By Jyoti Dhakal, KATHMANDU:- After the return of 169 Nepalese stranded from UAE and 26 Nepalese from Myanmar on Friday, Nepalese who were stranded all over the world seemed happy in the hope of returning home soon. They were disappointed when not a single ‘rescue’ flight seem to take off. Unfortunately, empty planes from abroad are continuously returning to Nepal in the days after Friday. Also on Sunday, an Air Arabia flight that came to Kathmandu with medical supplies came and went without Nepalese stranded in the UAE. But in the same country UAE, about 15,000 Nepalese are waiting for the day to return home.
Hundreds of Nepalese students and their relatives are waiting for rescue in Australia. But a Nepal Airlines plane arriving in Canberra will not rescue them immediately. At this time, the ‘rescue’ campaign has been in dispute since the embassy and the government of Nepal disagree on the cost and management of the repatriation of stranded Nepali workers abroad. According to the policy set by the Government of Nepal, only those who are financially capable will be able to return to Nepal.
On Sunday, Nepalese workers surrounded the Nepalese embassy in UAE. The local police had to forcibly remove the crowd surrounding the embassy saying that they did not pick up the phone and could not set a date for the rescue operation. The embassy is unaware of the news about the rescue flight scheduled by the Nepalese Government which is to depart from the UAE on Wednesday. But while rescue efforts are urgently needed in Malaysia and the Gulf Countries, the government has set a date for the flight to Bangladesh.
On Friday, the return flight from the UAE was still in limbo, leaving only those who could pay for it on their own. Nepalese Embassies abroad have started re-filling the form saying that the problem could be repeated like in UAE. According to the new condition, those who are stranded can return only if they accept the condition of bearing the cost of rescue.
In order to return to Nepal from Qatar the stranded population needs to abide by the hotel, quarantine as well as the transportation expenses and the conditions set by the Government of Nepal. Provision has been made where even the online registration form will not be available to those who do not comply with the condition of the Government of Nepal.
At this time, Nepalese stranded around the world are confused. The government has not set date as to when the rescue operation for workers stranded abroad will start regularly. According to the arrangement made by the Government of Nepal only those who bear all the expenses themselves will be successful in returning back to Nepal. Employers are reluctant to send expensive charter flights and are pressuring workers to return only after regular flights begins.
According to sources in the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security, only those in priority will be rescued back to Nepal. Remaining population of stranded workers worldwide will be rescued only after the regular flights are opened as per the decision of the CCMC by making necessary arrangements by the concerned embassy.
Amidst all of this Nepalese stranded in the Middle East continue to support their families and the country’s economy through remittances. The process of repatriation of stranded Nepalese has become complicated and when and by whom will they be repatriated? It is becoming more and more difficult to answer these questions.
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