Rukum folks demand employment opportunities in constitution

RUKUM, July 20

Nepali Congress cadre Gopal Prasad Sharma, resident of Kholagaun in Rukum, lost his eyesight years ago when Maoist rebels attacked him and poured acid in his eyes.

Sharma bemoaned the hardship he has been facing due to his lost eyes at the feedback collection programme on Sunday in Rukum.

“I can’t read on my own and nobody has read the draft statute to me, so there is no question of giving any feedback,” said Sharma.

Conflict affected people want government to do something for them

“I had a good life, but the rebels made me a handicap by taking away my eyesight. I want stern punishment against those who did this to me in the name of revolution,” said Sharma, who is the vice-chairperson of the district coordination committee of disabled people.

“The government should ensure long-term relief package for conflict victims and those who were rendered handicapped due to the insurgency,” added Sharma.

Another feedback collection programme was organised in Khara VDC on Sunday. The VDC was one of the worst affected villages during the conflict period. According to Khara VDC secretary Rudra Bahadur Devkota, the villagers are still petrified by the memory of the conflict.

For Parbati Khadka, 65, of Khara, the constitution will remain incomplete until the concerns of conflict victims are duly addressed.

The feedback collection programmes held at various rural areas in the district received the trials and tribulations of the local folks due to lack of different facilities like drinking water and school, among others.

Septuagenarian Raj Bahadur Budha of Taksera said he was excited to give feedback on the draft statute, but couldn’t do so as he was unaware of the venue and date for the same.

“Everyday our sons are leaving the village for employment in some foreign soil. The government ought to include provision in the constitution that ensures employment in our own country so that no one will leave their family to earn bread,” he said.

Most of the participants in the feedback collection programme aired opinions against the war, besides demanding annulment of the proportional election system along with federalism and secularism.