Death, disease, hunger & what’s next

PICTURES: Amjad Abbasi
By: Asem Mustafa Awan

Holding on to their young ones the women in Swat walk the self-help man-made bridge to safety. These man-made bridges are the lifeline for thousands as they move to safety as it will take a light year for the relief to reach all affectees.

Those who have died in floods have made it to one end but those left behind will be faced with uphill challenges in which the hope for meeting the maker every day.

The water hasn’t receded but the hue and cry of the poor shake the very core of a person who sees the fellow human in distress.
The children dying of hunger in camps is nothing new, in Pakistan hundreds of children die for want of medicine that are not costly but their availability is simply not there. Thar in Sindh makes headlines every year and hundreds of children die and painful visuals still exist on social media.

Why Pakistan and its habitants are faced with this dilemma the common man speaks his mind and point fingers at the pharaohs and associates that are helm of affairs.

The people who dared to speak up against the feudal seek government protection as they pointed out at the landlords who saved their lands as always in making cuts in waterways that drowned thousands of lowlifes who happened to dwell around their acres and acres of fruit yielding farmlands.

The woman in Rajanpur dared to speak up and pointed out as how floods swept away all her lifelong belongings and she raised her voice against the feudal seeing her children going hungry. She is begging for the safety of her children as she knows what awaits her.
Thousands lineup for provisions but come empty handed as the local elite who are in the distribution of provisions are stashing the goods in the warehouses besides giving it to their known affiliates and that is not all people are giving the food with the undertaking that in the elections they will give their support to the said politicians.

Pakistan faced with such as devastation has opened doors of unprecedented wealth in the form of relief for people who plan to gain mileage out of people misery.

Millions are affected and are without food and water and what looms ahead is death, disease and hunger. The official figures are there but as always these are but figures while in actual its always different.

Such is the magnitude of the disaster the state has little to assist all and what is on the ground is done by people who go an extra mile in selfless deeds without any personal projection.

The international donors are lining up but the system that should have been at the grassroots was never seen in place. There are multiple reasons as in disasters the relief that comes for the respective area ends up missing mostly in the warehouses of the elite who use it to expand their influence on the locals.

The floods have exposed the bigwigs of Pakistan and their empathy towards the poor, subservient and enslaved dwellers on their areas. Their misery in the form of floods and other calamities serve a source of their never-ending riches as what is taken on the name of the poor never reach the poor.

The photographer has captured three images and all depict a different story.

The child running away with medicine is a prize find while the second is running with flying horse as it is the only toy he could find in the rubble.


The writer is a Special Correspondent at The Dayspring