Oct 31, 2014

Out of Country but Out of Poverty

I have recently started writing for The Global Entrepreneur which is Sweden based online magazine that focuses on issues related to globalization and entrepreneurship. As the first write-up for The Global Entrepreneur, I wrote about the migration for foreign employment trend in Nepal. Well, that is not exactly a novel topic in our case, is it? However, in the article, I have tried to explain how foreign employment is helping Nepal and why it is not that bad to be dependent on foreign employment and the remittances it brings. My argument is what else can a rational person do when the rulers and government have created an environment where a person cannot hope to flourish through hard work and enterprise.

Below is an excerpt from the article:

Image Source: http://www.nepalmountainnews.com
Every day more than 1,500 able-bodied Nepalese citizens leave their abodes, seeking better lives and better opportunities in foreign countries. Many of them end up in the Middle East as construction workers, building stadiums for the World Cup in Qatar, and infrastructure in other gulf countries.

If Qatar hosts the FIFA World Cup in 2022 successfully, Nepal will be among the nations it will have to be thankful to.

Some of the workers have to be content with working menial jobs in different industries. Uddhab Danuwar, 28, is one of them. A native of Panchkhal Village of Kavrepalanchok District, he first migrated to Kathmandu and worked for a pashmina manufacturer for a few years. Uddhab was employed in the coloring and dying process there, and earned Rs. 15,000 a month (USD 154). Last October, he flew to Saudi Arabia for an employment opportunity at a hotel where he currently earns 1,200 Saudi Riyals (USD 320) a month.

“With my meager income back home, I and my family could hardly survive. Here, not only have I been able to cover my expenses, but also save some money to send back to my family,” Danuwar tells The Global Entrepreneur.

“The work is very tough here. I still find it difficult to adjust with the culture and climate, and I miss my family a lot, but I think it’s worth the struggle.”

Paradoxically, their sacrifices didn’t come in the form of sweat and labor alone; in the last year alone, 862 Nepalese lost their lives while being engaged in employment abroad, many of who were building the skyscrapers and stadiums.

As immigrant workers, they are not treated properly as domestic workers would have been. The horrible working environments these migrant workers have had to face in the host countries have made headlines in international media. Some reports have gone to the extent of alleging that foreign workers in Qatar are being treated like cattle.

Yet, the line of emigrant workers waiting for their flights at Nepal’s only international airport keeps getting longer and longer. Care to wonder why?

Read the full article in The Global Entrepreneur by clicking here.