VOICE FOR WOMEN WORKER AND CHILD LABOUR IN RESTAURANT SECTOR
FOR VIOLENCE FREE and PROFESSIONAL SOCIETY
Only the women and children working in the Entertainment Sector, Generally known as the Restaurant Sector (including Dance Bars, Dohori Saanj, Cabin Restaurants and small hotels) can truly understand what working in this industry is really like. The Nepal Restaurant and Small Hotel Labour Association (NESRO) was established in 2063 B.S. (2006) and officially registered in 2065 B.S (2008 AD) as Biswas Nepal. This association, under the Democratic Confederation of Nepalese Trade helped women workers analyze and observe the problems they witnessed in the restaurant and hotel sector.The founding members of Biswas Nepal were inspired by 2-year long training program hosted by Maiti Nepal, instructed by Prakash Koirala. This program allowed them to learn important life skills, and gave them tools and confidence to establish NESRO in 2063 with around 50 founding members. NESRO organized street dramas in Sindhupalchowk and other areas to promote societal awareness of entertainment worker’s rights. Unfortunately, for several years, the founding members became preoccupied with their personal life, and therefore, were unable to continue NESRO programming. By the time the members were able to commit themselves again, the registration had been cancelled. The women registered their new organization as BISWAS Nepal in 2065 (2008) with the District Development Committee.
Initially, we operated out of one rented room in the Sankata temple area near New Road and the founding members ran the office by working alternating days. With the help of Maiti Nepal, one lawyer was appointed to support the entertainment workers. Biswas will always be grateful for the support received from Maiti Nepal in their help to establish a functional and efficient office. Biswas then received support from Terre Des Hommes and World Education’s Nayo Bato Naya Paili (New Way New Step) Project. As our experience and capacity improved, we were able to rent a well facilitated office space in 2010 and increased our number to 13 staff. We have also opened a second Drop in centre in Maitidevi, another neighbourhood of Kathmandu.