Hundreds of Nepalese youths leave country after losing jobs, businesses

Hundreds of Nepalese youths leave country after losing jobs, businesses
The passageway between Nepal and China at Tatopani in Sindhupalchok was closed indefinitely after the 2015 earthquake.
PHOTO: The Kathmandu Post/Asia News Network

Hundreds of youths from the Tatopani border point and nearby towns in Sindhupalchok have gone abroad for employment after the busiest border between Nepal and China was closed following the 2015 earthquake.

Most of them either had jobs or owned businesses at the border town before the earthquake.

But after the border was closed indefinitely, they had no option than to go overseas to earn money.

Sarita Thami, whose husband is currently working abroad, said her family was left in financial dire straits after her partner lost his job as a porter after the earthquake of April 25, 2015.

"We had no income source because there was no activities at the border. Foreign employment was our only hope, and for that too we had to manage loan," she said.

Many families whose earnings depended on the Tatopani border before the earthquake are struggling to get by these days.

Besides Tatopani, the border closure has also hit the people of Liping, Listi, Phulpingkatti, Marmin, Gati and Ghumthang.

Jit Sherpa of Liping said the disastrous flood in the Bhotekoshi river last year also caused many to leave their homes and the country in search of jobs.

He said 10 men from his town have already left for Malaysia, Dubai and Qatar while many others are preparing to follow their footsteps.

"We don't know when the border is going to open. There are no jobs left," said Sherpa, who recently got his passport as he too is considering to go abroad.

Pabitra Ghimire of Maiti Nepal, an organisation working against women and children trafficking, said a large number of women population from the district has also left the country after the earthquake.

"It is difficult to find a job in Tatopani these days. Hotels and eateries are either closed or closing down. In such circumstance, men as well as women who once had jobs or owned businesses in Tatopani are opting to go abroad," she said.

Kamal Kumar Shrestha, chairman of Sindhupalchok Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said hundreds of people from the district were forced to go abroad after the earthquake because the government did not take the initiative to open border.

"There is no problem in resuming the border now. The infrastructure that had suffered damage have been rebuilt. The only thing lacking is the government's will," he said.

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