Tough Journey Home by Nitu Ghale

Photo: Shankhalal Ghising

TOUGH JOURNEY HOME: Shankhalal Ghising, 24 from Sindhuli ended his two-year contract in Dubai in March. He was on an expired visa and he wanted to fly back to Nepal right away, but could not due to COVID-19 lockdown. “Once the time on your visa runs out, you have to pay a fine to remain, so I paid Rs 28,500.”

Ghising says the Nepal Embassy in Dubai did not respond to his call for help. “I must have made around 300 calls before they finally answered,” he says. “The Embassy and the Non-Resident Nepali Association only help the people they know or the people with money.” When he discovered that Nepal Airlines was flying to Nepal, he put his name on the list. “I was 1000th out of 2,700 Nepalis on the list in Dubai, and the list was growing,” he says. Ghising paid Rs 32,000 for a return ticket home.

Ghising considers himself lucky to have made it back. He says that some of his Nepali colleagues have had to pay up to Rs. 48,500. When he arrived he was taken directly to a quarantine facility in Sindhuli where he was given a PCR test. He left the quarantine 19 days later he got his test results back and was negative. “I never want to go abroad again, says Ghising, “It is like a war out there.”

Text: Nitu Ghale @eastern_keen
Photos: Shankhalal Ghising
Edit: Mallika Aryal @mikaness

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