal. I found people over the country are serious in this issue and I have been very much encouraged to fight for the Liberation of Bonded Labourers".