Over the last 9 years we have waited for our politicians to write the Constitution for our
new republic of Nepal. After the king stepped down Nepal became a democracy and the important task was to write a constitution for our political system. 9 years and two Constitutional Assemblies later, we still have no Constitution
. For four years, Nepalese people tolerated this inefficiency but then last year there were many protests. The new Assembly begged for another chance and promised a Constitution within a year.
In January 2015, all around the world people were celebrating New Year and hoped for happiness and prosperity. But in Nepal, there was doubt, frustration and anger. Once again, the political parties had played with people’s hope. They promised us a better future and opportunities. January 22nd was the last date to announce the Constitution. We stayed up late at night watching television and listening to the radio, suspecting the worst. Once again, they failed us.
The main stumbling block has been a decision about federal states. Parties are wanting to maintain power rather than think about what will really be the best for the people long term. No-one can agree and no-one will compromise. The parties misunderstand what the ordinary people want. Some parties called strikes against the government but ignored the suffering of the ordinary people. We had a very dreadful 19 days continuous strike before so, knowing how hard it was then, we prepared. When the strikes began again this month, we started to stock the basic necessary things. When there is a strike, cars, trucks, buses and sometimes bikes are not allowed to travel and schools, shops, industries and factories had to close.
We try to do our very important tasks before the strikes but do not always have warning. So far, we have had several three days strikes. Most of our Samunnat ladies are near by
but Parmila ,Deepa ,Rita and Samjana come from 12 to 15 km far away. Parmila and Rita cycle and Deepa and Samjana travel by bus. On second day of the strike Parmila rang me and said that her bike tyre burst on her half way to the office and she had to repair it but the shop was closed so she return back to home pulling
her bike. One unexpected advantage of our office building is our Bahini Haru can stay for night when there is a strike like Deepa did. She stayed in the office for two days. She also did her cooperative official work in her stay. We all Samunnat ladies still get together in the strikes. The office is the place where we always are together. We are very grateful for the friends of Samunnat and lovely buyers and the donors for their generous support for our Sweet home Samunnat. Thank you.
Editor’s Note: The ladies (Deepa, Yashodha and Kumari) are actually VERY happy but traditionally Nepalis don’t smile in photos!