Migration leaves Dailekh villages empty

By Kamal Sharma,Dailekh, June 12: Almost 40 families resided in Bhagwatimai Rural Municipality-2 a few years ago but at present, only seven families live in the village.

A total of 33 families have migrated to different places in the Tarai. They fled the village in search of jobs and other opportunities.

Khadak Sharma of Bhagwatimai Rural Municipality-2 said that most of the villagers left the village and went to Tarai. The deserted houses in the village are in ruins and the farming lands are left barren.

The trend of migrating towards the Tarai and other urban centres is on the rise in Bhagwatimai Rural Municipality of the district. Locals often go to Kalapahad (India) to work as migrant workers to support the family.

Khem Raj Thapa of Bhagwatimai Rural Municipality-4 said that the villages have become empty and youths have migrated for employment and search of better opportunities.

Ganesh Bahadur Thapa, Chairperson of the Bhagwatimai Rural Municipality, said that the rural municipality has launched various programmes to connect the youths to employment, but the citizens have not stopped migrating from the village.

Villages lacked infrastructures like roads, hospitals and good schools, but after the formation of the local government, many things have changed in the village but still, people are migrating at an alarming rate.

Kamal Adhikari, a teacher at Jwala Secondary School, said that although the local government is people-centric and has carried out various development projects, people are still migrating in search of better opportunities, and prospects of employment.

People from 11 local levels of the Dailekh district have started migrating to other districts and foreign countries as well. According to the District Agriculture Development Office, Dailekh, out of 43,121 hectares of cultivable land in Dailekh, 8,624 hectares of land is now left barren.

Jhalak Bhandari, an agricultural economist at the District Agricultural Development Office, said that although the Karnali Province government has adopted a policy of not leaving the land barren after people started migrating at an alarming rate, most of the arable land remained barren.

Locals expressed concern that the village’s culture is in jeopardy as a result of the migration of its inhabitants. Man Bahadur Budha, former ward chair of Bhagwatimai Rural Municipality-1, highlighted that the village’s cultural heritage has been eroded due to migration issues. He noted that the village boasts diverse cultural practices such as Dohori, Ratyauli, Garra, Singaru Dance, and Krishnashtami Mela, among others. But with more people deserting the villages, these cultures are in the verge of extinction.

The Rising Nepal

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