Monday, January 31, 2011

Flood Victims – the devastated people forgotten forever

When the floods, one of the worst in the world ever, hit Pakistan last year in July, it swept away everything that came its way. It rendered some 20 million people affected by it and countless became homeless. The people of Pakistan and many countries of the world came forward to help the destitute. Truck loads in thousands were sent to provide the basic needs to those rendered homeless. Tent villages were established to provide the temporary shelter to them till they could be helped to reconstruct their houses once again. Media talked of them day and night and each channel on TV and each politician tried to score a point over the other by “reaching first” to people in distress.

Now almost six months after, the life of people living in tents has become anything but miserable. The media has more juicy stories to air and the departments related to disaster management are high and dry as all resources have dried up, rather wasted and plundered away by the influential. The promises of ideal villages have been scrapped and new slogans of schools and other projects are being raised. The government is busy in point scoring on the opposition and the opposition is drumbeating with their own many point agendas.

While the poor are out there “camping,” the government has embarked upon an ambitious plan of constructing “state of the art” lodges for the internally displaced members of the parliament cost Rs. 3 billion. The UN has showed its distress over the fate of the homeless people while as per a Red Cross estimate some four million people are still homeless and need shelter immediately.

Under such circumstances when no one seem to talking of the flood affected people, it seems their fate is sealed forever and they would have to build their houses on their own while the rich members of the parliament, who were elected by the votes of these very people, continue to live in their palatial residences and roam about official bullet proof cars. The farce of reaching flood hit people on motorcycles is over, and reality has again come back where no cares for the poor.

Seeing the state of affairs, let us not talk of these miserable and the destitute – as these devastated people have been forgotten forever.

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