Wednesday, May 27, 2015

घर जान देऊ। Let us go home.

'A Nepalese World Cup Worker Dies Every Other Day in Qatar'- this was the grim headline of a TIME magazine article in December 2014. Yet it is not this article, or a plethora of similar articles from various publications, nor Amnesty International's report on the bleak status of ill-treated Nepali workers (The Guardian), that elicited a response from the Nepali government.

For the first time, the Nepali government broke its silence and finally, spoke out when Nepali workers in Qatar were blocked by the country and FIFA to return home to attend funerals of those recently deceased due to the devastating earthquakes in Nepal. This is what Labor Minister, Tek Bahadur Gurung, said to The Guardian,
"After the earthquake of 25 April, we requested all companies in Qatar to give their Nepalese workers special leave and pay for their air fare home. While workers in some sectors of the economy have been given this, those on World Cup construction sites are not being allowed to leave because of the pressure to complete projects on time.
Nothing will change for migrant workers until FIFA and its rich sponsors insist on it. … (but) we are a small, poor country and these powerful organizations are not interested in listening to us."

Thank you for reading,

Thursday, May 21, 2015


Dear friends,

As you might have heard, my home country of Nepal is devastated, and so are we, her people. On April 25th, 2015, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake left fear, grief and ruin in its wake. However, in spite of that adversity, or rather, because of it, we got to see a lot of fantastic people, in particular the Nepali youth in Nepal, who have picked themselves up, dust themselves off and got to work with relief efforts. The Nepali diaspora living abroad are also helping in various ways, digitally and through fundraising activities. We have hope.

A second earthquake of magnitude 7.3 hit Nepal on May 12th, 2015: more fear, more grief, more ruin. What hope the Nepali diaspora had painstakingly mustered up in the past 16 days since the first earthquake, crumbled instantly. As the death toll rose, and more homes fell, hope seemed like a hollow word. But we couldn't and didn't let it be that way. We reclaimed the word hope and made it ours once again. We still have hope.

Thank you to all donors, aid-workers, volunteers, journalists - domestic and foreign - for everything you do for Nepal. 

Here is a NYTimes list of where to donate.

Jai Nepal 
"Long Live Nepal"