Basanti Chaudhary

Basanti Chaudhary is Chair of Kamaiya Pratha Unmulan Samaj (KPUS). It is an organization of ex-Kamaiaya, to ex-Kamaiaya and for ex-Kamaiaya, which stands for representation in decision making and influencing the decision making process by beneficiaries is much as possible. It is a 3,400 member organization working for 2,900 households of freed Kamaiyas (total population approximately 15000) living across 15 Village Development Committees (VDCs) of Kailali, a far-western district of Nepal. KPUS launches a social movement, community-based and district-based campaign based on issues related to domestic violence, Kamlahari abuse, discrimination and more, at different intervals. This is meant to raise awareness, bring issues to public notice, shape opinions, get media coverage, awaken authorities, human rights groups, womens rights groups, and thus to bring pressure to bear on authorities to act. KPUS also runs empowerment training targeting ex-Kamaiya women and ex-Kamlaharis. This is aimed at broadening their information base, informing them about rights, issues of violence and abuse, remedial ways and processes, responses, etc. As Chair of the organization, Ms. Chaudhary guides and leads the initiatives. 

Her parents were former Kamaiyas (bonded labourers). They sent her to the landlord resident of the same village as a bonded labourer when she was approximately 5/6 years old, which she does not remember very well. She used to go to school from the house of landlord from grades 1 to 6, but could not continue her education.

She has an unbroken engagement with Kamaiya Pratha Unmulna Samaj (KPUS) spanning over a period of 14 years by serving different vigorous role for Kamaiya and Kamahari for their freedom and equality as a member, secretary to KPUS Board, and finally when elected to high office as Chair to lead the organization in 25, Feb 2012. Though Kamaiya and Kamlari system were legally abolished in Nepal, the plight of the ex-kamaiya and ex-kamlaris still continuous and their struggle for their justifiable rehabilitation is still on. And the role of Ms. Chaudhary in capacitating them, raising awareness on the issue, interaction with concerned stakeholders has been instrumental. Her contribution to bring peace and equality and her effort to fight for the rights of the ex-kamayas and kamlaris is still on. 
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