Challenges and Opportunities of Nepali Migrants in India

Author Name

Dr. Savitree Thapa Gurung

Author Address

Associate Professor, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal


Nepali Migrants in India


It is said that the Nepali migrants in India are treated as a native Indian which seems there are lots of opportunities for Nepali migrants in India. The Nepali migrants have started to go to India long time back; in fact the migration of Nepalis to Indian army is the oldest of its kind. India is a key target for Nepali migrants as up to now.Through the collective history of labor migration from Nepal, a mass numbers of people started to migrate to India, where newly established tea states and the opening of land in Assam, Sikkim, and Nagaland had made work available. While British rule in India was encouraging such immigration, the government of Nepal faced a shortage of labor and initially attempted to discourage labors for seeking work abroad.  Such evidences indicate that India is being a home of Nepalese labor migrants as short distance, low cost travel and cheap labor. Not only as a labor migrants Nepalis are taken in Indian military from long time, so many of these military personnel have been established in India after the retirements. However most of the Nepali migrantsare temporary and unskillful. Their time goes for their hand to mouth problem so they cannot be engaged in any other activities in India. Lately,it is common for people from the lower middle classes, and especially those who have failed their School Leaving Certificate (SLC) exams, to consider going to the Gulf for work. People from poorer backgrounds are more likely to go to India because India is the nearest country and anyone can go by Bus or train no visa is required for Nepalis to go to India, so it is the easiest destination for Nepali migrants. The home districts of migrants to India are concentrated in the mid and far west of Nepal.There are many opportunities for Nepali migrants to India where as there are many challenges as well.  Most of the Nepali who work as lower-rung staff is seldom treated humanely. They are treated as 'Bahadurs' which is derogatory word because it means Nepalis are only fit asgate keepers. 


International Conference on "Global Migration: Rethinking Skills, Knowledge and Culture"
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