BAGLUNG, Aug 19: Children in a dalit settlement in Nagliwang Village District Committee (VDC) of Parbat district have been paying their school fees with the money collected from selling fiddlheads known as ningro or niuro in Nepali. These edible ferns are found growing on the wet and shady areas of forests.
Shova Pariyar,10, a grade 2 student in Shiva Secondary School in Parbat was found selling bundles of fiddleheads in Baglung market around 6 in the morning. Taking advantage of her Saturday school day off, she had made an hour walk to the market to sell her handpicked bundles of fiddleheads from near by forest. Driven by her obligations not will the tender vendor shared to spend the amount earned in her studies. "I will buy books with the money I collect," said Pariyar. Each bundle goes for Rs 10.
Wet areas due to monsoon rain helps fiddleheads to grow abound in the forest. It´s when most pickers make their optimum collection. "This season we were able to make Rs 2000,"said Pariyar.
It´s not just Shova but more than a dozen students in Nagliwang VDC-9 have been supporting their school expenses by selling fiddleheads, vegetables, and working in the fields. Since most families in the village lives in poverty children have been found covering their own expenditures. "We are compelled to let our children work. Who doesn´t want to see their children led an easy life," said a local from the village Ale Pariyar.
"Some times we have to bear scolding from the teachers for being late for the class," said 4th grader Sabita Pariyar from the same school. "It´s not easy to balance our work and class at the same time."