Polls mean little to Dolakha folks

Dolakha, April 28

For the quake victims in Dolakha, the upcoming local elections don’t matter much. Many are apprehensive about their food and shelter.

“Elections are for the leaders, not for the common folk like us,” Prahlad Subedi, a quake victim from Bhimeshwor municipality-6, Chitamathali.

Several residents of Chitamathali, not far from the district headquarters Charikot, feel the same way about the big elections happening after 20 years.

“They (the leaders) are never tired of talking about the changes that the nation has seen because of them. But, look at us! We are worse off.  ‘A lot of changes’ might apply in their case, not ours at least,” 59-year-old Subedi said.

Many in Chitmathali have been living in temporary shelters since the devastating earthquake of 2015 and are set to brace for this year’s monsoon at the temporary shed.

Another tremor victim of the same place, Kamala KC, 45, also disavowed any knowledge of the upcoming election. “Mine is a poor family and I have to go to work all day, all week long. When do I have the time to learn anything about election and politics?” asked the mother of five, adding that she has been unable to rebuild her house due to lack of funds. “Will the leaders build our houses if we learn about the election or politics and vote?” questioned Kamala.

Seventy-six-year-old Paam Bahadur Basnet of Bhimeshwor-5 said he was happy that the elections are happening, but added that managing a house is nonetheless more important than elections.

“It is good to hear that elections are happening and I’m happy for it. But, my main concern is how to construct a house for my family as soon as possible,” Basnet said, expressing his hope that the to-be-elected local level representatives will help the victims.

Some victims said they were hoping that the elections and newly-elected representatives will bring about development and fight the ongoing corruption at the local level. “We can’t help but think about our needs first as we live in a temporary shelter,” Supin Gole, of Melung Rural Municipality, said.