Raj (who asked us to hide his real name) from Bhaktapur resigned from his job in Abu Dhabi in February because he was planning to go to Croatia. However, his company did not process his resignation on time, so he got stranded in Abu Dhabi without work.
After applying twice, he got his name on the Embassy of Nepal list for a chartered flight, behind 7,000 others. In June, he trusted a friend of a friend with 1,500 dirham (Rs48,000) to book his ticket. But the agent failed to get a ticket and did not return the money.
Running out of cash, Raj, 43, started doing odd jobs like painting and moving goods to cover his basic expenses. With the help of the NRNA he got hold of the agent, who provided a small space in a room that he shared with two others, sleeping on the floor. Then the owner of the room asked him to move out or pay rent.
While he struggles to return to Nepal, at home his family is also squeezed. Raj has a son, 13, who was studying in a private school. Without any earnings the boy will have to leave that school and move to a government one.