In the 1990’s, tens of thousands of ethnic Nepalis living in Bhutan were stripped of their Bhutanese citizenship. Born and brought up in Bhutan, they were ruthlessly expelled by the government, compelled to live in a wasted no-man’s land, in seven crowded refugee camps on the outskirts of Nepal.Difficult as their situation has been, the one silver lining has been the offer of the United States to resettle up to 60,000 of the 106,000 refugees. About 8,000 of them have arrived in the US and will be given government assistance to settle down. I checked out a Little Bhutan which is beginning to bloom in the Bronx.
As a writer, I often wonder what happens to the people one reports on. How do their stories pan out? Do they find happiness and their way in the world? Recently I had written about the influx of Bhutanese refugees into the US, spotlighting their lives in New York. I’m happy to provide a follow up and a happily ever after – several non-profit organizations have got involved in helping the newcomers get a foothold in America.