Displaced voters seek written commitment from candidates for resettlement
SURKHET, May 10: Ramkumari Khatri's house got washed away by landslides in the monsoon three years ago. Since then, the displaced family of Birendranagr-11 has been living in a camp in the same locality. Many leaders visited the camp and assured dozens of victims like her of better days ahead. They promised of permanent shelter. However, so far, nothing has really changed in the lives of the landslide victims. Neither had they any high hopes from the successive governments. Now the local level election has ignited little hope, said Khatri. But what they want is, written commitment from the candidates.
"Resettlement is something we all were promised by various parties and leaders. But they never kept their words," said Khatri. "Now, it's time for the local level election and we remember those candidates. We are for written commitment," she added.
There are 92 houses in the camp. Altogether 239 voters are voting from the settlement of the landslide victims. Their political leniency is not the same. However, they have one voice regarding promises from the candidates, said Khatri.
"We are united regarding it. We want proper resettlement and we are not going to be wooed by verbal promises. We want it in written form," she stressed.
According to Khatri and other victims, irrespective of their political ideology, the victims are going to vote for the candidate who can give them in written that he or she is going to bring the expected change in their life.
"We are united over this. If they can give us written commitment, our vote is for that candidate. Or else, we will vote for nobody," Khatri said.
Though the victims are mulling over how to exercise their voting power, no political party has however visited them so far. This has left them little discouraged.
"Even though the Election Day is so close, no party leader has approached us for vote. There are huge number of voters here," Khatri said.
The victims said that they feel different when they see election fever in the market and public places. Unfortunately, it's missing in their camps.
"We are waiting for the election perhaps more than others. We do have serious problems. But leaders have not shown up their faces so far this time," stated Janak Yogi, who has been living in the camp with his family for three years.
Massive floods in August 13 and 14 in Surkhet had claimed the lives of 115 people. Over 1,400 houses were washed away. The flood victims who later lost their lands as well to the recurring floods have been still living in temporary camps in several parts of Surkhet.