SIRAHA, Dec 8: They look submissive and shy. Most of them have covered their faces with Ghumto (lose end of sari). While eagerly waiting in the queue to cast their votes, the women of Belha, Siraha, expressed a little excitement and hope. Interestingly, the number of women voters was more than that of men voters. According to locals as well as poll officials, this is because the youths have gone abroad for employment.
“Madhesi women are mostly confined to their homes. It is very hard for them to come out of their homes and participate in public programs. We cannot come out unless there is some cultural or religious function,” said Dukhani Devi of Belha. “But today, we could come here to vote. We are feeling very special,” she added.
While she was talking to Republica, Devi was learning how to vote for an election officer present at the booth. Simultaneously, she was also teaching other women. “We do not know how to vote properly. So, it is better to ask,” she quipped.
According to the 35-year-old who was clad in a sari, and had covered her face with Ghumto, the daughters-in-law in Madhes will not be free of Ghumto. “It is not acceptable in our society. When we walk out of home, we must cover our face like this. This is our tradition,” she said.
The women looked happy. Even though they 'rarely follow political affairs', they were clear in one agenda that Madhes must be developed. “The new government must develop our Madhes and end all kinds of violence forever,” she said.