The Student Issue |


Manish Paudel

Days filled with bright dreams and eyes filled with whims; hands tougher, a heart so wise -from the sweat and pain I rise! I rise!

The construction of roads, bridges, buildings and houses —the city as a whole —cannot be imagined without the labourers who work through every season, night and day. Migrant labour comprises a large portion of the workforce in Nepal, especially in places like Kathmandu.

According to the Engineers Association of Nepal, most labourers to the Capital arrive from the Madhes, the Terai region that is home to a large Dalit community. They are paid minimum wage and placed in different locations as per need, often severing family and community ties. In this series, I look at their lives through the texture of their skin, the lines and the pores which speak of where they have been and the work they do.

Photography for me is more of a practical reality than a theoretical concern. In order to become a teacher, I too had to travel to Kathmandu several times to attend workshops and training classes as photography skills were not imparted in Birgunj, itself a bordering town with India which experienced civilian unrest because of a blockade a few years ago.


All images from the series Drudgery Nepal, 2017

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