Many freed Kamaiyas have lost their land to flood and are finding it difficult to get out of vicious cycle of poverty.
When the government abolished the Kamaiya tradition 13 years ago, Balram Rana felt to be on cloud nine. Born as a slave, he was now a free man. Like thousands of other freed Kamaiyas, he hoped to start his life afresh.
But the road ahead was not smooth for the freed Kamaiyas. Balram was not an exception. He had to struggle hard to get land where he could build a little house for his family. “At times, it felt more difficult,” he says. “Rebuilding our lives wrecked by slavery was harder than being freed.”