“I worked more than 40 years for landlords, I don’t have a piece of land, what else can I do?” says Jaga Majhi, inhabitant of village called Bagaiya in Sapahi VDC in Bara district located in southern lowland of Nepal. He can’t remember exact year of his birth, though his citizenship card says 1938 AD.
Over the last few decades’ landless squatters have built meager huts to accommodate themselves and their family. They have been here for all or most of their lives but have no formal title to the land they live in, and most of them work in the farm for landlords in daily wages basis. Most of the inhabitants belong to marginalize ethnic groups such as Tharu, Musahar, Chamar, Majhi etc. These ethnic groups are also termed as ‘untouchables’ in the traditional and complex caste system, still present in many parts of Nepal.
This is a story of those, who have spent their whole life working for others and are living as ‘invisible farmers’. With no piece of land in their name and lack of opportunity, they remain as impoverished as ever.