EEDG Helped me to get citizenship and cast vote

Karnali is the most remote region of Nepal. It has a very difficult land topography. It is a bitter fact is that there lies a distance of a day between VDCs of the same district. Even the districts’ headquarters are about 5 days or more from some of the VDCs which has led people of Karnali into marginalized community such as women, dalit, janajatis and poor without citizenship. This deprivation has lead the people of Karnali being unable to claim the services and facilities provided by the nation such as old age, disability, single women and other allowances. More pathetic situation is that that they are unable to participate in the democratic process such as election because of not having citizenship. Because of this many people of Karnali were unable to participate in the 1st CA election in 2008 A.D and similarly in time of 2nd CA election in 2013 A.D.

Belkosha Shahi of Suketiya VDC of Kalikot district expressed her happiness on getting the Citizenship in her 60s, “I am so happy to get the citizenship and feel like being the true citizen of Nepal now. I had a fear of dying without being the citizen of Nepal. It was a real hard to manage time to go to district headquarter to get the citizenship as it is 2 days walk and there is no one to support the family. In lack of the citizenship I was not allowed to participate in 1st CA election. But I could use my voting right in this election and happy that I can use this right now onwards. I hope to get the Single women allowance and other services provided by the nation.”

Hasta Bdr Sunar of Limi VDC of Dolpa has a similar story like that of Belkosha. He too was unable to participate in any of the election earlier and even in 1st CA election in 2008 A.D. “Because of not having the Citizenship card, I wasn’t allowed to participate in any of the election conducted so far and this time also I didn’t have a hope to participate. I really didn’t have time to go through the tedious process to get the card. When the mobile camp came to our place, it took no such time and I got the citizenship without any tediousness. I am so happy to have it and my wife and children also got them. All of us got our name registered in Voters Registration list and we participated in the CA election, this November. We are so Thankful to those supporting us to get the citizenship and the opportunity for us to participate in election and enjoy our Voting Right.”

Support to Dalit, women and Poor to get Citizenship and Voter’s Registration is one of the significant activities under Electoral Education at Grassroots and district level for Democratic Governance (EEDG) funded by European Union. The mobile camps launched by respective District Development Office and District Election Commission was accompanied and assisted by district partners of EEDG project (HCDA in Humla and HuRENDEC in Kalikot) reached to the people and handed over the people the Citizenship card and get them listed in Voters Registration. About 2200 people were benefitted with this facility. 

At the time of 2nd CA 2013, 55 people got Citizenship, 428 (206 male and 222 female) people got registered in Voters Registration list, 33 got Disability Identity card and 43 got Social Security Card in Humla district while the number of people to get registered in Voters Registration list was 330 (190 male and 140 female) in Kalikot district, 385 (216 male and 169 female) in Dolpa and 355(189 male and 166 female) in Mugu. Thus, a total of 2126 (1213 male and 913 female) got registered in Voter’s Registration list during CA 2013.