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Unemployment forcing people to leave home on Dashain in Sudurpaschim

2021 Oct 07, 18:29, Mahendranagar

Dashain is considered the festival of family reunions and happiness. But contrary to this general assumption, on the very first day of the Dashain today, a noticeable number of people were seen crossing the Gaddhachauki and Gauriphanta checkpoints along the Nepal-India border in Kanchanpur. The decision to go away from the families during the festival was not their free will, but for financially supporting the family.

Those people who had returned home from India due to the COVID-19 crisis are leaving home on the eve of the festival. “It is not our will to leave the family when the Dashain has already begun. But it is for managing a day and night meal. When one has no job, then there is no sufficient food to eat, the festivals are longer important for them, it brings no happiness, but gives pain, instead,” said Raj Bahadur Budha Aeir of Dadeldhura, heading towards Shimla, India for jobs today.

He arrived home six months owing to the rising infections of COVID-19 (second wave). Back home, he was jobless and the days throughout these months were challenging for him. As he said, people like him are leaving home on the eve of the festivals when COVID-19 infection is seemed to have slowed down.

Keshab Joshi from Darchula who was among those in the line heading towards India on Thursday has a more painful story to share with. He lost his family member to COVID-19, so he has no Dashain celebrations this year. More, he has no way to join the labour market in India to manage the basic needs of the family.

Similarly, Dhana Devi Rawat of Doti said that she is unhappy while leaving home in the Dashain festival. Rawat further shared, "Dashain celebration has begun in everyone's house. Poor people neither can get happiness nor comfort."

Assistant Sub Inspector at the Area Police office, Gaddachauki, Jeevan Gurung, said that more than 100 Nepali migrant workers went to India via Gaddachauki today, the day of starting of Dashain festival Ghatasthapana.

'Though the number of Nepali migrant workers returning home from India is increasing, even the Dashain festival has not stopped the people leaving home for India", he opined.

Gurung shared that they have increased vigilance to curb possible criminal activities during festivals.

He added as per the data of the past one week around 250-600 Nepali migrant workers leave the country for India on a daily basis. Three hundred seventy people went to different cities of India for employment via Gaddachauki and Gauriphanta checkpoints on Wednesday alone.

Police have also brought passenger help desks into operation at border points to facilitate passengers.

Similarly, people continue to enter India through the Dokebazaar transit point here on the eve of the Dashain festival. Chief of the Dokebazaar Police Post, Sub-Inspector Deependra Thapa said although the trend of going to India via this transit has decreased it has not completely stopped.

"Nepali citizens go towards India using this transit generally in the evening. The record shows that 111 persons went towards India through this transit point only on Wednesday," he said, adding that more than 900 people have been entering the country from India via this point.

As he said the number of those coming on festival leave is increasing as it is festival time and the movement of people through the transit has been somewhat eased at present.

India is the main employment destination of the people of the Sudurpaschim and Karnali provinces. Most people going to India on the eve of the festivals are because of the lack of employment opportunities in their hometowns and they have to go to India to find work for income.


Dashain Festivals Ghatasthapana Unemployment covid crisis Jobs meal Food Happiness comfort COVID Infection Nepal-India border Gaddachauki Employment india Nepali Migrant Sudurpaschim Province income
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