support to migrant workers
Although Karnali Province of Nepal has the least amount of population as compared to other provinces, it is not free from problems. Due to the lack of proper education and work opportunities, and also due to the slow recovery they went through due to the 2015 earthquake, youths of this province are forced to go to India in search of work. Prone to various fatal diseases like diarrhea, cholera, typhoid, pneumonia, and malnutrition, there is heavy interaction with the Indian border for working purposes.
Hence, the Karnali Region is very vulnerable to the COVID-19 crisis, but much more alarming than that, was the fact that majority of people living in this place depend upon day to day wages for their livelihood, making the fear of dying of hunger and thirst scarier than the COVID-19 itself. Hence, Metal for Nepal found it important that they get actively involved with the process of helping the people at Karnali province.
Despite being the biggest province of Nepal, Karnali Province shares its border only with China and not with India, hence a majority of people from this province depend upon India-Nepal border in Bardiya to enter India in search of employment at places like labor camps, factories, restaurants, and hotels. As per recent data from the Poverty Alleviation Fund, in a small district of Kalikot in Karnali Province, more than half of the district’s 23,000 households are dependent on income earned by their family members in India.(2020, April 10, The Kathmandu Post) And, due to the sudden lockdown, a lot of people who were forced to return home from India due to CoronaVirus had a difficult time to manage their day to day needs.
And due to the negligence of the government, people were deprived of food, water, and shelter in the border. Where we could see a lot of poor families with infants and elderly people being stranded and crippled with hunger, they had no place to sleep and there were no quarantine centers to help them with the COVID-19 problem. To help them with this cause Metal for Nepal partnered with Blink Now Foundation.
 (2020, April 10). Faced with a lack of cash and employment opportunity, Kalikot .... Retrieved August 1, 2020, from https://kathmandupost.com/karnali-province/2020/04/10/faced-with-a-lack-of-cash-and-employment-opportunity-kalikot-locals-who-returned-from-india-brace-for-an-uncertain-future
Blink Now has been working in rural Nepal for well over a decade now and their primary mission in this area is to empower children in rural Nepal by providing quality education and a safe environment to live in, but keeping the recent COVID-19 pandemic in mind they had shifted their primary goal to help the people who were affected by the pandemic. Due to the similarity we had in our goals and mission, we were able to create a partnership, and through this partnership, Metal for Nepal was able to extend its helping hands, by contributing to the cause of fortifying the safety of people living there, food supplies for the needy, and improvement of the quarantine centers.
The contribution made by Metal for Nepal included:
12000 units of bottled water
480 plates of a warm meal
1000 units of N95 masks
258 bottles of sanitizer
40 units of Mattresses for quarantine centers.
As it is famously said, “To fold the hands in prayer is well, to open them in charity is better”, our contribution made through Metal for Nepal was able to bring a huge impact in the lives of those who were suffering in the border. And even though there is still a lot to fix before things go back to normal, Metal for Nepal will try and help those in need in the border area as much as we can. Metal for Nepal would also like to express their gratitude towards Blink Now Foundation, without the help of which, this project would not have been possible.
- Aayush Subedi for Metal for Nepal, 8/1/2020