Free food

By: Asem Mustafa Awan

Hunger is a universal dilemma. Billions over the globe satiate their need by eating; some are blessed with more food and some with very little. Due to over eating one third of the world population is obese and the global obesity index in the past two decades shows alarming trends.

A number of suggestions and simple strategies can be put in place and practiced to feed the hungry but miserably due to inefficient and incompetent planners all goes in waste.

The Corona pandemic has created havoc for the poor as millions continue to fall below the poverty line. The world leaders with their food ministers and philanthropists are joining heads to combat the pandemic besides providing food to the less fortunate.

No strategy is devised to encourage the public to look after the downtrodden segments of the society who are faced with hunger and for days have nothing to live on.

A number of suggestions and simple strategies can be put in place and practiced to feed the hungry but miserably due to inefficient and incompetent planners all goes in waste.

The recently formed Tiger Force can play a pivotal role as Prime Minister Imran Khan in all his speeches place importance to the plight of the poor in the country who have suffered most in the pandemic.

Pakistan has his own share of problems that are in multitude and sadly the efforts made are good in power point presentations catering to only a select few hundreds while thousands are left hapless and helpless.

The first and foremost thing the force can do is to monitor all the clay ovens which are established in the poor localities and with their supervision the ‘Free Bread Programme’ can be initiated for the poor who can collect the ‘roti’ (bread) from the oven.

The ovens under Tiger Force supervision can get a discount for the commendable job either in bill or cash for the service. This strategy needs to be devised as hungry, sick and old cannot make it to ‘Panagah’ (shelter homes) due to their own inabilities.

Serve them where they are and when they need it most should be the strategy if Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf wants to rule the hearts of the masses.

The ‘Sasti Roti’ and Roti Corporation Plants in the past have all resulted in massive corruption and irregularities and who suffered most was the poor who was promised everything but was given nothing.

The Corona pandemic has made people especially the poor and daily wager suffering the most though efforts have been made and money was given as relief to people but not all qualified for the grant which is debatable and questionable at the same time.

All is not true as projected by the government, the poor that live on day to day basis have tales that are not for the faint hearted and government of Pakistan sadly has no heart to feel the pain and misery a commoner goes through, in his day to day life.

A few days ago a protest nearly choked the twin cities and traffic jam took hours to clear. The government never thought that how many people died in ambulances, how many people couldn’t get the burial, how many women give birth to children on that day, how many people suffered due to the protest at Railway Station and Bus Stations and last but not the least how many of heinous crimes happened that day. Everything got sucked in the protest and a ‘low life commoner’ plight got the lowest priority.

The rich elite at the helm of affairs are not affected by price hike as they have multiple sources of income which are hidden and mostly off shore. These power brokers don’t have roots in the country owing to dual rather multiple nationalities and Pakistan for them is a like grazing ground where there have unlimited powers to manipulate and make money which is impossible otherwise and out of Pakistan.

How many inquiries have been initiated and bore any results in terms of relief is a question that has answers which runs in millions of rupees.

The mafias are controlling the jugulars of masses and these ‘no good extortionists’ know that inquiries in ‘land of the pure’ have unlimited time span. The poor die before the relief as promised reaches them.

The wheat and sugar shortage that was artificially created resulted in nothing. People made millions before the commoner who died of hunger was noticed by the government. The wheat and sugar price to date as announced from the government fluctuates, not everyone comply to government which is seen making announcements only in media.

There is still time before the second wave of Corona can shutdown everything. Government must come up with small feasible plans which are practical and caters to poor.

Small street vendors in different cities can be asked as why they share their food with the poor in the evening with a display banner ‘RaatKaKhanaFree’ (night meal is free).

These small food outlets are showing such magnanimity and are doing their bit for the hungry surely makes them stand out tall against the government which boasts of policy makers who always plan and dream so big that nothing is achieved at the end. 

This small unit should serve as a guideline with the thought that ‘no person should sleep hungry in ‘Naya Pakistan’.