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  Squatters in Rasuwa see no reason to vote  
 

NIRAJAN POUDEL

RASUWA, Nov 11: The country may be just a few days away from the second Constitutional Assembly (CA) polls, which the politicians pledge will lead to socioeconomic transformation of the country. But the landless squatters settled along the banks of Trisuli and Khalakhu rivers in Rasuwa district are not convinced.

Having lost faith on sugar-coated talks of the political leaders, these underprivileged people are not thinking beyond their struggle to make the ends meet.
Nothing has changed for decades as their livelihood depends solely on fish they catch from the rivers and a paltry wage they earn as laborers.

Mangal Bahadur Gurung, 52, who has been living under Betrawati bridge for the last three decades, is more concerned about the number of fish he nets every morning rather than to whom to vote in the new CA polls.

He is the sole bread winner for his four-member family. It"s not that he hadn"t caste his vote in the last CA election, but he is simply disenchanted now.
´I had caste my vote hoping that the new government would provide a plot of land and roof over our heads. Five years on, our plights remain the same,” whines Gurung.

Gurung added that not a single politician has approached them to canvass support this time around.

It is surprising given the fact that the electric poles and street walls above the bridge is covered with posters and other campaigning materials.

´The last time I saw the faces of any Maoist cadres was before the last CA polls. They were here pleading for votes in exchange of tall promises, which they did not keep,´ said Gurung.

The harrowing tale of Man Bahadur Gurung is no different. Man Bahadur, who is originally from Barpakh VDC-9 of Gorkha district, is Mangal Bahadur"s neighbor for all these years. He is father of two.

´It feels like yesterday when me and my family moved here by the river. Three decades have past and we are still catching fish and slogging day in and day out as laborers to eke out a living. Sometime I fear, my life will end under this bridge,” cries Man Bahadur.

While the politicians are busy conducting their door-to-door campaign across the district, Man Bahadur is least concerned about the polls.

“Uncertain future of my children keeps me awake every night. I have not been able to think about whom to vote,´ Man Bahadur concluded.

 
Published on 2013-11-12 03:36:10
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Squatters In Rasuwa See No Reason To Vote
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