Social Sciences and Humanity Studies Academic Blog

MIGRATION AND FINANCIAL SECURITY

Posted in My life by Shekhar on March 3, 2013

 Migration for foreign employment has been the most reliable source of financial security for households of Nangi village however instead of investing the remitted income from migrants into the local income generating activities; it has been invested further in migration of youth and consumption behavior. The source of credit or loans still remains the informal sector i.e. relatives and neighbors or retirees or ex-Indian and ex-British army who have handsome income from pension and their access to banks is still a far cry.    

– Shekhar KC, kushekharkc@gmail.com, Nepal

 

Migration for foreign employment and the considerable increase in the remitted income have diverse impact on the financial security of the household in Nangi Village of Myagdi District. Financial security here has been understood as the household capacity to have access to credits, enhance savings and investments along with capacity to spend for basic needs including education and health facilities.

In Nepal, Only 26 percent of households have a bank account, and 45 percent of these households prefer to save at home—while 53 percent prefer to borrow from the informal sector. About 38 percent of Nepalese households already have loan from the informal sector, 16 percent from both the informal and formal sector, and 15 percent from only the formal sector (that is, a bank, finance company, financial NGO or cooperative, or microfinance or rural regional development bank).

Access to credit and Repayment

Villagers were found to have access to banks, local cooperatives and self-help groups, close neighbors and relatives for credits depending upon which country their family members have migrated in past or present. Migrants of British and Indian security forces were found to have handsome savings, access to bank in nearby cities like Pokhara and Beni while migrants of gulf countries like Baharain, Dubai, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia were though found to have good remitted income but their access to limited to informal sector like close relatives or neighbors and local cooperatives.

Some villagers shared their Past history of taking loan and paying in time. A local woman Maya Purja, 29 took loan to send her husband abroad for foreign labor and was able to repay within in a year. She also saves her local income as well as remitted income monthly in a local cooperative.  A local woman Dil Kumari Purja took loan from her neighbor who had income source from pension.

Source of money for villagers are forest committee, VDC (for toilet construction), Aama samuha and Baa Samuha. Till now migrants family have no need to take loan from formal sector like bank and cooperatives as they were receiving sufficient remittance to fulfill their basic consumption. However according to one local women of Nangi Kesh Maya Garbujha, she had to apply for loan the local cooperative in low interest and start her local shop.

Most of them have history of loan in the past where they paid in time. Most of the migrant’s families were not having any experience of not being able to pay loan in time. And they didn’t have to sell or mortgage their land to issue or repay loan. Most of the migrant’s families who took loan to send their husband and children abroad took nearly 1 year to repay the loan.

Investment and Savings

Migration has given safe way-out to sustain the livelihood for women, break the financial dependency over the husband’s income to live in the family and start their own local income generating business through savings and investment.  After working in gulf countries for more than 8 years and through handsome savings, Budhimaya Khoraja, 45 of Nangi feels her life secured though she is living as a single woman. Budhimaya Khoraja who had been left by her husband and her subsequent married life were rough, denies marrying any man. She says, “I’m now independent, empowered and I’ll not marry again, not even the residence permit holder British army serviceman.”[1] This suggests that financial security triumphs all other shortcomings of life and migration or foreign employment has become a central factor in this case.

Migration for foreign employment and the savings from remitted income has enhanced people’s entrepreneurial skills at local level. Laxman Pun, 37 of Nangi who used to earn Rs 200 through local labor works (constructing houses, making mud mortar, working in stone quarry etc) before going to Malaysia in search of employment has raised his financial status to relatively higher level. Currently, Laxman Pun has his own Poultry farm which now holds 1200 chicken, four horses and produces 28 crates of eggs daily. This suggests that financial security has become the major objective of migration for some in the Nangi. People even receive interest from their savings. A local health volunteer of Nangi, Ram Maya Pun saves her money in local agriculture saving and cooperative, and similarly she prefer to invest in local income generating group (Aya arjan samuha). Some have even saved in Banks of Pokhara but that again depends upon the destination countries of their husbands or sons.

