Madhes protest hits daily wage workersProlonged protest and banda enforced by the Madhes-based parties in the Tarai have pushed many daily wage workers in the region to the brink.
Prolonged protest and banda enforced by the Madhes-based parties in the Tarai have pushed many daily wage workers in the region to the brink.
Jobless for more than two months, many daily wage workers from districts like Sarlahi, Rautahat, Bara and Parsa have started migrating to other districts in search of work. Some of them have arrived in Chitwan where they are employed by local farm owners for paddy harvesting job. Surendra Baitha of Rauthahat is one of them.
He said he decided to leave his home because there was nothing to do. “There’s no work in my village. In order to eat, I have to work,” he said.
Baitha and many daily wage workers like him walked all the way from Rautahat to reach Chitwan. The ongoing Madhes protest and banda have also affected the transport service. Very few passenger vehicles, mostly long distance, ply the road, that too with the aid of police escort.
“It took us three days to arrive here. It was a difficult journey,” Baitha said.
These days, several groups of daily wage workers can be seen in Chitwan, working in paddy fields.
With the money earned by working in farms, they plan to use it for the upcoming festivals of Deepawali and Chhath. A group of workers cumulatively make up to Rs 14,000 for harvesting paddy from one bigha land. Since they are fed and sheltered by their employers, they do not have to worry about paying for food or lodging.
“We hope to make some money before this year’s Chhath,” said Chandeshor Patel of Rautahat.