Locals in border areas deprived of state facilities

Published On: February 17, 2018 08:04 AM NPT By: Mithilesh Yadav

SIRAHA, Feb 17: A huge number of Nepali population residing in the border areas are obliged to live a wretched life deprived of various state facilities and privileges. The people here don't have access to secondary level education and health facilities.

Locals living in Thadi of Bhagwanpkur Rural Municipality have to reach to Lahan to pay their electricity bills. While doing so, they have to incur double the amount than electricity bill. As Lahan is 18 km away from Thadi, locals lament that they have to spend more money for transportation. 

"We have to spend Rs 200 to pay the electricity bill of Rs 80," said Shiva Shankar Sah, a local. Despite pledging to the responsible authorities to set a counter in the village to collect electricity charge, nothing has been done yet.

Even for minor health problems such as common cold and fever, locals have to reach to other villages as there are no proper health posts.   There is a primary health post which has not been able to serve the locals in lack of sufficient manpower and medicines. While some prefer going to Lahan, others find it easier crossing the border for health treatment.

Adjoined with the Indian border, Thadi is often regarded as a business point. Despite having a huge potential for flourishing business, most markets here are empty. Lack of access to banking service is the major reason behind it. Seventeen years ago, during the Maoist insurgency period, the branch of Nepal Bank was removed from Thadhi due to security concerns. 

Even after so many years, the bank has not been relocated there. As a result, the locals are relying on Indian banks. To access service from Nepali banks, they have to travel at 20 km from their village.

"We have not been able to expand our business due to unavailability of banks," said Dilip Gupta, a local businessman. 

Not just that, the status of education of the locals is even worse. The pre-primary school of Thadi is often padlocked. There is a school but there aren't any students, say the teachers. The students registered in the attendance sheet go across the border to Laukaha for their education, according to the teachers. 

As per the details of the school, there are 400 students but not even four of them attend the school. Dharmanath Gupta of Thadi says sending his daughter to school across the border is not a wish but a compulsion. "We made several efforts to improve the education of the school but political meddling has overshadowed our efforts," he said. 

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