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,

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