Hari Prasad Makhim
Hari Prasad Makhim
Qatar took our savior
Eleven years ago, the family decided that the father would travel to Qatar to work. - We did not have money to be able to send children to school or to buy food or to pay the rent, says the widow Bishnu Kumari Makhim. The job as a driver was intense. He drove workers to and from their homes and construction sites. One afternoon, the brakes of the bus suddenly stopped working and the collision was inevitable. - When I called him on the morning of the accident day, he said he was not feeling well. When I called a few hours later, he did not answer, the widow says.
Told to the journalistic platform Blankspot
When Hari Prasad Makhim went to Qatar as a migrant worker more than a decade ago, it wasn’t the first time he had gone abroad for work. He had already lived in Saudi Arabia to support his wife and two daughters.
“We couldn’t afford food, rent or to send our children to school, and the chances of getting a well-paid job in Nepal are slim, ” says Bishnu Kumari Makhim, the widow.
The job as a truck driver was intense and during more than a decade, he only came home twice and only stayed a few days to not miss out on too much income. But they spoke three, four times per week, the widow says.
“When he started sending home money we moved to Dharan in Sunsari, where the schools are better,” the widow says. “His earnings were just enough to make it work.”
As the daughters grew, the family needed more money. The last time Hari Prasad Makhim sent money home, $330, was three months before his death.
“He said he couldn’t send any more because living expenses and the different fees he had to pay the traffic police took a big portion out of his salary,” the widow says.
“When I called him in the morning of the day of the accident, he said he didn’t feel well,” the widow says. “I asked him to go to a hospital and get checked out. He agreed but when I called to check on him a few hours later, he did not answer. I called and called.”
It was November 15, 2020 and Bishnu Kumari Makhim did not yet know that her husband was dead.
Hari Prasad Makhim was a bus driver and drove workers from the camps to the construction sites and back, every day. He was on his way back around 4pm, ready to finish his shift and didn’t have to go back to work until 9am the following morning, when suddenly the brakes stopped working. The collision was unavoidable.
Ten days after the fatal accident, the widow and daughters traveled to Kathmandu to receive the body. They got Hari Prasad Makhim’s body but none of his belongings. And that’s when Bishnu Kumari Makhim broke down and became unconscious.
“It was just too much,” she says. “He had worked so far away, so hard and for such a long time, alone. Just to make ends meet, for me, for our children. After we got married he spent nearly all his time in Qatar.”
Because she didn’t know that there was possible compensation, Bishnu Kumari Makhim, contacted Nepali authorities. They were awarded $6,900 from his employer and an additional $5,753 from the Foreign Employment Board of Nepal. No insurance money.
“Qatar took our provider,” she says. “With him, we lost hope. We feel like fatherless children and our future is uncertain.”