Nepal’s Harawa-Charawa community still under social and economic oppression, says a report

Photo courtesy: Raghunath Lamichhane

NL Today

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Kathmandu: Nepal’s Harawa-Charawa community is still facing social and economic oppression, apart from falling victims to the climate change-induced problems, says the report prepared by Community Self Reliance Center (CSRC) and Forum Asia.

Harawas are hired to plough lands of the landlords to pay debt and Charawas, usually the sons of Harawas, are cattle herders in Nepal’s Tarai plains. Harawa-Charawa practice is considered as a forced labor system.

The study report had made Dhanauji of Dhanusha district a base area. According to the report, though the government has declared free education for Harawa-Charawa, the children of the community have not been able to access education due to the additional economic burden to manage books and stationeries.

People of this community depend on agriculture for their livelihood but they do not have their own land.

Due to Covid-19 crisis, food security has become a major problem for the people of this community. The report has pointed out that the government and other agencies have failed to make any special arrangement to ensure their livelihood during the pandemic.

The Harawa-Charawa people usually take loans to manage family affairs such as weddings and cultural events such as festivals. High interest rates on the loans multiply the debt burdens on them, says the report. Due to debt and other burdens, they can’t raise their voice strongly.

The report entitled “Tied Hands, Fact Finding Mission Report on Harawa-Charawa: Debt, Poverty and Climate Change in Dhanusha, Nepal” was released in Bangkok on July 8.