Vox pop

Published On: June 2, 2017 12:30 AM NPT By: Rekha Bhusal

BHAIRAHAWA, June 2: The country recently conducted the historic first phase of local level election in three provinces. As the second phase of the much-awaited poll inches closer, Nepal Republic Media on Wednesday organized an interaction with local authorities and civil society representatives in some parts of tarai where the election fever is at its peak now. Here are some excerpts: 

Binod Prakash Singh, Chief District Officer
Parties must rise above their petty interests 
As far as the political parties are concerned, they must rise above their petty interests and always give priority to national interests. They must change their narrow-minded thinking, vision and attitude. Otherwise, the system cannot work efficiently. The region has a huge potential in tourism, among other opportunities. What the media can do is highlight such news. The media can shed light on the bright sides and challenges. We feel that the media has not done enough to raise the issues of the marginalized Madhesis and other backward groups.

Surya Kumar Saru, President of Sidhartha Transport Entrepreneurs Committee 
Good leadership needed
This place is an industrial hub. Industries, big as well as small, are here. So, here we need peace and security. The district receives over a hundred thousand foreign tourists every year. The towns and villages should have been far more developed than now. However, we are still struggling for basic facilities and that is because we lack a good leader, good leadership. 

Shiva Gyawali, President (Lumbini zone) Nepal Chemist and Druggist Association 
Media must work as a real watchdog 
They say that 'Singha Durbar' is now coming to the villages. That's a good development. But there are equal chances of the powers being misused. So, the media must be very alert. So far, the media has given priority only to the political issues whereas it must give due space to social issues as well. There are lots of things which are directly connected with the public. So, the media should provide enough coverage to issues such as health and education.  Drugs should not be imported without enough homework. There are many other such issues to be raised.

Shiva Subedi, mayoral candidate for Butwal Sub-metropolitan City
Lumbini can support the entire country 
Given its vast agricultural, industrial and tourism resources, Lumbini in fact has the economic potential to support the entire country. We must conserve, preserve and promote Lumbini. We must be able to rightly exploit the resources we have in order to develop this place and beyond. We can end the problem of unemployment pretty soon; all we have to do is take a few right steps.

Hari Prasad Adhikari, Mayor nominee, Siddharthanagar municipality
Tourism our potential 
We have not been able tap our potentials. If we had done that we would be in different position now. First we must be able to fix things like sanitation, roads and other infrastructures. And then we must focus on how to bring in more tourists. That alone would ensure our development and prosperity. From Bhairahawa border point, hundreds of tourists enter every day. We are simply not taking maximum benefit. So, we must point at ourselves if we are not developing this city well. We must open our eyes now.

Uma Kafle, Deputy mayor nominee, Siddharthanagar municipality 
Drug abuse, a huge problem
The open border with India has pros and cons. One of the serious most issues is the drug supply. Due to the open border, our youths are falling into the bad habit of drug abuse. They can get drug very easily. Similarly, the open border is also a factor behind exploitation of girls and women. Violence against women would have been far less if the border was sealed. Social awareness level is very low. People have no access to health and education facilities. There are lots of things to take care of or improve.

Chandra Prakash Shrestha, President of Siddhartha Hotel Association
Lumbini's development will change everything around
We have undermined it. We can change everything around if we develop Lumbini alone. We have to keep it clean and attractive. Let tourists swarm all season. We have been carrying out number of activities for tourism promotion. But that is not enough, national level plans and policies are needed to make tourists come and live here for longer.

Gautam Buddha Airport is our big dream. The government is taking time to establish it. It should be built without delay now. Siddharthanagar can also develop as industrial town.

Haki Ullah Khan, District In-charge of Maoists - Center
Think of positive discrimination 
Not all the wards in Siddharthanagar are backward. Some of them are extremely backward while some others are doing fine. So, fund and resources must be distributed accordingly for proportionate development. Positive discrimination is the need in order to let all the wards develop equally. We must give facilities to farmers and small industry operators. Better we think of bettering local production instead of importing everything from India and China. Until and unless we work with that vision, we cannot be self reliant. 

Ajaj Alam, Former president of Rupandehi Udyog Sangh
Media should guide society
Media plays vital role in overall development of the country. Constructive role of media helps development take a leap forward. Similarly, if media fails to guide society, we will lose sense of direction. Regarding Rupandehi, industrial development is what we need to focus on. If our factories operate well, there will be more employment and the district becomes more self-reliant. We have been doing our best and putting in best efforts. For instance, we opened a hospital for heart patients in Butuwal. Media should cover such news also. This encourages us. If we make mistakes then media should alert us. 

Rima BC , Insec member
Use of children in electioneering should stop
The second phase of election is at the doorsteps. We are concerned over the misuse of children during such times. Even in the past children would be used for election campaigns. Media should report on such issues so as to discourage the practice.

Violence against girls and women is already rampant in the district and use of children in electioneering is also a form of violence. Human rights and dignigy of each and every individual should be respected.

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