Nepal | January 16, 2021

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:

First Arab Ama Dablam Expedition makes successful attempt on Thursday

KATHMANDU: A team from Seven Summit Treks ‘First Arab Ama Dablam Expedition’ comprising Qatari climber Fahad Badar, Sherief Elabd from Eygpt and Nadhira Al Harthy from Oman have attempted Mt Ama Dablam (6812 m) on January 14. The winter ascent to Ama dablam consisted of at least 14 climbers w Read More...

Xi asks Starbucks' Schultz to help repair US-China ties

BEIJING: President Xi Jinping is asking former CEO Howard Schultz of Starbucks to help repair U.S.-Chinese relations that have plunged to their lowest level in decades amid a tariff war and tension over technology and security. A letter from Xi to Schultz reported Friday by the official Xinhua Ne Read More...

China builds new quarantine center as virus cases rise

BEIJING: A city in northern China is building a 3,000-unit quarantine facility to deal with an anticipated overflow of patients as COVID-19 cases rise ahead of the Lunar New Year travel rush. State media on Friday showed crews leveling earth, pouring concrete and assembling pre-fabricated rooms i Read More...

With beginning of snowfall, poaching on the rise in Bajura

BAJURA: Poaching of rare endangered animals has increased with the beginning of snowfall in higher altitude areas of Bajura district. The endangered wildlife inhabiting the areas in Martadi, Dahakot, Manakot, Toli, Kailashmandau, Kanda, Rugin, Chhatara, Dogadi are being poached. Local Dhanamal Read More...

In Pictures: Heritage activists demand restoration of Kamal Pokhari

Kathmandu, January 15 Heritage activists stage a protest demanding proper restoration of centuries-old Kamal Pokhari, in Kathmandu, on Friday. Kathmandu Metropolitan City had launched the reconstruction of Kamal Pokhari, amid a function, on July 4, 2019. Kamal Pokhari is a historic pond loc Read More...

Photo Gallery: Hanumandhoka Durbar under renovation

Kathmandu, January 15 Renovation activities are underway at Hanumandhoka Durbar of Basantapur Durbar Square, in Kathmandu, as captured on Friday. Photos by Balkrishna Thapa for The Himalayan Times - Read More...

Kathmandu valley logs 172 new Covid-19 infections on Friday

KATHMANDU: The three districts of Kathmandu valley reported as many as 172 new cases of the coronavirus infection on Friday. This accounts for more than 50% of the total 270 new infections recorded today. Kathmandu alone recorded 147 new cases while Lalitpur and Bhaktapur registered 22 and th Read More...

Nationwide Covid-19 tally hits 266,816 with 270 new cases registered on Friday

KATHMANDU: Nepal on Friday reported 270 new cases of coronavirus infection from across the country. With this, the nationwide infection count has advanced to 266,816. Of the total cases, 90 are females while 180 are males. In the past 24 hours, 172 new cases were logged in Kathmandu valley. Read More...