Masons making hay after 2015 earthquake

Kathmandu, December 24

Rewarding opportunities abound for masons post the devastating 2015 earthquake in the country. They used to get low pay, earlier.

“The demand for masons has increased these days. We also get a good pay,” said Mohan Shrestha, a mason, from Dolakha. Shrestha said after the earthquake, many companies came into existence claiming they were capable of building earthquake-resistant houses. He added that the new opportunity had helped them learn new skills and earn high wages,” he said.

Shrestha has been working at Eco Panel Company for two years and making Rs 50,000 to 55,000 per month. “The job has proven to be more satisfying for me. This has also established that we can earn money in our own country,” shared Shrestha whose elder brother and brother-in-law are also involved in the same occupation.

As the occupation is turning out to be lucrative, more women are opting to work in this field. Saraswoti Magar of Bhaktapur along with her husband are engaged in masonry. “I earn Rs 40,000 per month doing this work and my husband earns as much. This has not only helped me earn a living but also reduced my dependency on husband. Now he respects me for my work,” shared Saraswoti. She added that with the newfound source of income, she had been able to gain an equal footing with her husband and manage her own expenses and savings for future.

Bikram Duwal, a 12th grader at Basu Higher Secondary School, Bhaktapur, has been managing his pocket money and college fees by working as a mason. “I even save money after paying my college fees,” he said. “Now I have gained financial stability and freedom. I can travel to any place I like in my free time even without the support of my family.”

Krishna Bhakta Duwal, executive officer at the Gorkha Eco Panel company, informed that after the earthquake, the demand of masons had increased.