By Kinley Tshering
Twenty year old, scruffy looking Nikhil, his hair tied into a pony tail scurries with plates of shawarma at the Al-bake restaurant at the Community Center in New Friends Colony. Speaking fluent Hindi as he takes the orders, at a glance, he looks like any other waiter. A closer look however confirms that he is not an Indian.
Leaving back his ailing father at home, Nikhil immigrated from
Nikhil is not the only Nepali working at the restaurant. There are more than 12 others from across rural
“We employ those boys who are good at work. I pay them salaries according to their work. The more skilled they are, more they are paid,” says Sonu Aggarwal, owner of Brijwasi restaurant. “For those who are not skilled, we train them with a minimal salary. When they become skilled, we increase their salaries.”
Most of these Nepali waiters have one thing in common to say: that they came to
Dev Raj, 18, from Solokhombo village in
The porous border shared by
Kamal Thapa, another waiter at the Al-bake, says that they just pack their bags, board a train and travel to
Nepalis are not just working for others. There are quite a few of them who run their own small businesses as well. And that is exactly what Sher Singh Lama, 30, from Dhaling village in
“I used to work as a domestic help for more than 6 years. My employer had promised to send me to
Lama lives at Lajpat Nagar along with more than 50 other Nepalis in a building, fully occupied by them. All of them are into momo business and go as far as Khan Market and Nehru place, to sell momos.
Be it working as waiters or selling momos on the streets, the Nepali immigrants have a reason to be glad. “It is better to be here, working and earning rather than being at home jobless,” says Kamal Thapa.