(Malaysia Sun) – Khadka Bahadur Ramtel was only 12 years old in 2002 when he was conscripted by the Maoists. He and his classmates from the village school in Humla district in northern Nepal were taken into a forest for training, but Ramtel escaped after a month. He went to India and worked illegally at construction sites. He returned home to Nepal after a few months. But in 2003, the Maoists came again, this time to his house. They gave the family two choices: Give them 50,000 Nepalese rupees (now $468) or send Ramtel, the eldest of five children, to join the guerrilla group. Ramtel’s parents worked a small plot of land to grow enough food for the family, but they never had enough to sell. “We couldn’t afford a donation of even 10 rupees (9 cents) to the Maoists,” Ramtel says. “So I joined the Maoist army.”