Migrant workers start returning to India in search of jobsEvery day, 200 to 400 Nepali migrant workers cross the Trinagar-Gauriphanta border into India, according to the Armed Police Force.
Despite prohibitory orders put in place by the district authorities, people’s movement through the Trinagar-Gauriphanta border point has not stopped. Nepali migrant workers who had returned home when the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic hit India are now making their way back to the country in search of jobs.
A large number of migrant workers cross the border point on a daily basis, according to the Armed Police Force Check Post in Trinagar.
Every day, 200 to 400 Nepali migrant workers cross the border point into India, data from the check post showed.
Over 27,000 migrant workers have returned home to Nepal since April 29. Meanwhile, over 9,000 individuals have crossed the border to India in search of jobs,” said Police Inspector Laxman Joshi of the Armed Police Force.
Since April 29, public transportation has come to a halt because of prohibitory orders imposed by various district administration offices across Sudurpaschim Province.
But in their desperation to reach India for employment, most migrant workers are paying exorbitant prices to be ferried in vehicles with passes granted for emergency services.
On Monday, Pahal Saud, a local resident of Pahalmanpur in Kailali, was found crossing Trinagar border point in search of a job in Maharashtra, India.
“This is the fourth time that I am travelling to Maharashtra since the start of the pandemic last year,” he said. “I came home last year in mid-March. It’s time I go back and earn some money. There is no source of income here.”
Another Dil Bahadur Saud, a local man of Kailali, also shared similar sentiments. “There are no jobs in the villages. We have to work for a living, pandemic or not. Otherwise, we will have nothing to eat,” said Saud.
According to him, he paid an agent Rs 5,000 for a one-way transport fare to Maharashtra. “The normal transport fare is only Rs 2,000. But now we have to pay more than double given the current situation,” he said.
On Monday, Joga Bahadur BK, a local resident of Ramshikhar Jhala in Kailali, was on his way to Gujarat with his wife and two children. “We returned to Nepal last year amid fears of Covid-19. Since then, we were working at a cotton factory in Kailali but the company laid off half of its workers. That’s why we are returning to India in the hopes of getting jobs,” BK said.
Migrant workers who have stayed back in the villages at present also plan to leave for India soon in search of jobs.
Dip Bahadur Bohara, a local resident of Bogtan in Doti, said, “Although I returned to Nepal due to the Covid-19 crisis in India, I have to go back again when the situation settles down. There is no work here. I have to go back to India to feed my family.”