#HamroNamaste campaign by Unilever Nepal, in partnership with UNICEF, urges people to come together & welcome back migrant workers in these challenging times.
Unilever Nepal in partnership with UNICEF has created the social initiative #HamroNamaste, a campaign with the mission to make people wake up to their humane side in their behavior towards their less-fortunate brothers and sisters, who are all coming back home to uncertain futures, unseen challenges, and hardships. The only hopes they have are their homes and the support of the people of their own country.
Almost one-third of Nepal’s GDP is contributed by the remittance money from the migrant workers who work majorly in the middle east and southeast Asian countries The fact is since the implementation of the global lockdown due to Covid-19, many Nepali migrant workers have either lost their jobs or have been put on unpaid leave while struggling to meet their daily needs. They want to come back home.
The number of Nepali citizens pursuing work abroad has steadily increased to 3.5 million between 2008 and 2017. This data discounts the millions working in India, and thanks to the open border neither side have any reliable data. In 2017 alone, Nepal received remittances worth NPR 699 billion (USD 6.56 billion) from its citizens working overseas.
It has been five months since the first positive Covid-19 case. Since then there has been a constant rise in different forms of stigmatization against recovered patients, their families, and health workers. But the most alarming accounts are of the returnee migrant workers and their family members. Rumors, propelled by less awareness, are fueling the stigma. This stigmatization will surely lead the returnees into states of depression, alcoholism, anti-social activities, and suicide if not treated and answered from the very beginning.
#HamroNamaste campaign found the support of Rajesh Hamal, the superstar of Nepal. He is the most recognized face who connects very well with the mass audience. The message of this campaign was formed as a poem. At its core was empathy – to remind every one of us that at this juncture when difficulties are a daily reality, we need to be together, act unitedly and welcome our own migrant brothers and sisters. It is our duty to give them support, encouragement, and boost their morale. They have boosted our economy with their hard work for decades, now it’s our time to support them.