Foreign jobs lifts Dalits out of poverty

 

Courtesy: Majestica

 

Only four years ago, Darji Pariyar lived with his family in a small hut and struggled a great deal just to make ends meet. The Pariyars life saw a turnaround only after Darji left for Qatar as a migrant worker and his hard earned money started reaching his home every month.

Talking to Republica, Darji´s wife Maankumari Pariyar said that sending her husband overseas by taking loans from a neighbor has proven to be the best decision they had ever taken. Today, they have a concrete house and their children leave for school every morning with their tummy full.

It´s not only the family of Darji but 12 other Dalit families in Beni-11 have benefited from foreign employment after one of the spouses went abroad for work.

Most Dalit families in Beni-11 have one or more family members in a Gulf country like Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Baharain as well as in Malaysia and India.

 "At least one member from each of the Dalit families today works overseas. The money sent by migrant workers has helped change the face of the village with drastic improvement in physical infrastructure,” said Kamala BK, a woman activist and a social worker.

According to BK, Pureen village alone receives Rs 1 million on average every month. “The money has also helped the villagers adopt a clean and hygienic lifestyle which they lacked before,” said BK.

The new source of income has also enabled them to spend on the education of their children. Today, most of the children from the Dalit families go to the same school as non-Dalits.

“Most of the dalit children today attend expensive schools and many go for higher education after passing out from school,” said coordinator of Myagdi Sewa Samaj Doha Qatar, Prem Rashaili.

In addition, the remittance money sent by migrant workers has brought lights to every household in Ruma VDC after the money was invested in a mini hydro project.

 “Not only they have brought electricity here but their remittances have also help build schools in various VDCs across the district,” said Kumar Bishwakarma, a former chief of Dalit Barga Utthan Sammanwaya Sammitti.

There are 7,000 Dalit families in Myagdi district. As per the record of the Department of Foreign Employment, 21,642 Dalit people from Myagdi have gone to India for work. Around Rs 4 billion of remittance money is collected in Myagdi every year.

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