Nirmala Rai, dressed in red T-shirt, hanging identity card in her neck and carrying a tray was so engrossed in serving the clients that she did not have time to talk to us. Actually, we reached to Kitchen Bar Restaurant of Dharan to meet her and talk with her about her job of a waiter. She greeted us and gestured to wait for a while. After accomplishing her job, she joined us and started conversing with us.
In a small village of Khotang district, her parents had a family of nine members including their five children. As the family was a bit large and the main source of income was merely a small farm, her family could not afford for her higher education following her obtention of School Leaving Certificate (SLC). Recalling old days, she says, “As we had a large family and meager source of income, it was very difficult to manage meals and household expenses. In such a context, managing expenses for higher study was impossible.” Her aspiration to be financially independent brought her to Dharan from Khotang in 2017. She did not face any problem in getting shelter in Dharan as her sister owned house there. Nevertheless, finding job in the city was not as easy as she had thought. She neither had academic degree nor occupational skills to be employed there. This fact used to keep her restless. Seeing waiters serving in restaurants, she used to get fascinated and wished to work like them. But thinking that it may be necessary to pursue hotel management study to become a waiter, she used to get discouraged. She smilingly says, “But Later I came to know that it is not the reality indeed.”
When she was in the search of suitable opportunity to be employed, she came to know of forthcoming training on Assistant Waiter in Dharan. The training was going to be conducted by Brilliant Manpower under SAMRIDDHI, a project of Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MoICS), funded by International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) and technically assisted by Helvetas Nepal. After being confirmed that the 65 days long training would not imply any cost, she applied for the training. “As the training was limited for 20 seats. I was apprehensive of not being selected” she further adds, “My happiness knew no bounds when I got notification of being selected for the training”. With diligence and enthusiasm, she learnt all skills related to the job of a waiter within the training period. This very fact made her confident of getting a job. Besides, she had also confidence on Brilliant Manpower Pvt. Ltd to be helpful in searching for a job for her. From one of her friends, she came to know that Kitchen Bar, a restaurant in Dharan was in need of waiters. She approached the restaurant with all pertinent documents. Nostalgically, she narrated her job interview, “They interviewed me. They asked me questions related to job of a waiter. As I have learnt all those things in the training, I easily answered. Then they asked me to join from the next day. They observed my work for a week and then handed an appointment letter and identity card.” She further added, “I am being paid 15,000 every month. I send the amount which gets spared from my own expenses to my parents. I feel fortunate to have got chance to be trained. Otherwise, I would have remained unemployed”.