Saptari Dalit community undecided who to vote for

RAJBIRAJ: With the provincial and parliamentary elections ahead, Khadak Municipality of Saptari district is having an exciting atmosphere and full of splendour.

Despite the hustle and bustle, the home of 65-year-old Brihaspati Sada of the municipality's ward no. 5 is far from any grace.

Last year, Sada lost his wife, also his son-in-law has been imprisoned for drug smuggling. He is now forced to work day and night in local farmers' land in order to earn living and feeding his grand children.

This winter, Sada has been living in a makeshift tent in lack of sufficient sum of money required to repair his damaged house. "If I repair my house, I could not get time to work and I have to feed my hungry children", poor Sada said.

He expressed his sorrow that he missed the opportunity available for Dalits under People's Home Programme, that helped rebuilding a few houses for some poor Dalits. Although, he is also the one reeling under the poverty, only the clever ones got their houses rebuilt on recommendation from leaders.

Sada's son-in-law Amit Sada of Bhadiya, Bishnupur in Siraha district, has no citizenship certificate. As a result, his children have been refused to get admission in local school. Likewise, 35 families in the settlement are reeling under the similar circumstances.

Dalits have lost faith in the leaders' promises made during the election, local Ramkumari Devi Sada said. "As the leaders view us just as vote bank and never fulfil the promises made, our community has not decided whom to vote, she added.

Brihaspati said that the leaders distributed only assurances and false promises to influence for the votes until then. He said, this time they would not let it happen.