I wish I never had to continue writing on this topic after blogging two series (Part I/Part II) in the past. I stumbled upon the same people, same airport, and same airline but the only differences were that I stayed in the different hotel, had different food and a new experience that changed my perception toward Nepalese migrant workers. You find them where not but every corner of the airport, hotels, bazaars, mall in that oil-riched country named Qatar. I should have been happy to see people from my country, but I am not. I am mad and sad to see that many workers leaving the country and trading their fate under the soaring heat in the country where modern slavery exists in the form of “work”.
I am infuriated that they had to leave their beloved family – kids, wives, parents, and friends in their villages in a hope that they can provide better future for them. The way they were working or had been made to work in the sun made me sad. I knew it is hot here but had not experienced that up until this trip. All my previous trips were in the winter, so I did not feel the heat the way I did this time. Last night, as I made my way out of the airport facility to board a hotel bus, I felt I was going to suffocate. I was desperate for some cool air that was nowhere to be found until I got on the bus with an air conditioner running high.
It irks me so much so that many of these migrant workers have already lost their lives during the construction of stadiums for the World Cup 2022. It annoys me that our own government and their agents, who claim to be in that land to ensure these migrant workers their rights, have been ignoring their plight in the wake of the notable international media’s reporting on human rights violations and exploitation by the Qatari government.
Nepalese political parties have failed their citizens. Somebody has rightly said that people are inevitably going to perish without or lack of a vision. We have seen and undergone all political parties’ governance, and not any party has been able to cast a vision that sought to create an employment and utilizes the strong manpower for rebuilding the nation’s economy. Corruption, unemployment, failing education system and poverty are to blame for this ongoing suffering for our Nepalese migrant workers in Qatar. Instead, the Nepal government’s best interest still seems to be driving the Nepalese workforce as many as possible out of the country for the bulk of remittance they bring back to Nepal. It is a shame indeed.
I had never felt for these migrant workers before the way I did for them the other day. They have earned my respect not for how much they are making in a month but for how they are earning their bread here. While I was traveling back to the airport to board a flight to Nepal, I saw many migrant workers with work suit and yellow hats toiling in the sweltering heat where I felt I had no air to breathe just a few minutes ago. I felt deep down in my heart that I surely would not make it to Nepal if I were left there for 2-5 hours. I respect them for their resilience to the scorching heat. I respect them for their willingness to suffer for their family.