New Delhi, February 24:
Though Amrit Lama, a resident of Hariwan in Sarlahi of Nepal, came to New Delhi only four months ago, he is earning more than many other compatriots who have been working in the Indian capital for years.
Lama has been making almost INRs 13,000 a month by selling momos on the streets of New Delhi. â€œI am making as much as INRs 12,000 to 13,000 per month,â€ Lama said.
After coming to New Delhi, he carefully watched how his uncle, who had called him there, was running a momo stall. Lama then invested INRs 1,500 on a cart and other materials and followed the footsteps of his uncle.
Lama runs a momo stall at Ashram, where he works from 4 pm to 8:30 pm and sells momos worth INRs 700 to 800 daily. Though many vendors run their stalls at Ashram, Lama does not have to face competition, as most of the Indian vendors prefer to sell bread and curry. Lama and other Nepali vendors sell momos, chowmein and fried rice, among other food items.
Dhan Bahadur Thapa of Huvas in Parbat is another lucky vendor. Though he makes a little less than Lama at Lajpat Nagar, one of the busiest places in the Indian capital, Thapa is hopeful of making more money in the days to come.
â€œThese days, I save only around INRs 10,000 a month because pedestriansâ€™ movement has been temporarily diverted because of the ongoing road construction. Still, it is good for me because I am the boss here,â€ Thapa, who has been in the business for three years, said.
Lama and Thapa earn better than Tilak Thapa of Baglung who saves only INRs 7,000 by waiting on tables at a Noida hotel.
â€œThis is far better than I expected because I used to do nothing in my village. I never thought I could be able to earn this much,â€ Lama added.
The vendors look for crowded places like vegetable markets and department stores. Lama gets a good crowd as his stall is near a vegetable market.
A large number of Nepali food vendors are working in Majnuka Tila, Pahargunj and Vasant Bihar areas in the Indian capital.
â€œThis is a good way to make money here. I have seen some people who started with vending goods on the streets and ended up owning large ventures,â€ Lokesh Sharma, founding president of Pravas Nepali Janakalyan Samiti, said.
Though the exact number of Nepalis working in new New Delhi is not available, Nepali diasporaâ€™s associations believe that about one million Nepali people are working as migrant and seasonal workers in the Indian capital. It is also believed that around four millions workers earn their living in several Indian cities.