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Hope amid hopelessness: A case study on the impact of remittances in a Tarai village - Issue 2
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Ramaul, a sleepy village in Siraha with thatched huts, a makeshift mosque, a primary school and a large number of landless people from Dalit and Muslim communities some 20 years ago, is now an example of how lives can change without any notable intervention from state and non state actors. Md. Zabbar, an elder of the village recounts the days when their folks had to go to Punjab, Assam and Delhi in India as agricultural laborers to feed their families. Most of them were landless and the absentee landlords who
owned almost 90 percent of the farmland - bestowed upon them free of cost by different rulers - had little interest in promoting intensive agriculture which could have generated local employment for those
landless groups. The opening of overseas labor markets, particularly in Gulf countries and Malaysia, that would pave the way for seismic changes in socio-economic and political arrangement of this village community started in the early nineties and has grown exponentially in the last two decades. This settlement, which is part of Siraha Municipality, is now hardly a village by Nepali standards: Makan
(concrete houses), motorbikes, and mobile phones are almost a common man’s assets. Two big mosques, a Madarsa (Islamic school), a couple of private schools, three private health clinics, a few meat and liquor shops, more than a dozen “ready-made fancy goods shops” (clothing stores), and mobile phone and motorcycle repair centres cater to the needs of the new consumer class in the village. This case study tries to examine the impacts of remittance money on the social, economic and political life of this predominantly Dalit and Muslim settlement. This study relies heavily on narratives as told by the villagers themselves. A few national and district level studies– such as the Nepal Living Standard Survey and the Nepal Labor Force Survey - provide some insights into the process of evolution of a new socio economic order in Nepali society, including the impact of remittances. This case study is intended to complement
their findings by focusing on the political economy side of remittances. To avoid any direct references and its unforeseen consequences, all the names of the villagers used in this narrative have been changed and fictional names have been applied.
UNRCHCO ,   (2011 )
Type / Script:
Bulletin or Poster in English
Thematic Group:
 UNRCHCO (UNRCO) : UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator Office (UN Resident Coordinator Office)
01.01.00  -  Political Conditions, Institutions, Movements
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