Bhramarpura village has sent more men abroad for foreign labor than any other village in Mahottari district. This is significant because Mahottari district is the second largest source of migrant workers in Nepal. Bhramarpura could arguably have sent the most number of migrant workers of any village in Nepal. Due to labor migration, the demographics and lifestyle of this village has changed dramatically. On May 2016, The Guardian had published a news report titled, “Where the streets have no men: the Nepalese town where women hold sway“. It wrote the following:
Years of migration, fuelled by hope of providing a better life for their families, have drained Bhramarpura of working-age fathers, brothers and sons. Practically every household has at least one male family member working overseas, leaving boys and elderly men as the few remaining males in a town run by women.
On average, 1430 Nepalis leave the country daily for foreign labor, mostly for the Middle East region. They bring back highly valued foreign currency but what happens to those who choose to remain in the village? Some of the photographs below capture what an ordinary afternoon looks like in this village.
This work is part of a student media grant by the Center on Conflict and Development at Texas A&M University. I would like to thank The Center on Conflict and Development at Texas A&M University (ConDev, condev.org) for its funding and support. ConDev seeks to improve the effectiveness of development programs and policies for conflict-affected and fragile countries through multidisciplinary research, education and development extension.
I would also like to sincerely thank my friends Mohammed Reeyaz Safi and Rupesh Shah for extending their support during my field trip to Bhramarpura village.
All of the photos in this piece are original and have not been edited or enhanced before publication.
Puru Shah is the founder of Madhesi Youth. For Madhesi Youth, he primarily writes about human rights issues and articles with an emphasis on data analysis & data visualization. His goal is to promote justice, equality, sustainable development, and youth empowerment in Nepal.
Connect with Puru Shah on Twitter (@digitalsubway)