Image for representation.
KATHMANDU: Nearly 3,500 Nepalis stranded in Kuwait are waiting impatiently in their local shelters for their journey back home.
Nearly 3,500 Nepalis granted amnesty for overstay or staying there without documents are waiting to be repatriated from Kuwait.
With Kuwait’s attractive package to those repatriating from there, hundreds of Nepalis have reached at the government’s shelter seeking amnesty and facilitation to return home.
Although Nepal has imposed restrictions on international flights till May 15 and is planning to extend it much longer, Kuwait government has been requesting the embassy there to work for those wishing to repatriate.
The stranded migrant laborers can come back to Nepal only if Nepal government arranges for their quarantine and flight back home. Kuwait government is said to have offered a flight back for such stranded Nepalis.
According to Nepal’s Embassy in Kuwait, hundreds of Nepalis participated in the amnesty have reached the public grounds, schools, colleges and public seminar halls with their luggage ready for the return journey home.
According to Durga Prasad Bhandari, Nepal’s ambassador there, the Kuwait government has also offered to send stranded Nepalis back home free of cost and by its own civil airlines.
According to Ambassador Bhandari, 60 Nepali workers have been infected by the novel coronavirus in Kuwait so far.
However, the migrant laborers kept in the shelters complain that the shelters are not well managed.
Kuwait has been one of the prime destinations of Nepali workers in the Gulf region for the past several years. The country is currently employing approximately 80,000 to 85,000 Nepalis, 35.29 percent of which are domestic workers.
Kuwait has notified all Nepali migrant laborers to participate in the repatriation program between April 26-30. In these 4 days, more than 3000 Nepalis without passport there have got travel documents for the journey back home.
Kuwait government has arranged for the chartered plane to send the migrant labors back.
The returnees will get a chance to fly back home free of cost and they will be given chance to rejoin the work. The government has said that they shall be refrained from punishment if any.
The stranded Nepalis are requesting to make room for the flight back home as the life in a shelter is not much good.
The officials at the Ministry of Labor here say that only half of the expected numbers have participated in seeking amnesty. The Ministry had expected about 7000 migrant laborers to apply for the amnesty and seek a return.
“We have started preparation. We are working on how to arrange for the travel back here and later to their home,” an official at the Ministry of Labor said, “ as Kuwait has promised to arrange for the return ticket, we have to arrange for the quarantine here.”
According to sources, Nepal has been requesting the Kuwait government to arrange for their quarantine in Kuwait for some more time.