Hunger more pressing than disease for Nepali workers stranded in India



By Sher Bahadur Singh

Nearly 60 Nepali workers stranded in Mumbai of Maharastra, India, have been facing severe problems due to the lockdown imposed citing coronavirus spread.

The workers hailing from Baitadi district of Sudurpaschim, Nepal, have been taking shelter at Barauli and Pabai for three weeks and have urged for rescue.

Jagdish Bhandari, a resident from Melauli municipality-4 of Baitadi who is stranded together, said over telephone that they were stranded for 22 days and in need of immediate rescue.

“We’re bound to stay here- 15 persons crammed in a small room. The hotel owner has been providing foods with much reluctance,” he added. According to him, the hotel owner has been pressing for immediate evacuation. “We called at Nepali Embassy repeatedly, but the phone was not received,” he shared plight.

Similarly, another stranded in Mumbai, Sandip Chand, said they were compelled to stay hungry for long. “We’re in crowd. People are afraid of coronavirus much outside. None has shown concern for our health condition,” he said, if they were rescued, they could stay in quarantine in Nepal.

Similar plight was shared by Narendra Chand who is stranded at Pabai of Mumbai. Many Nepalis are left in lurch as the lockdown was announced all of sudden.

“We’re worried- we may die of hunger rather than of disease,” he wailed.

He was requesting over the phone for the coordination with the Indian government so that they could at least stay in quarantine there. ” India is a major job destination for hundreds of thousand Nepalis, especially from Sudurpaschim State of Nepal. Meanwhile, asked about this situation, assistant chief district officer in Kanchanpur, Gokarna Upadhyay, informed that they were making coordination and contact with the concerned sides of India.

He, however, said those Nepalis kept in quarantine in India had not any problem.

Spokesperson at Social Development Ministry of Sudurpaschim, Jhankar Bahadur Bista, informed that 143,000 Nepalis had entered Nepal via the border points of the State alone after the lockdown in India.