Old man and questions for ‘welfare state’

Picture: The Dayspring
By: Asem Mustafa Awan

They are old and fragile, their presence in bazaars and markets leave many questions on state welfare offices which exist in papers and have very presentable plans but nothing tangible is seen on the ground, unfortunately.

These white haired, white bearded old men have seen decades and years have passed before them but nothing to date has changed for them.

These old men have to make a living as begging is the option exercised by those who dare to ‘ask and tease’ passersby persistently but these old people with very simple attire sit and stare in one corner of the street.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has vowed many a times to make Pakistan a ‘welfare state’. He has a big dream but sadly not all who work under him share the same dream and passion to help the poor who need it the most.

The endless tales of embezzlement and corruption are rampant in different departments. It is believed thousands and thousands of individuals are affected from scams in which culprits either made plea bargain with the National Accountability Bureau or absconded from justice with the loot.

People have died waiting for justice that was delayed and denied for years and years and their outcome is still pending.

The strong arm of the law when it comes to recovering the public money from the crooks either becomes lame or gets amputated.

Pakistan has many cities and corners where the old people sit and pose as busy. They don’t talk much but the thing they have in common is, they always carry the holy book pocket edition in their hand. When there is nothing to do they are seen reading and reciting it in a humming voice that is on a very low note.

The photographer took the image from behind as in not to disturb the old man who recites ‘Holy Quran’ while waiting for customers. The only merchandise this old man carries is a digital weighing machine which is broken from one side depicting the years of use.

Unlike the rich ‘obese’ who get doctor’s opinions not to observe fast, this old man is possibly fasting and passing the time reciting Quran while waiting for the customers to make a living.

These individuals are the ones who need ‘state’s help’ which sadly make tall claims in media but is never there for these poor who deserve most.

The writer is special correspondent at ‘The Dayspring