Anjana Karki of Thakre village stitching clothes in her shop in this recent picture. After working for six years in New Delhi, Anjana decided to start her own shop. | Photo: Sarita Shrestha/Republica
DHADING, Dec 10: Four years ago, while she was working as a maid in Kuwait, Tuk Maya Tamang of Sallebhanjyang village used to think that her life would never take any new course. She was not happy with her life but 'there was nothing much she could do'. She thought her life would not be better if she returned home. However, one day she returned home. After staying home for some time, she was not sure if she wanted to fly to Kuwait again. After remaining in dilemma for some time she finally decided to give a try to her skills and passion eight months ago. The 24-year-old, who loved rearing cattle, bought some goats and chicken. Thanks to her love and dedication, her poultry farm soon came to a form. The number of goats multiplied, too.
"Just in a few months, I became a proud entrepreneur," said Tamang. "I realized that we lack nothing here in the country, but dedication and hard work."
After seeing the outside world, Tamang says that she has realized the value of labour. So, even though the days she spent in the foreign land remained bitter, they inspire her to work hard. "Had I not been to overseas, worked very hard, gone through those many hassles, I would not have this sense today. I would not put on my hundred percent in my work."
Tamang had been to Kuwait with four other ladies. Though they were promised a good job with high payment, she says that they all ended up working as a 'slave' for a meagre salary. While some returned home, some are still toiling hard in Kuwait, Tamang reports.
"But those who could come back and started doing their own work are really lucky. So I consider myself lucky," she stated. "Here you don't have to stay away from family. You can see them, meet them every day."
Tamang makes around Rs 60,000 per month. And her business is expanding. This has pleased her husband too.
"When you share the economic burden, your partner also feels good. We have become able to send our kids to private school," an elated Tamang said.
Anjana Karki of Thakre village has another story. One of her relatives took her to Dubai 'for a decent job'. He told her to pay Rs 90,000 for the entire process. She gave the amount. However, after he left, she realized that the cousin had cheated on her. She landed in New Delhi, not Dubai as promised. "He had lied. I was not in Dubai but in India. He left immediately after I gave him the remaining money. I had already given him some of the amounts while I was still in Nepal," narrated Karki.
It took two months for Karki to find work in Delhi. But the pay was meagre. Yet, she spent six hard years there.
"I did not want to work as a maid. So, I learned some furniture related works and got employed. But the pay was too less," she said. During this time, she came in touch with a Nepali man in a restaurant, with whom she married later. "Then we got back to Nepal."
After getting back her village, she looked out for work. But finding one was difficult. She then decided to give a try to her skills and passion. "I knew tailoring a little. But this time I thought that I should make it a means of earning." Karki joined tailoring class. Soon, she learned to stitch good dresses. That opened a gateway to prosperity in her life.
"I make design clothes. Women love trying new fashion clothes and I work hard on that. I focus only on providing quality work these days and not on money. Money follows when you are devoted to your work," Karki maintained.
Karki makes over Rs 20,000 per month. And she is quite happy about it. While in India, saving money was beyond imagination. But here, she says, she is saving half of her income.
A huge number of returnee woman migrants are following the footsteps of Karki and Tamang. Instead of going back overseas, they look more willing to start their own business. And success story of such women has been motivating others, too.
According to the Information and Counseling Center of Sami Project, which has been working in the field of foreign employment, the trend of going aboard for employment is actually declining. While 6,662 men and women from Dhading left for foreign employment during the last fiscal year, this year, the number is likely to be far lower than that. As per the record, only 691 people from Dhading have gone abroad in the last four months.