Nepal | September 26, 2020

Wage earners hit hard due to prolonged lockdown

Ujjwal Satyal
Share Now:

Kathmandu, May 27

Padam Bahadur Thapa, 48 , who was spotted at Kaushaltar area of Bhaktapur at around 3:00pm, was riding a cycle cart to reach a house where he was assigned some work. He was promised Rs 200 for the work.

Thapa is facing a hard time these days as his income has been limited to Rs 200 to Rs 400 on an average.

This amount is not enough to feed his family two meals.

Things were not the same before March 24 (the date from when the nationwide lockdown was imposed).

Earlier, he used to earn Rs 1,800 to 2,000 per day.

“These days, the maximum I can make is Rs 200 to Rs 400, that too if I am lucky enough to get work,” Thapa told THT.

A similar plight is faced by the couple — Rohit and Sarita — who were spotted at Sanothimi area working on an under-construction house. The couple told THT they were compelled to work for survival as they could not continue with their business due to the lockdown. The couple said they had recently opened a momo shop at Pepsicola, but a few days later they had to pull down the shutters due to the lockdown.

“We invested all our saving on the shop, now we don’t have enough money to feed ourselves,” said the couple, adding that they were thus forced to work as construction labourers.

“But, since we are not fit for that work, we are underpaid,” Sarita said.

Thapa and the couple are among thousands of unaccounted daily wage earners employed in the informal sector, who have been hit hard by the over two months of lockdown imposed in a bid to stem the spread of coronavirus. Thousands of wage earners have been stranded in city areas due to the lockdown. But, neither the local government nor the federal government has any record of these workers.

The local governments, who had started distributing relief to needy people a few weeks after the lockdown, have now stopped distributing such relief.

“We realised that distributing relief was not the longterm solution to the problem, we thus are planning to introduce some programmes for a long-term solution to the problem created by the lockdown,” said Aanjana Devi Madhikarmi, deputy mayor of the Madhyapur Thimi Municipality.

She said that the municipality was preparing to provide part time jobs to these workers in exchange for food.

Majority of local governments now have started thinking of providing employment to daily wagers. A few days ago, Kathmandu metropolis had introduced a similar programme called ‘food for work’ for the needy people.

Man Dangol, ward chair, said around 350 families had benefited from the programme that started last Saturday. Dangol said needy people were glad to do the assigned work as they felt that they had earned food for themselves rather than depending on others’ mercy for food.


A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 28, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Sindhupalchowk, a crisis-hit region

DHULIKHEL, SEPTEMBER 24 Battered by a series of natural disasters in the past three months that caused huge loss to life and property, Sindhupalchowk has been declared a crisis-hit region. The government announced this today. Alongside Sindhupalchowk, Baglung is also declared a crisis-hit regi Read More...

One dead, six hurt as landslide sweeps bus in Daunne

KAWASOTI:  A person died while six others sustained injures after the passenger bus they were travelling on was swept by a landslide at Daunne in Nawalpur on Thursday night. The deceased has been identified as Harish Chandra KC of Aathbiskot Rural Municipality-10 in Rukum West, informed Deputy Read More...

NZ govt gives all clear for Pakistan, West Indies to tour

WELLINGTON: New Zealand's government has given the go ahead for the Pakistan and West Indies teams to tour the country later this year and in early 2021, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) said on Friday. New Zealand has been one of the world's most successful nations at containing the new coronavirus Read More...

Body of 12yo girl found in a temple in Bajhang; rape-murder suspected

BAJURA: The body of a 12-year-old girl was found in a temple in Masta Rural Municipality-2 of Bajhang district on Thursday night. The deceased was a resident of Khikala village. Police suspected that the girl may have been murdered after the culprit/s raped her as the clothes in the lower par Read More...

Abiding by COVID-19 curbs, Australian school kids protest in opposition to gas

SYDNEY: Thousands of Australian students on Friday protested to demand investment in renewable-energy projects, though COVID-19 restrictions confined the events to small gatherings and online activism. About 500 protests were held across Australia, with other demonstrations expected worldwide o Read More...

India Cricket, Cricket, Anil Kumble, India coach

Punjab spinner Bishnoi lauds Kumble influence

Kings XI Punjab spinner Ravi Bishnoi hailed the influence of head coach Anil Kumble after he and fellow wristspinner Murugan Ashwin picked up three wickets each to beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 97 runs in the Indian Premier League on Thursday. The Challengers boast batsmen of the calibr Read More...

One-Day International Series, India, Australia, Kane Richardson

Australia's Afghanistan test, one-day series v New Zealand postponed

MELBOURNE:  Australia's one-off test against Afghanistan and one-day series against New Zealand have been postponed to the 2021-22 season due to scheduling "complexity" during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cricket Australia (CA) said on Friday. Australia were to play their first home test against A Read More...

SKorean boyband BTS cancels October concert over coronavirus

SEOUL: K-pop boyband BTS cancelled on Friday a concert set for October in the South Korean capital of Seoul as authorities battle a stream of new coronavirus infections, imposing tougher curbs ahead of a surge in travel during a key autumn holiday. This month, BTS became the first Korean pop Read More...