The Mysterious Case of Pushpa and others

Pushpa has been missing in Malaysia for the past 12 years. He left for Malaysia on December 12th, 2005, six months after his marriage to Goma. For three years, he called and assured her that he’d be back soon and suddenly one day, it stopped ringing. She has been trying his number since then, but it never goes through.  His friends tell her that he is dead but she refuses to believe.
“I’m here because of hope. If he’s still alive he will come back. I haven’t even remarried. What else can I do? ”
Pushpa is among the 2.2 million Nepalis working abroad especially in Malaysia and the Middle East.  Nepali Times estimates that three to four migrant workers return home in a coffin every day. While many more are never heard of again. According to the Pravasi Nepali Co-ordination Committee (PNCC), an organization of returnee migrant workers dedicated to protecting and promoting migrant workers’ rights, 122 missing cases were filed with them from 2013–2016. However, PNCC reiterates that most of the cases never even reach them.
The Mysterious Case of Pushpa and others is a story about the people who go missing and the families left behind in limbo.

Name:                                                    Pushpa Bahadur Thapa (Roshan)
Address:                                                Prakashpur, Sunsari
Desti­­nation Country:                     Malaysia
Abroad for:                                          14 years
Out of contact for:                          12 years
Last known information: On the telephone he had told his wife (Goma Thapa Karki) that he would be coming home and asked her to receive him in Kathmandu in a month. He didn’t stay in contact after that. Later it was found that he was working in Taman Sri Muda, Shah Alam, Selangor which was apparently a dangerous area. According to his friends who had gone to look for him, the boss told them that his room was open and all his stuff gone. It is rumoured that he was hit by a train; some even say he was murdered but none have proof. (Photo: His wife, Goma Thapa Karki)

Name:                                                    Sunita Shrestha
Address:                                                Inaruwa, Sunsari
Desti­­nation Country:                    Saudi Arabia
Abroad for:                                          12 years
Out of contact for:                           12 years
Last known information: Sunita had called home a month after she left and told her husband Anit Shrestha that she would be back in a year. She was sent illegally through India as women weren’t given employment permits back then. Other women from the village who had gone with her have come back since then but  she has been unreachable since then. (Photo: Her husband, Anit Shrestha)

Name:                                                    Shrawan Kumar Chaudhary
Address:                                                Ekamba, Itahari, Sunsari
Desti­­nation Country:                     Malaysia
Abroad for:                                          5 years
Out of contact for:                           4 years
Last known information: A friend from the same village who had come who had come back to Nepal, informed his wife, Kumari Devi Chaudhary that they had been jailed together in Immigration Detention Centre, Kuala Lumpur International Airport Sepang, Selangor, Malaysia  and he might still be there(Photo: His wife, Kumari Devi Chaudhary)

Name:                                                    Manoj Mahara

Address:                                                Bharampura, Mahottari

Destination Country:                     Saudi Arabia

Abroad for:                                          11 years

Out of contact for:                           9 years

Last known information: Manoj quit his job in Ansar Al Bena Est. For Gen. Const, Dammam,Saudi Arabia which made him illegal in the country and was jailed for a while. Upon release he visited a friend in the city and he was out of contact ever since he left the place. (Photo: His sons, Raj and Ravi Mahara)

Name:                                                    Ram Krishna Khatri
Address:                                                Kathajor, Ramechhap
Desti­­nation Country:                     Malaysia
Abroad for:                                           19 years
Out of contact for:                            18 and half years
Last known information: Ram’s cousin had met him in Malaysia and asked him if he wanted to send anything back home and his phone number as he was leaving for Nepal, he said he’d meet him later for those, but they did not end up meeting. The last letter he sent home was a few months before this incident, six months after leaving. (Photo: His mother, Sangita Khatri)

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