LETTERS: Cobblers and managers
Apropos of the news story “Japan fills its boots with Bespoke shoes” (THT, November 23, Page 9), Nepal can learn a valuable lesson from this and widen its export portfolio to include top-end personal footwear, dresses, and lingerie like Victoria’s that are custom tailored in the slums of India. What more can you ask for if a single entrepreneur can produce 80 pairs of shoes a year at US$ 4,200 a pair! As Nepal will never be able to compete with China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Peru etc on inexpensive personal wears the country would do well to concentrate on niche products such as fine Newari rakshi, tailored dresses, shoes, rugs, cheese etc for
exports. There are hiccups though. Quality is a massive problem in the country and would require strong laws to ensure that workers do not get away by producing shoddy products. Workmanship is a major deterrent to exports as some of us have personal experience of: no two woolen wears are alike and a pair of straw shoes, for which we created a good demand in certain markets, is different from the next pair. When we insist on quality, consistency, timely delivery, commitment of price, the workers would feel we are
being hard on them and would warn us in the only way they know - don’t play with ‘sramjibi janata’ for your own good in a democracy. So the first step is to inculcate tough discipline among the workers. The country’s human resource development must step in to churn out highly skilled, efficient, trained and knowledgeable ‘Fukuda sans’ that can produce world class export products including shoes and ‘raxsi’. Yes you heard it right ‘raxsi’. We should learn from another landlocked country, Laos, which exports fine ‘Beerlao’ to westerncountries as well as Vietnam and Thailand.
Manohar Shrestha, Kathmandu
This is with reference to the news story “Nepalis enrolled in black listed Bangladesh colleges” (THT, November 24, Page 1).
It is a deeply agonising and excruciating moment that the Nepali students in Bangladesh are going through. This has a tremendous psychological and financial ripple-effect in the minds of students and their parents who were hopeful to see the promising future of their offspring by sending them into medical colleges overseas.
I do find our government’s recklessness and a great dereliction of duty on its part. It is very shameful that a nation can allow its students to study in the pseudo-colleges abroad. In western countries majority of the governments do take this kind of incident very sincerely and they make alternative arrangements by re-enrolling the victims in genuine colleges.
Shiva Neupane, Melbourne