chapter  4
43 Pages

Bodies, consumption, and health after freedom

WithMatthew Maycock

When the Kamaiya were freed in 2000 and resettled across Nepal, many Kamaiya had very few possessions when they left their former landlords’ property. As a consequence of limited or non-existent wages within the Kamaiya system, consumption was limited prior to 2000. While economic resources remain scarce, it is becoming increasingly important for Kamaiya men to consume in certain ways. In July 2009, electricity became available in Kampur basti, opening up new possibilities for consumption. This chapter includes a case study of a Kamaiya man and his experiences of consuming in new ways (in this instance, consuming skin-whitening cream), shaped by the marketing efforts of Indian corporations.