Balchaur is located in the Terai region in the south western parts of Nepal. The nearest bigger town Dhangadhi is approximately 90 km away.
The village community consists of about 2,000 people living in 450 clay plastered huts between the highway and the river. Things like education, health care and family planning are largely unknown.
The villagers belong to the ethnic groups of Tharu or Badi. They are mostly Kamiyas, the Nepali word for bondsmen. In fact bondage was abolished in Nepal only 20 years ago.
When the concept of bonding ceased to exist the Kamiyas wandered about the country aimlessly and the Nepal government gave these families small plots of land in Balchaur. However, these are so small that they provide too little to live but too much to die. The land is not always the personal property of the villagers so in theory they could be driven away again from “their” land. This constant uncertainty is a problem for the people who live here. New arrivals live in huts that were set up illegally at the fringe of the village. It is still very difficult but very slowly a sense of belonging is starting to grow.
Families and their children are crowded together in their huts. Growing some vegetables in the small gardens behind the huts is a very laborious task. The plots of land are so small that the roof tops have to be used for growing Zucchini on them. Bedsteads without anything like a mattress have been placed underneath an awning in the open. People here live at the poverty line.