Rajesh Hamal, Nepal’s beloved actor and TV personality has a message for all of us – to welcome our fellow Nepalese, who are returning from abroad without stigma.

The social initiave, dubbed as #hamronamaste is an Unilever initiative in partnership with UNICEF. Rajesh Hamal, who has come aboard as its goodwill ambassador, urges everyone at home to welcome migrant returnees with ‘safe hands, a pure heart, and a warm namaste’. Mr. Hamal’s an iconic Nepali superstar is expected to add values of brotherhood, goodwill & togetherness to the campaign – crucial elements to help alleviate the asssociated stigma.

The health crisis imposed by the novel coronavirus has disrupted lives of people across the world. With lockdowns, semi-lockdowns, and other preventive measures in place, the global economy has taken a massive hit. Many migrant workers, mostly working in India, Malaysia and Gulf countries are finding themselves without a job, and either wish to, or have already made their way home. Those who have arrived are reportedly facing stigma, and are being socially ostracised by the community.

Therefore, Unilever, UNICEF and Rajesh Hamal joined hands – to help alleviate the stigma. Hamal, who shares a message of acceptance and positivity believes the time is to “practice physical distance, not social distance”.

Therefore, in a long video message, he urges all Nepalis to warmly welcome the returnees – keeping in mind the health crisis, we continue to maintain our physical distance, but remain connected socially. He tells all to greet the returnees in a traditional Nepali manner – with a warm Namaste (Nepali greeting with joined hands and a smile from a distance). He urges everyone to keep a pure heart, and at the same time, keep a safe physical distance with clean hands.