Noordev Basyal could not hold back his tears when he finally met his father Ramprasad and 75-year-old grandmother at his house in Palpa. Surviving a decade long conflict, the ex-Maoist combatant Basyal opted for voluntary retirement and returned home. The family could not have asked for more.
Noordev married his comrade-in-arms Parvati in the cantonment and now has two children. He spends his days helping his father in the fields and looking after his ailing grandmother. "I am happy working in the fields now. If things get bad, I may go overseas to find work," Noordev says. Three weeks ago, another ex-combatant Pratigya Aire made a long journey from the cantonment in Rukum to her house in Palpa. Pratigya's husband Prakash, who is platoon commander in the Fourth Division is awaiting integration in the Nepal Army. Pratigya is still undecided whether she wants to return to her village or continue living in Rukum. For now, she and her two daughters are happy to be home.