Villagers have their savings deposited in different places depending upon their access and their capability. The countries their husband or son has migrated play a very key role.

Financial Assets

In the form of assets, people own their house, lands, pension, savings in the local cooperative and self-help groups as well as investment in local business. These assets depend upon the destination countries where they or their family members had migrated. Migrants in foreign security forces like British and Indian army have handsome savings, enjoy good health facilities and can invest in other income generating activities while households of migrants from gulf countries enjoy relatively low savings and low investment because the remitted income are sufficient to hold daily consumption items and education fees of their children.

Due to migration, some were even able to expand their property outside the village as well. Amar Bahadur Pun of Nangi has invested his pension and remittance income on land in Pokhara. Similarly, Ram Maya Pun of Nangi has invested remittance in her own shop, and holds a bank savings with low rate of interest.

Income and Expenditure

Foreign employment is perceived as the most reliable income sources for the households. Those remitted income are necessary to meet household expenses, children education and even do business at local or regional level. The same money is used to send other people abroad for foreign employment. So one’s income for abroad employment is benefitting other.

Expenditure pattern differ according to migrants. Ex-British or Indian migrants enjoy luxurious life and sit idle while migrants of gulf countries are proactive in local income generating activities. This different rest on the income and savings these migrants family have. Retirees of British and Indian security forces were found to have handsome savings, so they were indifferent towards hardworking and more inclined towards drinking habit (Local Jhoikhatte).

The culture and tradition of the local people and their approach to sustain the agricultural production in the village was found spectacular. The tradition of Parma can be seen as the safe way out for villagers who might not have money to spent on agriculture labor but can invest their labor in others field in exchange of their labor. That has controlled monetary flow but enhanced productivity in the village that benefits all. That is partly attributed to social bonds, kingship and community feelings.

Remitted Income is seen higher among migrants who are in Indian or British security forces or retired from such services and enjoying pension. Migrants in gulf countries like Malaysia and

Most of the remitted income is spent on household consumption and most households don’t have any savings. All migrants’ families were dependent on remittance and there were no other sources of income. Employment in foreign security forces is seen to provide financial security for the old age people through provision of pension. Many women in the village considered pension as the reliable source of income and those who didn’t have any such sources regret for not having their family members access to pension.

One local villager and ex-Indian Army Amar Bahadur Pun, 67 feels financially secured after sending his son to Japan in two ways. First his pension provision has facilities him to show bank balance and send his son safely to abroad.

Secondly his son is sustaining himself in abroad due to which Amar Bahadur doesn’t have to take financial burden of his son’s education. Otherwise his friends in the village whose sons are studying in the village are finding hard to fulfill education cost which Amar Bahadur doesn’t have to.

Appendix: Questions

  1. 1.      Migration and Financial Security

Family income and its major sources

1.1.   Expenditure patterns

1.1.1.      food

1.1.2.      Non-food expenses

  1. Income Sources

2.1.   Agricultural

2.2.   Non Agricultural

2.3.   Remittances

2.4.   What are the income sources

2.4.1.      Agriculture

2.4.2.      Non-agricultural sector

2.4.3.      Remittances

4.6 How much income do you earn from farming?

Rice _______ Maize______ Wheat Vegetable _______ Fruit________

2.5.   Does the family have access to cooperatives or banks or any financial group or institutions?

2.6.   Do any of your family members have returns on savings or investments?

2.7.   Do any of your family members have life insurance?

2.8.   Do any of you family member receive pensions or any government payments? How much per year (Rs/year)

2.9.   Do you have debt? For how many year? How much?

2.9.1.      years——–

2.9.2.      amount———-

2.10.                    Have you experiences any financial crunch or shock in past five year? How many times?

2.11.                    Do you have remittances as a source of income ?

2.12.                    What is the status of remittance remitted by migrants?

2.13.                    What is remitted amount usually used for?

2.14.                    Has the food consumption habit changed before and after migration? Increased consumption of Nutritious food (Change in fooding habit/ what do they consume now and what they used to consume earlier?)

