Ex-combatant Mukhiya’s bicycle workshop...


Mukhiya repairing bicycle in his workshop

Former Maoist combatant Mukhiya, 25, chose to undertake one month long rickshaw and bicycle training after he was discharged from Surkhet cantonment as a minor in January 2010. He is running a small bicycle workshop in Badhaiya village, Bardiya for about two years now.

Mukhiya thinks he made the right choice to earn a living. He says, "Bicycle is a popular means of transportation in our village. There are about 250 families in my village and every family has two or three bicycles, which brings a good business support for my workshop. The best part is that I can look after my home and family while running my business as my house is close-by."

He recalls UN support which changed his life, “Apart from the training, UN provided me a start up support equivalent to NRs. 30,000. After evaluating the progress of my business, the UN provided me with a second round of start-up support equivalent to NRs. 20,000. Now I plan to expand my business to a nearby market area.”

The business can fetch him Rs. 250 - 500 per day. Today, Mukhiya’s father is proud of him. His family also helped him to establish a small wooden hut to use it as repair shop. Mukhiya says, "There were some difficulties to adjust in the society after being discharged from the cantonment and being labeled as an ex-combatant. However, after I started providing service to the community through my workshop, they have become very friendly towards me."

With the support of United Nations Interagency Rehabilitation Programme (UNIRP); of the approximately 1000 graduates to date, 60 per cent have been offered work or are running their own small businesses. Another 1,000 plus individuals are still undergoing training and education. The graduates are employed in a wide range of activities setting up restaurants, mobile phone repair centers, tailoring shops, beauty parlours, photo studios, working as telecommunications technicians, cooks, welders or motorcycle mechanics.

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