"I now have only two options now, I have to become a criminal and survive or I have to commit suicide. I will choose whichever way is easier." This thought provoking revelation from a young man who had just been forced to return from his work abroad shocked many at a program organised recently in the capital. It brought pin-drop silence to the hall.
Some felt it was natural for someone who has seen his high hopes dashed to feel such anguish. He had to return home empty handed. Another participant highlighted the desperation of thinking about the loan repayments to prevent his house from being re-possessed.
As a result of the global financial crisis, there has been a rise in the number of workers in foreign employment returning home, where there are no jobs either. Existing industries are shutting down because of lack of security, conflict and the energy crisis. Investors complain that the government has done nothing to foster employment opportunities.
Every year 300,000-400,000 job seekers enter the Nepali workforce of 13 million. They are either underemployed or unemployed. There's more at stake than the monthly salary of a person. It's about the country's economic, social and cultural health overall. We cannot overlook the effect of employment on the psychology of individuals and their society. It is already late to start working on domestic employment generation.