Kathmandu, Aug. 12 -- Every few minutes, traders with goods on motorcycles line up on one bank of Kendra River in Tikapur to cross over to the other side. There is a shed nearby made up of wood and a tarpaulin that shelters them as they wait to be ferried across.

There was a rickety bridge nearby, but it was washed away by the monsoon, and the government has not kept its promise of building a new one. So, locals depend on a ferry service between Lalbojhi and Bhajani municipalities in Kailali Province in the western Tarai.

Manish Chaudhary, 26, has been operating the ferry that bridges the two villages for the past three years from 6AM to 8PM every day.

On a normal day, Chaudhary gets at least 150 passengers a day and earns up to Rs2,00...