Feedback process focused on cities
NEPLAGUNJ, July 19
Neg Bahadur BK from Baijapur VDC-1, Banke, does not know what a draft statute is and its contents. He has just heard about the proposed draft constitution on the radio. “I have neither seen it nor has anybody come to my aid,” BK complained.
Despite the government publicity, copies of the proposed statute have not reached everyone’s hand.
Residents in the rural parts of the mid-west are yet to get copies of the draft statute.
Since majority of locals in rural areas do not have the draft, it will be asking too much of them to give feedback on issues related to the constitution.
Mina Malla from Naubasti of Banek has not seen the draft constitution yet.
There are nine VDCs across the Rapti River in Banke. Residents of these VDCs are completely deprived of the opportunity to give feedback. “Our centre is in Kohalpur. How can we cross the Rapti and go there?” asked Gopal Wali from Baijapur VDC-4.
Meanwhile, more than half-a-dozen conferences and discussion are being held in city areas on a daily basis for collection of feedback. Educated people and intellectuals are barred from participating in the programme. Only representatives from I/NGOs and parties show up at the interactions.
The situation in rural parts of Bardiya, Dang, Jumla, Kalikot and Dolpa is no different. Yubraj Shrestha from Guleriya of Bardiya complained that villagers did not know what the draft contained. “People have not seen the draft, let alone give suggestions,” Shrestha added.
Rights activists in the region have concluded that the government will not be able to collect real suggestions from rural parts.
Murari Kharel, regional director at National Human Rights Commission mid-western Office, said that people from rural areas were denied their right to give feedback.
Banke and Bardiya have four constituencies each.
A feedback centre has been set up in one constituency, that too is in the city area.
“Had a feedback collection centre been established at every VDC, people’s feedback could be collected”, Kharel added.