MAHENDRANAGAR: After India and Nepal relaxed first stint of lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, tens of thousands Nepali migrant workers in India began to head to their home country.
As the biggest festivals of the Nepalis- Dashain, Tihar and Chhat among others, were nearing, many such migrant workers would return home. On the contrary to that trend, many Nepalis in Sudurpaschim State were seeking greener pasture in India just before the Dashain and Tihar.
On Monday morning, a total of 237 youths had set out for various cities in India via Gaddachauki check point bordering India. District Police Office, Kanchhanpur’s DSP Amar Bahadur Thapa shared that unlike previous year, this year we saw the Nepalis leaving here for India on the eve of the festivals on an astonishingly bigger number.
India has been the most viable labour destinations for the Nepalis in Sudurpaschim State. More than 200,000 Nepalis had returned home through Gaddachauki check point since the nationwide lockdown ordered by the federal government to contain the COVID-19 on March 24 this year.
In lack of job opportunities in their home country, they were compelled to set their sight to offshore. One such person was Kallu Tamata of Bhimduttanagar Municipality-9 in the district. He was heading towards Punjab in India along with his spouse and offspring in a pursuit of employment.
“Fending off children from hunger is more important than celebrating festivals,” he responded when asked why he was leaving his hometown and going to neighbouring country on the eve of the festivals.
The Sudurpaschim State government has received applications from the youths aspiring to be self-employed through government’s schemes. Although the state government had called for applications for the employment in agriculture and livestock sector, Nepali youths’ exodus to India continues.
Kanchhanpur Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Jung Bahadur Malla informed that the unemployed youths were opting to go India out of compulsion as there was no prospects of employment back home.
Puran Rana of Laljhadi Rural Municipality in Bhimdutta Municipality who was leaving here for India for seasonal job said, “It is an apple season. We get apple picking job. The earning from such jobs helps us run our household.”