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IMG_0315Kamaiya.jpg
Near to the freed Kamaiya village is another settlement of "untouchables". Some of them are from the Badi ethnic group, whose daughters have traditionally been forced into prostitution. Some, like this woman, are from other marginalised groups who fled here to escape landlessness, poverty and discrimination in the highlands. They came to Dhanghadi after being given government promises of land. But when they arrived, they were given nothing. That was ten years ago.<br />
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"Without land, we have to work as manual labourers, but this does not give us enough money to send our children to school - or even to feed them," she says. When asked if she thinks the government will ever keep its promise, she smiles and replies, "That is the hope that has kept us here for 10 years."<br />
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Dhangadhi town in Far Western Nepal is one of the country's poorer and more isolated regions. It is home to many of Nepal's Dalits - the so-called "untouchables", who are at the bottom of Nepal's strict caste-based system. As well as dealing with abject poverty, these people also have to cope with widespread discrimination by the rest of society, which is fiercest in underdeveloped rural areas. They have little access to services such as healthcare and education and routinely face abuse, from which they are often denied protection by the army and police. In some cases, it is the army and the police who abuse them.

Near to the freed Kamaiya village is another settlement of "untouchables". Some of them are from the Badi ethnic group, whose daughters have traditionally been forced into prostitution. Some, like this woman, are from other marginalised groups who fled here to escape landlessness, poverty and discrimination in the highlands. They came to Dhanghadi after being given government promises of land. But when they arrived, they were given nothing. That was ten years ago.

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Copyright Rob Few