Saturday, November 26, 2011

Just two combatants opt for rehabilitation package

Krishna Kumar Rai Atal
KATHMANDU, Nov 27: A few days into the combatants categorization, it seems almost nobody is opting for the rehabilitation package. Out of the 13,000 combatants surveyed so far, just two combatants, Krishna Kumar Rai and Nirmal Rai from the Second Division, have opted for the rehabilitation package.
The Rai duo has chosen a one-year training as drivers as their first option.

Nirmal Rai Sajjan
“I am disabled and not fit for integration. I can earn a living with that skill and give the rest of the money to the family,” said Krsihna, 24, of Boya village in Bhojpur district. As his second option, Krishna has applied for electrician training, and running a rice mill as a third.

Both Krishna and Nirmal are section commanders and hail from Bhojpur district. Interestingly, both had joined the PLA the same year, 2004.

Krishna, who was a seventh grader when he joined the PLA, says he will get Rs 0.6 million. If he had opted for a voluntary retirement package, he would have gotten only Rs 0.5 million.

“I would have opted for some kind of training for a better occupation had I been educated,” says Krishna, who was injured when security forces attacked PLA personnel returning to the jungle after storming Arghakhanchi district headquarters during the insurgency.

He was arrested and released from Bhairahawa jail only during the peace process after serving 14 months.

Nirmal, 22, is from Charambi village, which is near Krishna’s home at Boya. Nirmal, who was a primary level student when he joined the PLA, has also opted for a driving course under the rehabilitation package.

“I joined the PLA to change the face of our country. The dream of revolution has been betrayed,” Krishna told Republica. “I’m not sure about our future. Our dream has been dashed.”

As a rehabilitation package, PLA combatants, according to him, will get Rs 0.9 million for a four-year traning course and 0.6 million for a one-year course. They can receive technical education in subjects like nursing, animal husbandry, beekeeping, sericulture and fishing, among others.

The PLA has objected to the rehabilitation package, saying they don’t need to be rehabilitated into society as they were never displaced.

Secondly, they argue that they are not sure if they will really get the package offered since disqualified combatants who were to receive the rehabilitation packages never got any.

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