KATHMANDU: Listening to the news and seminar findings on ‘enhancing productivity, safety, and dignity in foreign employment’ like anyone aspiring to cash the dreams with the optimum utilization of their skill and strength Prabesh Kumar Tamang came to Kathmandu a few months back.
When he left Sankhuwasabha, his hometown, and came to Kathmandu he had thought that provided he served his best talent outside the country, he could easily double his present earning. He had made up his mind for foreign employment in Malaysia.
After coming to Kathmandu, he along with his five friends reached Sealing Manpower (now shut down) and handed over their money to the manpower company. He had pawned his land and belongings to get some loan.
Though he is sent to Malaysia, he has not got the promised job there.
With the bundles of sorrow, his brother is facing in the foreign land, his brother Prem Kumar reached the Department of Foreign Employment.
“My brother is in Malaysia sans job for more than 3 months,” Prem Kumar said to Khabarhub, “I have come to Kathmandu all the way from Sankhuwasabha with a hope of getting justice, hope the government will do something.”
With their entry in Malaysia, Prabesh along with his friends were made to pay 170 thousand rupees to the manpower company.
“We’re told that we would get more than 22 hundred ringgit per month, and trusting the manpower we gave the money to the manpower,” he said, “but, to my surprise, I came to know that the company in Malaysia asked my brother for 100 thousand more once he reached Malaysia.”
After knowing that his brother was unemployed and the Malaysian company asked for 100 thousand more, Prem phoned to Hira Basnet of Nepali Manpower Company. “I phoned at manpower to get details,” he said sadly, “and the phone was not received at first, later I came to know that the manpower company had fled.”
The owner of the manpower company had collected 1.02 million from his brother and his brother’s friends, but the youths remained sans job there as well.
The government has made the provision of providing Free Visa, Free Ticket for Nepali migrant laborers willing to work in Malaysia. However, the people involved in the field regard the provision of impractical propaganda. Most of the youths who had been there are yet to entertain the facility. In other words, the provision is confined in words.
Free visa, Free tickets only in words
People are found sharing the brochures and leaflets with the tempting promises of Free Visa, Free Ticket in every nooks and corner of the town.
Many youths are easily swayed away by such catchy slogans. The complaints at the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE) reveal that unless such youths fall prey to the frauds, they hardly realize they could be cheated as well.
On many occasions some of the manpower companies make the applicant permit the video filming that they have not paid any money to the manpower company. Ram Sharan Pokharel – Kapan was there in the foreign employment department with the same complaint a few days before.
Pokharel, who had been making his living in driving in Kathmandu, went to Namaste Nepal manpower to wondering whether he could seek his future in UAE in a similar job.
The manpower company had promised him ‘Free Visa, Free Ticket’ in the beginning.
“I had already paid 20 thousand rupees and I agree we should pay a little,” Pokharel told speaking to Khabarhub, “but, how can one pay 200 thousand rupees when the documents say “Free Visa, Free Ticket.”
“First they made me say in a video that I had not paid a single penny,” he recalled his conversation with the owner of the manpower, “but, after recording the video it asked for 170 thousand rupees extra.”
When the promised day for the flight came, the company refused to give them the document unless they paid. “ When we have the flight of tomorrow, they gave us the deadline of yesterday and threatened not to let us go unless we paid them the extra money,” he explained the cause of being in the Department, “So, I have come here to file a complaint against the fraud manpower.”’
The Dept. says won’t spare the frauds
Blindfolded by the high promises in the foreign employment, aspiring youths hardly go skeptic about the chances of being the victim of Manpower Company’s deception.
Surprisingly, the Department claims the number of complaints of fraud and deception is declining.
“After the provision of Free Visa, Free Ticket is enforced, the instances of frauds are getting less,” Bhola Nath Guragain, the information official at the DoFE claimed, “The Department has been vigilant against the manpower violating the standards.”
He shared that the Department had marauded 4 manpower companies last month. “We went to monitor whether the companies were working well, out of 4 companies monitored last month all 4 were found working irrespective of new provisions,” he said to Khabarhub, “we took action against them, and we take action on the basis of complaints as well.”
Promises of better employment a noose for aspiring youths
Every day, dozens of fraud victims visit DoFE seeking the help of the government authority in getting their money back.
Most of the complainants at DoFE are the youths deceived by the manpower and their agents and those who have not got the promised salary.
According to the DoFE record, 769 people had lodged the complaints claiming 96.45 million rupees back in FY 2018/19.
The complainants increased to 1263 in FY 2019/20 and the claimed amount by the victims reached 290 million.
The first six months of the current fiscal year indicate the number still going high as in the first 6 months of the year the number of complainants has reached 748 and the amount sought by them in compensation has reached 174 million rupees.
Ironically, the DoFE claims that new provisions have been working well are mocked by the statistics provided by the Department itself.