Uma’s story

Years after liberation, life was still incredibly tough for Uma Chaudhary, a former Kamaiya (bonded worker). Uma, who lives in Sarsa, Ghorahi of Dang district with her husband and their two sons, says she still found it difficult to be able to afford to provide two meals a day for her family.

The family owned 3,600 square meters of land but had no permanent home. Their poorly built accommodation leaked during monsoons and they lived in fear of being bitten by crawlers while asleep. The straw thatched roof posed the risk of catching fire as well as providing the perfect lurking space for snakes.


The family’s life began to turn around when they were selected under Habitat’s Ghorahi Community Development Project. This provided them a grant to build single-storey brick and cement home with one room.

Uma says that owning a home felt like being in heaven and she no longer fears strong winds. Her family now goes to bed without worrying about anything. The home is a building block that shows she has finally been really freed from the Kamaiya injustice of landlessness, exploitation of labor, illiteracy, humiliation, lack of political rights and social exclusion.

Habitat’s Ghorahi Community Development Project was completed earlier in March this year. The project provided support for ex-Kamaiya, Dalits and other marginalised households living in poor housing.

Uma was one of 75 ex-Kamaiya households that received a grant to build a new home.

Thanks to your support, we can continue to build a brighter future for families like Uma’s.

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