The Himalayan Times, September 28, 2020
Despite the fear of COVID-19 pandemic, 22,000 Nepalis have left for India via Nepalgunj border point for work.
Nepali nationals lining up to enter the Indian side of the border at Nepagunj’s Jamunaha border point; on Sunday; September 27; 2020. Photo: THT
SI Bishnu Giri at Jamunaha Area Police Office, Nepalgunj, said around 22,000 Nepalis had gone to India through Nepalgunj border point in the last four weeks. Nepalis left for India saying the prolonged lockdown and COVID-19 fear had made it difficult for them to sustain their livelihood.
These migrant workers, who had returned home after the lockdown started.
According to SI Giri, a total of 76,048 migrant workers had returned to Nepal via the Nepalgunj border point till September 15. Around 40,000 Indian nationals returned home during the same time via the border point.
Giri said that Nepalis holding ration cards had started going back to India. “Nepalis having a hard time making ends meet during the lockdown have started going back to India,” added Giri.
Giri said they had been allowed to enter and exit the country via the border for treatment, medicine procurement and for meeting patients.
“We have allowed people’s movement on the Nepal-India border on the basis of recommendation letter and identity card,” said Giri.
After Indian security personnel tightened the entry of Nepalis at the Nepalgunj border point, many people without Indian identity cards started going to India via Kailali’s Trinagar border point. People from Dang, Banke, Bardiya, Jajarkot, Surkhet, Dailekh, Jumla, Salyan, Rukum and Kalikot go to India for work.