Rough ride

Nepali workers heading to neighbouring countries or overseas for employment is not a new phenomenon. However, the lure to earn that little extra income has landed them in trouble, time and again. About 150 residents of the Dhading district, who went looking for better employment opportunity in the Indian, share a similar experience. According to a report, while most of the workers, unable to work under harsh conditions, have already fled, others are still stranded for lack of money to return home. The report adds that the workers were not given the pay cheque that the broker promised them before taking them there. Thousands of Nepali workers are struggling under similar conditions in various countries.

The fact that 12 Nepalis lost their lives in Iraq several years ago doesn’t seem to have taught Nepalis to be sceptical of brokers and manpower agencies that have little or no respect for workers’ rights.

This seems to be the reason why most Nepali workers are easily taken for a ride by unscrupulous and greedy employment agents. Though it is mostly the lack of caution on the part of workers that makes them pay dearly, the lack of effective government mechanism to check fraudulent practices is also highly responsible. Moreover, it is because of inadequate regulations regarding foreign employment that manpower agents take the liberty to get workers into trouble.