Jhapa folks desperately wait to see how committed leaders would address their problems
JHAPA: When monsoon arrives, hearts of people in settlements on the banks of Ratuwa River in Jhapa start pounding. They panic while the rains give them sleepless nights. This problem is not new, but the one which the people here have been going through since years. The river which is subsided these days turns violent in the rainy season, enters the human settlements and drives the people away from their home.
Locals wish to see the construction of embankment to it. But when? They do not know. They are disappointed to see political parties and leaders raising their issue just as an election agenda, but never living up to their promises to do something to control the river that displaces a large score of people every year.
They feel more pain as they come to realise that political leaders whom they send to Kathamandu so far with the expectations they (leaders) would do something in respect to their ballots to address their problem just played with their sentiments and cheated on them. Their high sounding words heard in every election campaign were just for garnering votes.
"It has been over a decade since a popular figure in the national politics promised to take measures to control the flooding from the river, but he never realised the need to live up to his promise," 46 year-old Anil Rasaili, of Kamal Rural Municipality who runs a shop near a highway was expressing his grudges. "Our problem is as it is."
The people here are fed up with all political parties and their leaders. The unemployment problem is highly prevalence in the settlements, pushing some youths to drugs abuse. Political leaders just give them false assurances, they never think it necessary to take initiations to establish industry and create employment opportunities for them.
Saraswoti Giri supporting Rasaili's statement said, "Leaders never talk about small thing. They talk about the development of nation, but forget their roots after the election."
Giri has complains over journalists as well. She expressed her discontent over journalists failing to expose their issues to public/media. People of villages that lie to the north of the East-West Highway in Jhapa are living with a pile of problems, but none is there to hear them, and realise their situation.
Jhapa ahead for laying of foundation taken as development
Raj Kumar Halawai who runs a tea shop in the Kamal Rural Municipality viewed that Jhapa would probably forefront in terms of development provided that laying a foundation is considered to be development.
They are surprised to see and hear tactics of leaders of left and democratic alliances to woo the voters. The leaders who are frequently seen in their localities with 'false' promises of better life for them before and during the election, oversee their issues once the election is over, this is what people feel here. People here who do not know any political ism and are engaged in politics are gripped by day to day problems.
Senior citizen Bed Kumari Ghimire of Chandragadhi, Jhapa shared with the Rastriya Samachar Samiti that this time she had decided to vote for a leader who was literally committed to addressing her problem she had been facing every day for many years.
"A flock of wild elephant passes through my house yard early in the morning. I cannot go down to the ground floor before 6:00 am, sometimes, I have to cry for help from security personnel, they sound the siren to chase wild animals away. But our leaders never talk about such problem we are facing every day."
Ramji Dahal of Birtamod sharing about problems of his town said," Condition of roadways is very poor. Roads which are being used by big political leaders for election publicity campaign are badly damaged. It may not be a real problem for visitors (like political leaders) but is a major issue for the locals.
Likewise, inundation is another problem of the people of Birtamod. Not only geographical location (low land) is responsible for this problem, but haphazard land plotting done by land mafia has fueled the problem. Flooding from the Biring, Aduwa, Kankaimai and Ninda Rivers displace many people here, rendering them homeless.
Youth leader Bishwa Prakash Sharma, Krishna Prasad Sitaula, CPN-UML chair and former prime minister KP Sharma Oli, CPN Maoist Center leader Ram Karki, RPP leader Rajendra Lingden are in the election fray for the federal parliament from the district, but we have to wait to see how they will address issues/problems of people.
The second phase of the election to the House of Representatives and State Assemblies is taking place in the district on December 7 as of the remaining 44 districts.