RAUTAHAT, Sept 5: Last month, Rautahat faced the severest flood encountered in a number of years. Even after so many days, those rendered homeless by the disaster are finding it hard to bring their life back on track. However, the third phase of local elections scheduled for September 18 has offered them some rays of hope.
According to the locals, they will be casting their votes to those candidates who will ensure their rehabilitation. The prospective candidates for the elections were just preparing for the poll campaigns when they were struck with the deadliest flood in the second week of August. After the flood, the aspiring candidates and political leaders are busy making door-to-door visits in the flood-affected regions. They are not just consoling the victims but are also convincing them for votes. Some of them were even engaged in relief distribution work which to some extent has helped them woo the voters.
The devastating flood claimed 18 lives and damaged property worth millions in Rautahat alone. With the date of election inching nearer, some flood victims have started engaging themselves in the poll activities by putting aside their miseries. The excitement for the election to some extent has helped the victims get over their plights.
The victims are determined to elect those candidates who are genuinely trying to ease their lives. Sanjhariya Devi Musahar of Badharva said the candidates who have dedicated themselves wholeheartedly to help them face the disaster and its aftermath will win their votes. "We don't want to reconstruct our houses in the same place. So, we want the candidates to provide a clear work plan of what they will be doing to relocate us to a safer zone," she said.
The flood had ravaged the district headquarters Gaur, Devahi, Karuniya, Aauriya, Laukaha and dozens of other villages. It had mostly affected the poor families. Even now, the poor and marginalized people of Musahar Tole are still struggling for shelter and food. "We are ready to support those who can provide us shelter because at this time we need it the most," said Dharhori Devi Musahar of Gaur-3. She informed Republica that a lot of people come to them and make numerous promises which had made it difficult for them to choose the best one.
It seems that those candidates whose prime agenda is to rehabilitate and relocate the flood victims are likely to win more votes.