Foreign returnees see silver lining in dark cloud in motherland

Basudev Poudel


While the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE) shows a startling data that more than 1,750 Nepali are leaving the country daily, majority of them for foreign employment, there are few instances where Nepalis have returned to invest money and sweat out as they see tremendous opportunities in the home country.

One among such foreign returnees is Rahul Chettri of Melache of Annapurna Rural Munciplaity-11 in Kaski district. He studied mechanical engineering in the USA for five years and returned to invest his skills, knowledge and experience in his own homeland. He currently runs a 45-bed Panorama Point Restaurant and Hotel at Thadapani along the Ghandruk-Ghorepani Trekking route.

The 28-year-old youth asserted, “Life is better here if you shed sweat like you do abroad. You can make fortune here too. In foreign land, you may not be able to save. Whatever you earn from hard work is merely enough for food and accommodation.”

Stating that Nepal has a huge potential in organic production of vegetables and fruits, Chettri viewed that a good income would be generated from organic farming in Nepal.

An estimate shows around 2.2 million people – 7.30 per cent of total population- are working in various countries. According to DoFE, Nepalis can get work permits for nearly 170 countries while Qatar, Saudi Arabai, Malaysia, Bahrain among others are favoured destinations for Nepali migrant workers.

Similarly, Australia, Poland and the USA are steadily drawing the highest number of Nepali students lately.

Mechanic engineer-turned-entrepreneur’s Hotel attracts a huge number of domestic and foreign tourists on a daily basis. According to him, the trekking sector of our country has a great potential among youths for job creation.

During the peak tourist seasons, his hotel cannot cater to the need of accommodations for the staggering number of guests.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, Nepal’s tourism sector had fetched Rs 177 billion into the economy in 2016 and supported more than 427,000 jobs during the fiscal year 2016/17.

Lately due to the boom of domestic tourism, his said, his hotel remains occupied even in the off season.

Likewise Priyanka Gurung, a foreign returnee, has been investing her hard-earned money from foreign employment and involved in hotel business. She runs Sunrise Loge at Banthati that lies along the Ghandruk-Ghorepani route.

She observed, “The local youths are excited with the boom of domestic tourism and are involved actively involved in the service sectors.”

Indicating a huge potential for the youths seeking greener pasture, Gurung opined that the grass is green this side of the fence too provided they could gauge silver lining in the dark clouds.

The women entrepreneur cited an instance of how animal husbandry could help generated a handsome income. She shared that she has been into yaks husbandry for 21 years and she has already done husbandry of 483 yaks during this course.

According to her, local youths should be encouraged in animal husbandry, especially the yaks as she argued it could generate a lucrative income for them.

Trekking agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN)’s Western Regional Association President Hari Bhujel said that many youths who were involved in TAAN have visited foreign and learned the techniques and skills and returned back home to invest here.

While a huge number of Nepalis workers are flocking abroad for foreign employment in absences of lucrative employment opportunist, TAAN has pressed for policy encouraging youths to develop entrepreneurship and return their homeland and invest their skills and knowledge learned abroad.

Furthermore, TAAN stressed on enabling an investment-friendly environment for the Nepali youths for them to consider investing their blood, sweat and tears in their own motherland. RSS