Thursday Mar 30, 2023
Thursday Mar 30, 2023

Has going abroad become a necessity?

Lack of desirable job opportunities at home is driving Nepali youth abroad.

2023 Jan 27, 9:00, Kathmandu

 More than, 630, 000 Nepalis immigrated abroad last year, which was more than the number during pre-pandemic. Nepalese going abroad to escape the ailing economy of their country are dissatisfied with income opportunities at home. They are a great source of remittance. Considering the benefits of foreign employment, the government of Nepal has made deals with nations to provide them with employees. However, this is depriving Nepal from developmental activities and making the national economy consumeristic in nature.

Although Nepal is still an agricultural country in consideration of the majority of Nepal’s residents involved in agricultural activities, the popularity of agriculture is decreasing among the youth. Agriculture is no more a lucrative occupation for the youth who seek to get paid lofty amounts in salary based jobs abroad. Many youths are leaving the agricultural occupation of their parents and grandparents, which is resulting in lesser production of agricultural products in Nepal. “ Our parents were involved in agriculture for livelihood, however we are no longer able to afford things at such low prices we are compelled to sell vegetables and fruits in the marketplace. By going abroad I am able to earn one lakh rupees a month, despite my low education,” says Purna Gurung, a migrant worker in the gulf.

As youths like Purna continue to go abroad, Nepal’s villages consist mainly of elderly people. “ Both my sons have worked in Saudi for five years, they occasionally visit home in Dashain, but don't plan to return until they retire in their late forties,” says 76 year old Dhurva Rayamajhi, who lives with his wife in Tanahu. “ The government should provide good jobs for youths if not the hard labour of Nepali youth will build other nations instead of their own,” he adds.

FILE - In this May 7, 2020, file photo, a person looks inside the closed doors of the Pasadena Community Job Center in Pasadena, California, US. Photo: AP via RSS
FILE - In this May 7, 2020, file photo, a person looks inside the closed doors of the Pasadena Community Job Center in Pasadena, California, US. Photo: AP via RSS

Over 60 percent of Nepal’s population are youths, however youths compared to the unemployment rate of the country overall, have significantly higher unemployment rates. The International labor organization (ILO) reports, over 19 percent of youths in Nepal are unemployed. Moreover, Nepal has a significant adolescent population which is going to produce a large working age population in the near future. ILO estimates over 400,000 young people enter the labor force every year in Nepal. A young country demands ample work opportunities, however there is a lack of it in Nepal.

In contrast to Nepal, many infrastructurally developed and economically sound countries have an ageing population which demands youths to immigrate to their country for carrying out developmental activities in various sectors. Japan, Finland, France, Germany, Portugal have the most old people in the world, demanding immigration of youths from countries like Nepal and other south Asian nations who have a young population.

The demographic situation of the gulf countries visibly demonstrates the mass migration of South Asians, with the United Arab Emirates consisting of 88 percent migrant population, followed by Qatar which has 77 percent migrant population, Kuwait and Bahrain making up the top five countries with highest migrant population in the world. These countries are highly preferred by Nepali youths to work. Australia is also making its way to one of the top migrant populated countries with Nepali students choosing Australia for study and work both.

A 2020 research, ‘Relevancy of foreign employment in the present context of Nepal’, conducted by economics scholar from Makawanpur Multiple Campus, mentions the charm of foreign employment in the recent decades due to lack of employment opportunities in public and private sectors. . Handsome salaries, respected life, relief from poverty and fulfilment of needs are driving Nepali youths out of the country.


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