RUKUM, June 27: Yarsa collectors swarming over highlands of Rukum have returned home to exercise their voting rights in the historic local elections slated for June 28.
Last month, hundreds of locals headed toward Patan to collect the rare and expensive medicinal herb, yarsa. There are still few weeks left for collecting yarsa but the locals returned home as they didn't want to miss the elections.
Laxmi Pun Magar informed that only few locals are there in Patan while most of them have returned back.
“There was a great excitement among locals for the elections, so they returned home as there is just few days left for the elections,” she said. She further informed that the locals are likely to get back to their business immediately after the elections. This year as many as 4,000 people had reached Patan to collect yarsa.
In Putha Utarganga, Sisne and Bhume rural municipalities of Province 5, elections are stipulated for June 28.
Yarsa has been the main source of income for the locals of Rukum so people from all ages are involved in collecting the herb.
Arbija Pun Magar of Uttarganga Rural Municipality said, “We can pick yarsa next year also but we might not always get the opportunity to cast votes in the local elections.”
According to her, taking part in elections is far more important than collecting yarsa. “It's better to utilize the opportunity rather than regretting for years,” she added.
Locals had to suffer a lot in the absence of representatives, so they are desperately waiting to take part in the elections and elect qualified candidates.
“If we don't pick yarsa, we won't have anything to eat. And if we don't vote, we will be deprived of development. We are in dilemma,” said Sunita Shrestha, a yarsa collector of Rukum.
In order to persuade more number of voters, candidates of various political parties had reached Patan a few days ago.