In the towns across the border in Uttar Pradesh too, several Chinese teaching centres have come up — especially in the marketplaces selling Chinese goods.
An Indian intelligence official said though these centres are not as organised and cash-rich as the ones run by the Chinese Study Centre across the Bihar border, they are also regularly visited by Chinese volunteers.
Since learning Chinese is an opportunity for the youth in Nepal to cash in on the economic boom in China, a large number of students are flocking to these make-shift centres in schools, colleges and even in busy commercial complexes.
YB Raisailey, 71, a retired teacher who runs a centre in Bhairahwa, said: “The centres have been opened under an agreement between Nepal and China. All of them are registered with the government and we are not indulging in anti-Indian activity.”
He said, “Nepal is a landlocked country and has few jobs for the youth. A large number of Chinese visit Nepal each year, especially Buddha’s birthplace Lumbini. So, knowing Chinese helps one get the job of a guide.”
President of Nepal-China Friendship Society Narayan Sapkota said even in the US, those who know Chinese get higher salaries, as Chinese is becoming a global language.
Narayan Prasad Chapagain, who runs a centre in Butwal, said, “We charge around 10,000 Nepalese rupees from each student. The Chinese volunteers from Beijing are hired for six months to teach the students.”