Sans optimism

Indications are there that Nepal will not be able to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. At one time it was believed that they would be achieved or Nepal had the potential to meet the goals except for namely universal primary education, according to the MDG Progress Report for Nepal 2005. The way things are now, the index for 2009

is 58 which is lower than the index of 2008

when it was 65.1. This is, indeed, a cause for concern for the achievement of the MDGs which consist of such basic social indicators like poverty and

hunger, gender equality and the empowerment of women, child mortality, maternal health, environment sustainability and global partnership development, among others. The Basic Capabilities Index (BCI) 2009 shows that Nepal and other South Asian countries will not be able to eradicate poverty within the stipulated time. Therefore, unless there are changes for the better and the current trend is reversed Nepal will not be able to reach the internationally agreed poverty goals. The present rate of progress in meeting the MDGs has been found to be inadequate. These sorry indicators should propel all concerned to work towards achieving the goals.

The political leaders at present seem to be engrossed almost entirely with politics, and progress in meeting the MDGs appears to be taking a back seat. As a consequence, the Nepalese people for the most part are denied even the basic amenities. The MDGs envisages providing basic facilities to all and rightly so for they have a right to them. So that the country does meet the MDGs it is necessary for substantial changes in the present situation to take place. Progress in this direction can be made if efforts were made in the direction of thinking about the welfare of the citizens on such matters such as ensuring that children have access to primary education and the much touted program that envisages health for all, and other such programs. For all purposes, these are getting a lukewarm response at present. These indications are indeed a huge set back considering that at one time it was believed that Nepal was actually on the course of achieving most of the MDGs. Thus, the policy makers should come up with innovative schemes to see to it that the development programs are implemented.

Achieving the MDGs seems to be virtually impossible in the current state the country is in, but this should not deter all from working towards meeting the basic goals. These goals require commitment and not money alone. The nation now is in a difficult transient present period and many of the development projects could not be carried out or completed as planned. An atmosphere should therefore be created where it is congenial to carry out such projects without hindrances and to plan and implement new ones so as to ameliorate the lot of the impoverished people. The leaders in particular owe it to their countrymen to fulfill the pledges they have made. The pe-ople too must work in concert in their own way and be involved in the development activities. There is need to bring the marginalized into the development mainstream. These are high demands and rather impossible to achieve in the five years that are left.

Out with delay

The buzz word these days tend to wrap up what has been referred to as fast track. If for one thing it was used for a shorter route to the Terai plains from Kathmandu, more uses have come along the way. The only disconcerting feature is that the same thing always tends to move at a slow pace. Back to the fast track road and it seems to be way behind — not a few months but years for completion. That gives the planners and policy implementers the sense of achievement in impressing upon the populace how concerned they are about the long hours taken for the movement of goods and people of all the places.

Maybe the consideration of the long time taken in dealing with cases by the courts in general, the Apex Court has ordered the government to set up fast track courts to look into the cases relating to the women and children. And for this, the Supreme Court must be thanked. The time lag that takes place from the filing of a case to the pronouncement of the verdict is frustrating in general. The fast track courts, when the government goes ahead with it, would really do away with the tedious wait for justice by the women and children concerned at least.