Few candidates reach ShikaribasA majority of the candidates have not reached Shikaribas village in Thori Rural Municipality-3, Parsa to canvass for votes.
A majority of the candidates have not reached Shikaribas village in Thori Rural Municipality-3, Parsa to canvass for votes.
Sikaribash is a remote village situated inside the Parsa National Park (PNP). People have to travel 5 kilometres into the Birgunj-Thori Postal Highway to reach the place.
“The candidates have not visited our village for the upcoming elections. There’s no one to listen to our problems,” said 78-year-old Narayan Aryal, adding that he had hoped for the candidates to conduct a door-to-door campaign.
Villagers said they have requested party leaders and the authorities concerned to shift their settlement outside the national park. “I will vote for that candidate who promises to shift our settlement,” said Aryal, complaining that they have been troubled by wild animals for long.
“An elephant destroyed my house a month ago. I have not rebuilt it,” said Aryal. Bam Bhola Mahato, 45, echoed similar ordeals. “We don’t need development here. We ask the candidates to help relocate our settlement to safety,” said Mahato, showing scars in his body. “A bear attacked me when I was grazing cattle a few months ago,” he said. Villagers said that the government shifted Rambhauribhata, the settlement inside the PNP seven years ago. “The government has not paid attention to relocating the Shikaribas village,” said Aryal.
Fifty families are living in Shikaribas. People said they have to walk at least half an hour to fetch water from a source. They said they have to walk six hours to reach the health post. There’s no electricity, drinking water, irrigation, health services and other facilities in the village. Phulmati Devi, a local woman, expressed her ire at the political leaders saying that they always make false promises but never return after election.
On Wednesday, Jaya Prakash Tharu, a provincial candidate, reached the village, requesting the people to vote for him. Local said they are waiting for other candidates to visit them.
A majority of the Sikaribash villagers are illiterate. According to the District Election Office, there are 250 registered voters. People said they have to walk some 10km to reach Odar to cast their ballot.