Combatant turns into an independent entrepreneur
September 2010; To date, more than 1,484 men and women, verified minors and late recruits, discharged from Maoist cantonments in February 2010 have opted for the ongoing voluntary rehabilitation packages offered by the United Nations Interagency Rehabilitation Programme (UNIRP).
A good number of those who have completed this training have either established their own businesses or have found jobs. Limbu, 23 from eastern hills of Nepal is one such successful example. He was in the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) for almost six and half years. During the UN lead verification process in 2007, he was classified as a minor and was officially discharged in January 2010.
Limbu then decided to join the UN offered voluntary rehabilitation programme and he contacted Kathmandu Regional Office via toll-free number. Professional career counselors from the UNIRP provided him detailed career counseling. Taking into account, the educational background and interest, he was referred to house-wiring electrician training ' an option under the Vocational Training package.
In May 2010, he completed his institutional training in one of the well known vocational training schools in Bhaktapur and was sent for on-the-job training. He was also assisted to pass the Skills Test level-one from National Skill Testing Board (NSTB) under Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT). The UN also provided him with a tool-kit to enable him start his work.
Now Limbu earns NRs. 150 per day as an employee. He has also started his own business as an electrician. As an independent contractor for electrical wiring of new buildings., he says 'I can complete such wiring works within 15-20 days. Depending upon the nature of work, I can earn NRs. 6,000-7,000 from such contracts'.
He happily shares that the rehabilitation programme has transformed his life to becoming a contractor from a combatant. He further adds, 'I have learned so many good things during the training; things which helped me to face the society.'
Limbu is living with his family in Bhaktapur. His wife, also a disqualified combatant has joined tailoring training under UNDP Micro-enterprise Development Programme package. He is confident and very optimistic about his future and at the same time determined to work harder to realize his dreams!
Till date, more than 840 have already started training in regional centers or are studying in schools close to their homes (more than 30% of them women) and 225 have already completed training programmes in vocational training and microenterprises.
The toll-free number, 16600177888, is operating six days a week and is accessible across the country for the dischargees to make first contact with the programme. This number has already received more than 2086 calls inquiring about the rehabilitation programme, with the majority expressing their willingness to avail themselves of the voluntary packages on education, health training, micro-enterprise support or vocational skills.