MYAGDI, Nov 11: Candidates of various political parties have time and again reached to the Dalit community of Beni Municipality-5, Purunne and assured them of various rights and privileges which were hardly fulfilled. There were days when these fake promises offered some respite to the locals at least till the elections, but not anymore.
It is no surprise that the candidates often try to buy votes from this underprivileged group by providing them food, drinks and money. Though that might have solved their problems for a while, the candidates could never bring a long-term solution to the problems of the Dalits. According to Tika Ram Pariyar, leader of the Dalit community, if the candidate had only fulfilled some of their promises this village would have been different. “Despite numerous claims and assurances, our miseries are still unheard and untouched,” laments Pariyar.
Locals of this community accuse the politicians of using them just as ‘vote banks’ and neglecting them at other times. “We have been observing them for years. They played enough with our emotions but not anymore,” said Pariyar, adding, “Most of us are educated now. So, they won’t be able to fool us anymore.”
Since decades, the Dalits have been struggling due to poverty and unemployment and this always made them spread their hands in front of others. However, in recent years, they have been successful in uplifting their economic and social status due to foreign employment. Almost all Dalits send their children to nearby schools and this has increased the literacy rate significantly.
Some of them are still obliged to live a miserable life but this time they all are determined to teach the candidates a lesson.
“Money can’t buy our votes, it needs to be earned,” the Dalits have been univocally saying this to every single candidate who visited their doorsteps.
Khem Lal Bishwokarma, one of the locals, recalls his past when he himself had to cast vote for the candidates for the sake of little money and food.
“I learnt a lesson and I’m never going to repeat that mistake again no matter what,” he said. With the day for election inching nearer, candidates of various parties have intensified their campaigns in their respective constituencies. Locals of Purunne have urged the political parties and their leaders to be genuine with their promises and development plans. Instead of larger than life dreams, they have demanded for local agendas which can be fulfilled in the near future.
As per the population census of 2011, altogether 1,13,641 people live in Myagdi out of which 30,000 are Dalits.