The challenges of door to door campaigns

Nominated local government candidates in Dagana’s Gozhi gewog are going from house to house and briefly introducing themselves to individual households as part of their door-to-door campaign for the second LG elections on September 27.

But the unpredictable weather conditions with either hot sun or heavy rain have made campaigning much harder than expected. When the candidates finally reach a household after walking a long distance, no one is home.

It was 4:30 pm when Kumar Gurung, 40, a gup candidate reached Upper Gozhi drenched and exhausted. “I approached more the 30 households today but with only pets were at house,” he said. “Perhaps because of the harvest season people might have been in the fields.”

Another Gup candidate Dhan Badhur Sherpa said, “Most of my days have gone in vain since most of the houses were found empty or very few people were at home”.  He also said, “Even after wearing the identification batches issued by the election commission, people pays no heed and seems very uninterested. My feet are swollen and I still need to visit more than 100 households”.

Sangay Wangmo, 27, a Tshogpa candidate from Dogaag Chiwog is not doing the door-to-door campaign having learned from the other candidates that it is very challenging. But she did briefly introduce herself during the common forum.

Villagers said that could not stay home waiting for the LG candidates because of chores to attend to. “We have only two family members at home, so it is merely possible for us to keep the door unlatched during the day to meet the candidates,” said Bishnu Maya Gurung, 38, from Lower Gozhi. “My mother looks after the goats all day in our nearby forest and I have to do all the household chores, garden and field work by myself.”

Tashi Wangmo from Baleggang chiwog is the only one who stays at home and the rest of the family goes to the field and to herd cattle and goats. At home she looks after her baby and does household chores. She said that many candidates are visiting the house during the day.

Gozhi gewog has four candidates for Gup, three for Mangmi and fourteen candidates for Tshogpa. The gewog has a population of 3,300 with 358 households in five chiwogs and about 2000 eligible voters.

This sotry and two story from Dagana on 17th September issue on LG story was made possible due to support from BMF/SDC.

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