Nepal | June 04, 2020

Over 6,000 brick kiln workers left in a lurch

Himalayan News Service
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Dhading, March 29

More than 6000 labourers working at various brick kiln industries are starving for want of money in Dhading. Brick kiln workers are forced to stay hungry due to lack of food.

The hapless labourers have not been able to return home due to the lockdown imposed by the government to contain and prevent the spread of coronavirus pandemic.

While most people stay indoors owing to COVID-19, brick kiln workers face the possibility of starvation as they have run out of food. “We are more scared of dying due to lack of food than due to coronavirus.

We could kindle hearth on the days we worked.

But, we are now starving as we do not have job,” complained Dilmaya Budha of Rolpa.

Parsaram Pariyar bemoaned that he used to be paid on a weekly basis, but after imposition of the lockdown he had not been paid as he did not have work at Everest Brick Kiln Industry where he worked.

No different is the plight of Gopal Ghartimagar of Rolpa, who is working at Dhading’s Jalpadevi Brick Kiln. Social worker Bipana Pyakurel said that hundreds of workers like Gopal and Parsaram were left high and dry. Labourers said that they neither had food to eat nor shelter to live in.

Brick kiln workers complained that they were living on one meal a day. If the lockdown is extended, we will starve to death, said workers.

A total of 42 brick kiln factories are operating at Dhunibesi, Nilkanth, Thankre, Gajuri and Siddalek rural municipalities in Dhading. More than 6,000 labourers from Rukum, Rolpa, Jajarkot, Kalikot, Dang, Rautahat, Sarlahi, Sindhuli and India are working in these kilns. The workers demanded that they be allowed to return home safely. Talking to THT, they pleaded, “Please help us by taking our plight to the government.”

Dhading Brick Kiln Entrepreneurs’ Association Chair Nirajan Regmi said his association had requested workers to wear face masks,wash hands with soap and water, not to gather, stay indoors and abide by the government order fully.

A version of this article appears in print on March 30, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

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