The State of Nepal

I was chatting with P tonight on Skype. I feel like I’ve rarely had the chance to talk to him since he has been home because the electricity has been so sporadic. On Monday and Tuesday combined they only had 5 total hours of electricity and they only get water once every seven days.

He posted to facebook a cartoon from one of the Kathmandu newspapers. He says it pretty much sums up the current state of Nepal:

It says: "No petrol, no electricity, no jobs, no water, no security, no ministers... only a prime minister."

His grandfather kept holding the newspaper up to the webcam to explain the pictures repeating, “no anything, just prime minister!”

Its tough to be in Nepal. P said that during this visit his father has made it clear that he doesn’t want P to move back to Nepal, that the situation in the country has gotten so bad that he wants his son to stay in America and have the “American dream.” I understand he wants the best for his son– but if all the best and brightest leave, who will pick up the pieces of the broken country? It’s maddening and frustrating.

8 responses to “The State of Nepal

  1. yet_another_hindu_infidel

    The old development v/s security argument; one cannot exist without the other.

    The concept of “brain drain” comes much later. Phd’s don’t participate in politics in this part of the world.

  2. sad stuff. makes you realise why people want to get out and start life abroad

  3. Anyone who can get out of Nepal–will. It doesn’t only have to be the educated flock. A heck of a lot of people migrate to India/Middle East in search of menial jobs to keep their families alive/well fed/happy. The maid (also Nepali) who works in my house and goes to school gets paid Rs. 6000 INR + School Fees and Supplies, which is Rs. 9600 in Nepali currency (+ school fees and supplies). She gets paid more for being a domestic staff than she would for a lot of office jobs in Kathmandu (let alone smaller cities).
    I don’t see any members of my family ever moving back to Nepal because no one wants to deal with 12 hour power outtages and diesel shortages (in case you want to run the generator), lack of law and order, pollution etc. I just moved to India from Canada expecting it to be like Nepal, but I was very plesantly surprised to see it’s the total opposite. As long as I’m willing to pay for it, I have access to 24 hour electricity/clean water/car/no petrol shortages/wide roads etc (the basic things).

  4. Previous year, I had a big discussion with some Nepalese in Nepal about in general sending their children abroud and the consequences for the country. And one of my remarks was also that a big braindrain in finding place in Nepal.

    Their first comment was ok, maybe it’s not good on the long term. But on the short term it brings so much benefits not only for our children who will have a nice education and will be able to have a good life. But also for us, our children will have it much easier to support us financially and then we can have a ‘better’ life overhere. Another commented by remittances is an importance source of income for our country, if we don’t send our family members abroad anymore to study, to work…. this country will lose ‘wealth’.

    I was not fully agreeing with them, but I can understand their view. And if I was in their situation well, I also would want the best for my children.

  5. When my parents left Nepal 25 years ago, their family thought they were crazy for moving to a country no one had heard of. Now, pretty much all of their kids are hoping to get out (not everybody’s desperate, but they’ll certainly take their chance if they get it). No electricity, no water, study ages for exams and have them postponed indefinitely because of ongoing political turmoil (so you can’t graduate and look for a job or start the next stage of your life), plan a wedding (and we all know the astrological complexities in planning a Nepali wedding!!) and it all gets mucked up because of strikes and bandhs. And just the general insecurity and uncertainty…
    I was in Kathmandu in April 2006 when the king announced he was handing power back. There really was a sense of elation, and the atmosphere at some of the protests was electric. When I went back at the end of 2009, the mood seemed to have completely changed. People constantly talked about how worse it’s getting, and how they want to get out, or at least hope their kids can start a life abroad (and judging from what P says, this mood is continuing). I often heard the phrase, “This is no place to live for a human being”. Would love to hear more about how people who live in Nepal right now feel about this.

  6. There was an article on the BBC ( today about a group of Nepali singers that were supposed to perform for a program in England, and they disappeared from Heathrow Airport before the organizers had a chance to pick them up. This type of thing happens frequently enough– another descriptor about the “state of Nepal.”

    • actually there seems to have been some sorta communication issue and this happened. the actually returned and performed. they didnt have to they cudda gone missing. they were on valid visas and cud stay there for upto 6 months. But I see why people assumed that they were hiding illegally as alotta ppl do that.

  7. I recently saw on a Nepali newspaper that there are skill shortages in almost every sector of government services but the emigration trend continues. Sadly, people like me do everything we can to stay away. The problem is not going to go away anytime soon.

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