KATHMANDU : Following India and Nepal’s relaxation of the first stint of lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, tens of thousands Nepali migrant workers in India have begun to head to their home country.
As the biggest festivals of the Nepalis- Dashain, Tihar and Chhat among others, are nearing, many migrant workers would plan to return home, while many Nepalis in the Sudurpaschim Province are seeking greener pastures in India before Dashain and Tihar.
On Monday morning, a total of 237 youths set out for various cities in India via the Gaddachauki Chauki point bordering India. District Police Office in Kanchhanpur’s DSP Amar Bahadur Thapa shared that unlike the previous year, the number of Nepalis leaving for India on the eve of festivals is astonishingly larger.
India has been the most viable labour destination for Nepalis in the Sudurpaschim Province. More than 200,000 Nepalis had returned home through the Gaddachauki checkpoint following the nationwide lockdown ordered by the federal government to contain COVID-19 on March 24.
Many were compelled to set their sights on offshore jobs due to a lack of opportunities in their home country. Kallu Tamata of Bhimduttanagar Municipality-9 in the district is one of those people. “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 India on the eve of the festivals.
The Sudurpaschim Provincial government has received applications from youths aspiring to be self-employed through the government’s schemes. Although the provincial government had called for applications for employment in the agriculture and livestock sector, Nepali youths’ exodus to India continues.
Kanchhanpur Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Jung Bahadur Malla informed that unemployed youths were opting to go India out of compulsion as there were no prospects of employment