SURKHET, July 17

Lack of interest among the general public has marred the campaign launched to collect feedback on the draft constitution.

Amid complaints that time is not sufficient to give feedback, general public has shown little interest in the entire process, as interactions are being held only in urban areas, which are within the reach of leaders of political parties and cadres and the educated lot.

Prem Rawat from Dailekh Bishala lamented against the hurry that the political parties have shown to promulgate the constitution.

“Constitution is a serious affair and it naturally requires time if everybody were to be made part of it. I wonder what sort of constitution the leaders are going to give us with so little time for feedback collection,” said Rawat. “Only the clever and cunning people are involved in the (feedback) process,” he added.

Top Bahadur Adhikari of Birendranagar, Surkhet, said only a handful of people were being approached for feedback, while the marginalised people have been kept away from the entire process.

“The feedback process has become a mere formality. The interactions are being held at accessible places where only a handful of people have the reach,” he said. “For others, mostly the those from rural areas who cannot read and write, the feedback process means nothing. Their voices are never going to be heard, their concerns are never going to be addressed,” he added.

In Babiyachaur of Surkhet, a feedback collection programme is scheduled for Monday, but Betan VDC secretary Sharan Baduwal said he was doubtful about a good public turnout at the programme.

“As the programme venue is a day’s trek, who will bother to reach there just to give their suggestions; people are not even sure their suggestions will be taken,” wondered Baduwal.

Though the VDC secretaries have been entrusted with the job of collecting people for feedback, secretaries themselves doubt whether the feedback collection process will make any difference, as they themselves are not sure if they could reach the villages.

For the district, the government has sent 2,100 copies of the draft statute, 5,000 copies of Gorakhapatra in which the draft constitution was printed and 500 booklets with the main features of the constitution draft.

Many government office chiefs, political party leaders and VDC secretaries in the district headquarters have not got the draft yet.

Nawaraj Acharya, a government official, conceded that they were unable to send enough copies of draft constitution to every household and collect feedback due to the lack of the time and copies of the draft.

The district administration here, however, has informed that it has distributed 70 per cent of the draft copies it had received. “Whatever copies we have, we are distributing them,” said administrative officer Hit Prasad Poudel.