Lotteries cash in on festive spirit, ‘fleece’ locals to hilt

Kathmandu, October 27:

Tapping the occasion of Dashain and Tihar, many lottery programmes have been organised in the Kathmandu Valley, saying that these are “purely for entertainment purpose.” However, the government officials say such acts are meant to deceive people.

Many lottery programmes are being run in Ason, Indrachowk, New Road and other major junctions in the capital, luring people with brand new motorcycles, refrigerators, washing machines, cooking utensils, wrist watches and many more lavish gifts. The organisers say they have organised lotteries to entertain people.

However, the District Administration Office, Kathmandu, said people are being cheated in the name of lotteries and those involved in duping the public would be strictly dealt with the law. Contrary to what the administration observes, Birendra Prasad Giri, treasurer of Indrachowk Club which is running a lottery stall at Indrachowk, said they organise lotteries every year to keep people amused during the festivals. “The locals, too, pile pressure on us to organise such programmes,” he said.

Besides lotteries, Giri said they also organise some social activities such as installing decorating lights for Tihar festival at Indrachowk and blood donation programmes. “We do

this just to raise funds for social works.”

Sunil Amatya, member of Indrachowk club, said either the government should allocate budget

to perform social activities or they should be allowed to organise lottery programmes during festivals. The government should formulate clear policies so as to fulfil the criteria to organise

such programmes, he said.

Krishna Prasad Shahi, president of Dharmapath Club, echoed Giri and Amatya. He said they have organised a lottery programme to entertain local residents. “We have no intention of cheating the public and our lottery programme is fair. We organise the prize distribution programme in front of the public on the last day,” he said.

Asked if the had secured approval from the local administration to run lottery programme, he said, “Though I had visited the DAO, the officials did not respond well.”

However, Kathmandu CDO Dhruba Prasad Sharma said none of the organisers had met him and he was not going to let anyone organise such programmes that deceive innocent people.

“The home ministry has already prohibited gambling and cheating people in the name of such programmes. Therefore, we have deployed security personnel to check such activities.” Those found guilty would be punished as per the law, he added.