2.15.                    Do people invest remittance in agriculture improvement or businesses investment?

2.16.                    Do people save remitted income?

2.16.1.1.        (If yes) On what type of business do people invested remitted income in?

Appendix 2: Research Participants

FGD 1:

Date: January 20, 2012

Location: Mandali, Nangi

Participants

Respondents

Gender

Age

Address

Migrants relation

Destination

Type of work

Tiki Maya Tiluja

Female

47

Nangi-1

Son

Korea since 8 month

Wielding

Khim Maya Sherpanja

Female

38

Nangi-1

Husband

Saudi Arab since 2 years

Wielding

Kesh Maya Gorbuja

Female

38

Nangi-2

Husband

Dubai

Labor

Dil Maya Tiluza

Female

50

Nangi-2

Husband and son

Labor

Aimati Pun

Female

52

Nangi-1

2 sons

Honkong (since 4 years) and Saudi Arab (since 2 years)

Labor

Dil Bahadur Tiliza, Former ward Chairman, Ex-Indian army

Male

50

Nangi-1

Son

Japan since 3 year

Student in self-financed

FGD 2

Date: January 20, 2013

Location: HSHS computer lab, Nangi

FGD Participants

Respondents

Gender

Age

Address

Migrants relation

Destination

Type of work

Ram Maya Pun, community lodge committee members

Female

36 years

Nangi-1

Husband of under sic

Dubai since 2 years

Store keeper

Sukh Maya Pun, ban samiti, yak committee

Female

38

Nangi-2

Husband

Malaysia since 11 years

Amar Bahadur Pun, former ward chair, school management committee

male

67

Nangi-2

4 sons, Indian army, France as a student visa study French language

France

Labor

Maya Purja

Female

29

Nangi-2

Husband since  years

Qatar, Malaysia, Dubai

construction

Om Kumari Pun

Female

Thirty two

Nangi-1

Husband

Qatar since 2 years

Labor

Mr Kisan Pun, teacher

male

40

Nangi-1

Brothers, sisters, mother

UK

FGD 3

Date: January 24, 2013

Location: Ramche, Deurali lower Secondary School (DLSS), Myagdi

FGD Participants

1. Abir Pun, 31 years, Ramche-8, Kafaldada, (DLSS) English teacher since 2059 BS, Married: 9847702319

2. Neelam Purja, 21 years, Ramche-3, (DLSS) Teaching all subjects since last 2 years, Single: 9846381982

3. Devi Garbuja, 33 years, Ramche-3, (DLSS)Teaching all subjects since last 8 years, Single: 9847642462

4. Mr Umesh Garbuja, 23 years, Ramche-4, (DLSS) Teaching all kind of subjects since last 4 years, Single: 9847723663

 

INTERVIEW LIST

1)      Mrs Ram Maya Pun, 36, Community health worker,

2)      Mrs Dilmaya Pun, Community Health Worker, Ramche (9847758193)

3)      Ms Ganga Purja, Home stay owner, Ramche

4)      Mr Vyas Khas Bahadur Gorbuja, Chairman of School running committee

5)      Laxman Pun, 37 years, Poultry Farm owner, Nangi ( taken on January 24, 2013)

6)      Budhimaya Khoraja, 45 yrs, Ramche-1, (taken on January 24, 2013)

7)      Mr Mati Bahadur Pun,  (Nursery Baaje)

8)      Mr Kisan Pun, 40, English teacher, HSHS, Nangi

9)      Mr Om Prasad Pun, 60, ex-Indian Army officer, Bhanda, Nangi

10)  Mr Raman Pun, Principal, HSHS, Nangi, (taken on January 19, 2013)

11)  Mr Kisan Pun, English Teacher at HSHS, Nangi,(taken on January 19, 2013

12)  Mr Jhaman Thapa, Nangi, (taken on January 19, 2013


[1] Based on the interview with Mati Bahadur Pun (Nursery Baaje) on January 24, 2013 in Nangi.

One Response

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