The second phase of local election has been rescheduled three times, already. The Madhesh-based parties have been voicing their demands. They say that meeting the demands would be the foundation for an environment to hold an election. What do the voters from the Tarai [Madhesh] have to say about this? Today’s Sajha Sawal is from the villages of Rautahat and Dhanusa. My name is Bhulur Sah. I am from Batteshwor, Ward no. 8, Dhanusa. What should those who win the election do, for farmers like you? We face scarcity of water. If we have water, we can work easily. We cannot always depend on the rain. If the election is held and a [local] government is formed, then we will have irrigation facility. It will be good for us. If we have no water, we can plant crops all we like, but nothing will grow. The crops will not grow. We are Mallik [caste]. People believe in the caste system and ‘untouchability’ here. When they come to ask us for votes, they even drink water at our house. They say: bring a glass of cold water, we are thirsty. And they drink it. We will not cast our votes. Why so? Nobody cares for us, so why should we vote? Right now, I am at Janaki Chowk, in Janakpur. We will have a conversation about the local election with the people who are gathered at a tea shop here. My name is Sushil Karna. I am a youth activist. The excitement you would expect to see ahead of an election that is taking place after 20 years, is not visible so far. I am Suwas Pathak. I’m the zonal coordinator for karate. If the problems being faced by the Madhesh were resolved ahead of the election, there could be fresh excitement. What kind of candidate would you vote for? I would vote for someone who promises to clean up our area. I am suffering at the moment. I live nearby. We live next to pigs and garbage. Everybody disposes their garbage in the open space. It is smelly. People throw left-over food. I am suffering because of the garbage and lack of hygiene. My name is Mithilesh Kumar Karna. I am a resident of Ward no. 10. Everyone is excited for the local level election. But until the problems of the Madhesh [Tarai] are addressed, none of the big parties can participate in this election. We have been living in the Tarai for more than 500 years now. Still, when we travel to Kathmandu, people ask us [in Hindi] where we are from? They still think we have just come from Bihar [India]. Who has spread such perceptions? The three main parties are the ones responsible for doing this. I am Shyam Prasad Sah. There is a huge difference between an election that takes place in convenient circumstances and one that takes place in difficult circumstances. We want the election to take place. There is an ambience for election right now. But we can not ensure that the election will be held peacefully… …or if the voters will be able to cast their votes without any hindrances. All parties say that the demands of the Madhesh is valid. If it is valid, how valid are our demands? If they [the demands] are not addressed now, what is the guarantee that they will be addressed later? For the recording of Sajha Sawal, I have now arrived at Rautahat’s Ward no. 6., Chandrapur, Mothiyahi. Chaudarys [Tharus] and Janajatis [indigenous communities] are dominated everywhere. They [political parties] are not in favour of issuing tickets for electoral candidacy to the Chaudharys [Tharus]. It will soon be time for paddy plantation. If it rains the same day, should we go to the fields or should we go to the polling booth? Leaders come and promise us many things. After they win the election, they never do anything for us. What have they promised? There is no drainage system. Our house is already submerged. What will happen during monsoon? I stay at home. I cook, clean, and take care of children. How will I have any knowledge about election? I would have known if I were educated. We do not have access to clean drinking water. We lack a drainage system. There are no proper schools for children. There is only a madrasa. But it lacks infrastructure and resources. Uterine prolapse is a major problem. It is a widespread problem in the village. Almost 75% of the women here suffer from it. We do not know what causes it. The government should have paid attention. There are people who do not have any clothes. There are children who do not attend school. We just want those problems to be addressed. Women are not educated here. Even the educated ones cannot take a stand and come forward, due to fear and family pressure. I wish someone who can address these issues faced by women like us would get elected. Then our voices will be heard. Thank you, all.