5,000 Nepalese and Indians Find Work in Bulgaria, Displacing Locals

Society | June 16, 2024, Sunday // 10:42|  views

@Nova TV

Over 5,000 Nepalese and Indians have secured employment contracts in Bulgaria, displacing Bulgarians and Ukrainians in various sectors.

Kiran Hadkale, a Nepali, has been working as a hygienist in Bulgaria for four months and has already grown fond of the country. His family, including his wife and two sons, remains in Nepal, and they communicate daily by phone. He hopes to bring them to Bulgaria in the future, but that is currently not possible. "The company has promised that after three years, I can return," Kiran said in front of Nova TV.

Kiran works at Nova TV responsible for maintaining cleanliness. His field manager, Katya Petrova, noted that he understands task instructions well, despite language barriers. Previously, Kiran's life in Nepal was very different; he worked as a teacher for children of all ages. Since the beginning of the year, Mihaela Manasieva, his current manager, has increasingly relied on workers from Nepal. "We have about 30 workers from Nepal and are expecting over 100 more. The local labor market has been tightening, leading us to seek foreign employees," she explained.

Manasieva emphasized that foreign workers are not cheap labor. They earn the minimum wage, but their living expenses, including accommodation and medical insurance, are covered. "Additional expenses make the overall cost higher, but we were left with no choice. Generally, a maximum of three people share a room, sometimes four if the room is larger, and they are separated by gender," she said.

Kiran, who also received the minimum wage in Nepal, which equals 236 BGN, manages to save despite the higher cost of living in Bulgaria. "The currency here is strong; one lev equals 72 Nepalese rupees. Whatever I save, I send back to Nepal. It’s a very small and poor country with limited job opportunities, which is why I came here," he explained.

Young Nepalese and Indians, typically between the ages of 20 and 30, are increasingly choosing Bulgaria, though the process is not easy. Business leaders are calling for simplified documentation procedures and the establishment of a Bulgarian consulate in Nepal. "Currently, they must go to India’s capital, which complicates and slows the process, taking up to six months to bring a worker to Bulgaria. We also offer courses in Bulgarian," said Slavi Slavev, head of a personnel selection company.

Some workers form personal connections as well. "They are very exotic and beautiful, and some fall in love with Bulgarian employees," revealed Manasieva. Kiran, too, mentioned his affection for Bulgarian women, describing them as romantic and admitting he has a lover.

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Tags: Bulgaria, Nepal, India, workers

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