THT 10 years ago: Valley folk say Maoists seeking shelter in homes

Kathmandu, November 6, 2006

With preparations for the Maoists’ mass meeting at the Sainik Manch in Tundikhel in full swing, locals in the Valley are complaining of Maoist pressure on them to accommodate their cadres in their houses and feed them during their stay here.

Three Maoists recently came to Ram’s (name changed) house in Jawalakhel and told his family that a group of Maoists would be putting up at their place for three days. “They asked us to feed 10 cadres and give them shelter from November 8-10,” Ram said.

The Maoists also noted down the names of male members in the family and have asked them to attend the mass gathering on November 10 “without fail.” “They wouldn’t take a no for an answer when we told them that we have to go to work that day,” he said.

“Maoists have asked us to provide shelter and feed 10 of them at least for a day and a night,” said a local at Jawalakhel on condition of anonymity. She said the Maoists have asked young men in their families to join their programme.

Geeta (name changed), a resident of Patan, said a few Maoists came to her house and told her family members that they must let 10 Maoists spend two nights in their house and serve them breakfast and dinner.

However, when Geeta’s family members didn’t quite agree to the idea, the Maoists “curtly” told them that they would settle the score when the time came.

Ganesh (name changed), a resident of Maharajgunj, said he recently overheard a fellow passenger in a microbus telling his friend over a mobile phone that they were collecting donations from people and businessmen in the city.

HSEB plans to increase girl students’ number

The Higher Secondary Education Board (HSEB) is introducing various new programmes from this year to increase the number of female students in higher secondary schools.

Ram Bahadur Khadka, Chief Administrative Officer at the HSEB, said an additional fund will be given to the schools that appoint more than 50 per cent female teachers. “The main aim is to increase the number of female students in higher education.

The parents in remote areas send girls to schools if there are female teachers,” said Khadka. The HSEB recently passed a budget of Rs 306,825,000 for this year’s programmes.

A major chunk of the budget will be spent on examination, teachers’ training, principles and community schools’ management committee meetings. The HSEB is providing Rs 25,000 to each school for the construction of ladies toilets. One hundred schools will benefit from the programme this year.

“It has come to our notice that a majority of girls do not attend schools due to lack of toilets, the programme is being introduced,” said Khadka.