RUKUM, Nov 13: Rabin Khatri, 3, of Banfikot Rural Municipality of Rukum (West) has just become eligible for going to school. But sadly, he has been living in the District Prison for committing no crime. This has not only deprived him of education but also has badly affected his mental health.
It has been three years since this innocent child is living a pathetic life in jail with his mother Sunita Khatri. His mother is serving a jail term for killing her mother-in-law Bishnu Kumari in 2015. The District Court sentenced Sunita to 20 years in prison. Reportedly, Sunita had killed Bishnu Kumari with a sickle following a minor dispute.
That was the reason why she had to come to jail clutching her then eight months old son. "No one will take care of him at home," said Sunita, adding, "Keeping him here is not my choice but an obligation." She feels horrible for her little child who is being punished for her crime. "I will be glad if some organization shoulders his responsibility and ensure his education," Sunita added.
When asked by journalists, Rabin expressed his keen desire to go to school. He was continuously pleading the people outside to take him out of the jail saying a jail is not a place to live. His words brought tears to the eyes of other inmates and security personnel.
Every morning, Rabin sees children of his age go to school carrying books and wearing uniforms. Earlier, there were two more children in the prison with him but a Child Development Center took them to Kathmandu for education. However, the Center refused to take him then due to his tender age.
Recently, when those children returned to the prison to celebrate Tihar with their mothers, Rabin expressed his desire to go to Kathmandu with them. There are currently 105 inmates in the District Prison, which has the capacity of accommodating 25 inmates.
Denied birth certificate
Another barrier to Rabin's education is his birth certificate. His father Birkha Bahadur refused to provide him a birth certificate apparently because of the pressure from his second wife, says Sunita. Seven months ago, the prison had inquired with the rural municipality chief Dharma Bahadur KC and ward chief Nar Bahadur Khatri regarding the birth certificate but nothing has been done yet.