Some local leaders helped in ID card distribution: village party member, Kavre district (archive photo)
It’s hard to come across positive comments on the role of local party leaders in ID card distribution and in the relief effort in general. However, from what we have seen in VDCs in Kavre, local leades have – in some cases – assisted VDC secretaries in registering the extent of damage to houses in the VDCs and confirmed the identity of victim families. Did they help only in cases of their own relatives, friends and supporters? Well, it’s hard to say for sure. No doubt, local leaders often have that tendency, as we write in Crash Course on Local Politics in Nepal. But from what we have seen, some leaders did much more than that. For example, in one ward a former Ward Chairman was constantly in action trying to help everybody in the area dealing with the VDC secretary. It’s also worth noting that many local leaders were hit hard by the earthquake too – so, to expect them to devote themselves to help across the board, without holding any formal position of local government, might be a lot to ask. Yet, even then, some local leaders did help in the ID card effort.