Conflict victims urge candidates to heal their wounds

Published On: November 21, 2017 02:30 AM NPT By: GANESH BK

RUKUM, Nov 21: Sita Sharma (name changed) of Tribeni Rural Municipality was repeatedly raped by Maoists during the insurgency period. The psychological torture of that time made her mentally ill. Similarly, Subodh Sherpali, who was shot at by Nepal Police personnel still has a lodged bullet inside his hand. The recurring pain in his hand often reminds him of the terrible days that he lived through during the ten-year-long People's War started by the Maoists. 

In December 1998, some cadres of the Maoists spilled acid on the eyes of Gopal Prasad Sharma of Chaurjahari accusing him of supporting Nepali Congress (NC). After the acid attack, he lost his eyesight and has been living the life of a blind since then. He can hardly move from one place to another without his wife. Day by day, his health is deteriorating as he lacks enough money for treatment. 

These three are only some of the representative cases of the horrors of war that came to an end in 2006. There are hundreds of victims like them who are forced to live with disability and illness which they suffered during the insurgency. 

They lament that the government keeps changing and even the leaders but their misery remains the same. With the candidates vying for the upcoming parliamentary and provincial elections, these people are urging them to heal the conflict-era wounds.
 Despite knocking the doors of several government authorities seeking financial help, Sharma was unable to get any help for his treatment. "Doctors have asked for a large sum of money for my treatment and I have not been able to manage it," said Sharma. 
According to him, the newly-elected and soon-to-be-elected representatives should make efforts to solve the problems of the living martyrs of the war.

Sherpali, on the other hand, says the negligence of leaders and politicians is one of the major reasons behind their ailing health and troublesome life. 
"Leaders won't be forgiven until they heal our wounds," he said. Many of the conflict victims have clearly stated that they won't  cast votes for the candidates who won't make efforts to solve their problems. 

"Our loved ones fought for the country and even sacrificed their precious lives. Now, it's time for the government to think for them and their families," said Jagat Gharti.  They have demanded that the candidates include their issues in their agendas.

As many as 665 people were killed while 230 became disabled in Rukum during the People's War. Happiness was snatched from the lives of 75 children who became orphans and 229 women were compelled to live the life of widows. This is not the first time that the candidates are making various kinds of pledges and vows to the conflict victims but this time victims are hopeful that the candidates are not selling fake dreams and promises to them.

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