The country has seen enough of bandhs which have caused immense hardships to the common people. Educational institutes and industries, among others, are adversely affected by the bandhs not to talk about the disruptions caused to day-to-day life. There was an understanding reached some time back that the political parties would not resort to bandhs, but this has been ignored. Bandhs do not serve the interest of the people, and if the aggrieved parties have any grouses they should sit down for talks. All outstanding issues can be resolved for most part by these, yet the political parties call bandhs to fulfill their vested interests, and probably for a show of strength. Now, with the statute-promulgation deadline fast approaching, a three-day bandh had been called by a political party represented in the government, but under pressure it has withdrawn it. The bandh organizers’ objective was to push their demands in such a manner that the constitution writing process would be adversely affected through coercion. Again, malintention of the party concerned is more than plain.
Although this bandh, partially effected, has affected life in the capital city sparingly it is reported that long distance buses did not operate Sunday, and thousands of passengers were stranded throughout the country. The bandhs affected many parts of the country. The people are tired of bandhs and these seem to be announced at the slightest excuse most of which are unjustifiable. The most effective way for the people to deal with the bandhs should be for them to continue their daily live ignoring the call for the bandhs by defying them. The bandh organizers should realize the great harm they are doing and be more responsible. That an incumbent minister too called bandhs is extreme irresponsible behaviour. The bandh created problems for the people.
Since the deadline for writing the constitution is fast approaching, and there is no time to lose, the minister in question went ahead with his plans to hold the bandhs. If a sitting minister does this, it would only encourage other people who too do not wish to see the constitution writing task achieved to also opt for bandhs and other violent forms of protests. Nepal is now a democracy and every citizen has the right to protest injustices. But, they should do so in a peaceful manner and not by holding bandhs which often turn ugly causing damage to life and property. Every day of bandh causes loss to the country to the tune of millions of rupees. Besides this, the bandhs convey a negative image about the country in the international arena. This is also one of the reasons why bandhs should be banned for it would only take the country backward. The thing that people desire most is peace. The people have seen enough of conflicts and they have suffered during the decade-long conflict. The demands, if genuine, should be put forth in a peaceful manner and violence should be renounced. Let us hope that no more bandhs will be held and that the leaders of the political parties will see reason. Let us get the constitution writing task consummated without disruption and distraction.
Getting the children to public schools seems to be taken up seriously by the government. The drive in this direction is a regular feature of the Department of Education. This year the drive has been initiated the other day. The aim is to enroll some 6.7 million children in schools. The figure for a two-week campaign may look ambitious, but it is not impossible. The trouble to make the parents to agree to send their children to schools is the biggest hurdle. The parents who seem most reluctant to send their wards to school are the ones in grinding poverty, and the children for them are like extra hands to do the household or other chores when the parents are tied up with income-generating activities. Such a tendency costs the education of the children dear, so the enrollment drive is stressed.
More than enrolment, the biggest problem is retaining the children all the way at least to Class 10. There are various reasons why the children drop out of school before they complete class 10. The government has to focus not only on the enrolment of children of school-going age, but also see that they complete their school studies, for which incentives ought to be devised.