Kathmandu, January 19:
For the first time in the Nepal’s election history, the trainers of the Election Commission are visiting around 4,000 villages with an offer to educate about the process and technicalities of the constituent assembly election in 17 ethnic languages.
According to Central Bureau of Statistics of Nepal, there are 102 languages spoken in the country by 61 ethnic communities, besides the official Nepali language.
“We are going to the voters with a wide variety of mother tongues, to educate them about the technicalities of the election process for the first time,” said Laxman Bhattarai, the EC’s spokesperson.
He said that teaching the voters in mother languages has become necessary in the present context. “It is a necessary move. Even in villages around the Kathmandu Valley, members of many Newar communities do not understand Nepali. The situation is even more difficult in the Tarai and mountain regions,” he said.
The major languages, which are being included in the list of voters’ education are Newar, Tamang, Gurung, Magar, Tharu, Maithali, Bhojpuri, Rai, Limbu, among others.
The contents of the instructions will include brief introduction of the constituent assembly, its significance, the methodology of the election, the need of voting and how one is qualified or disqualified for voting.
“The trainers will basically tell the voters what the election is about and why it is important to cast a vote in the election,” he said.
The voters’ education will formally begin by February 27, for which two Voters’ Education Volunteers from local community schools will stay in villages for 45 days and they will deliver training in around 4,000 villages. The training for the volunteers will begin by February 4 and they will move to their destinations following the training. The total number of trainers for the voters’ education will be around 9,000.
“The training materials are being printed. We have posters, pamphlets, stickers, flip charts and other materials for the trainers,” he said. According to the EC schedule, the materials will be prepared, produced and transported by February 13.
Chairman of Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities, Pasang Sherpa, welcomed the EC’s step with caution.
“We welcome the government step to recognise the local languages and also to teach them about the election thorough their mother tongues,” he said, adding that the real implication of the step, however, will be appreciable only when the efforts are implemented.
ABC of CA polls:
• EC trainers are visiting 4,000 villages to educate people about the process and technicalities of the constituent assembly election
• Even in villages around the Kathmandu Valley, members of many Newar communities
do not understand Nepali. The situation is more difficult in the Tarai and mountain regions
• There are 102 languages spoken in the country by 61 ethnic communities, besides the
official Nepali language