According to a report prepared by Community Self Reliance Center (CSRC) and Forum Asia, Nepal’s Harawa-Charawa community is still subjected to social and economic oppression, in addition to being victims of climate change-related problems.
Harawas are hired to plough landlords’ lands to pay debts, and Charawas, who are usually Harawas’ sons, are cattle herders in Nepal’s Tarai plains. Harawa-Charawa practice is regarded as a form of forced labor.
The study report designated Dhanauji in the Dhanusha district as a base area. According to the report, despite the government’s declaration of free education for Harawa-Charawa, the children of the community have been unable to attend school due to the additional financial burden of managing books and stationery.
People in this community rely on agriculture for a living, but they do not own any land.
Food security has become a major issue for the people of this community as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. According to the report, the government and other agencies failed to make any special arrangements to ensure their survival during the pandemic.
The Harawa-Charawa people typically take out loans to fund family events such as weddings and cultural events such as festivals. According to the report, high interest rates on loans compound the debt burdens on them. They are unable to raise their voices strongly due to debt and other burdens.
On July 8, the report “Tied Hands, Fact Finding Mission Report on Harawa-Charawa: Debt, Poverty, and Climate Change in Dhanusha, Nepal” was released in Bangkok.