By: Asem Mustafa
Smile has no borders and it can be at any time. The trash picking woman smile for the photo on the donkey cart which is their most prized and precious belonging followed by a canine female.
How many hours they have spent in filling the bag and how much it will fetch is another story. The smile on her face shares a joy which is off a meal that will be to the heart’s content and wholesome.
A meal that is after a hard days work. These trash pickers have a story to share and it is the third generation which has been in the business for picking litter and living off it in the ‘land of the pure’. Hunger has no boundaries and it is same as that of smile sans border.
The trash pickers have a world of their own and regretfully there is no thought or policy that exists for them. The live and die and their lives are unaccounted for.
The most recent and the glaring example a few days ago is the murder of three devotees at a shrine in Sheikhupura near Lahore. The three including a woman was killed in their sleep and their bodies were carried in a donkey cart despite the presence of ambulance which was flashing lights nearby.
Such is the callousness that humans who are discarded from the system stand no chance to be treated as humans. The video at the shrine show presence of government and officials that amount nearly a 100 as incident happened and what next to do was the problem that popped up.
These devotees which can be termed as beggars were killed in their sleep. They were all discards from the system which doesn’t own them and the shrine was the only place which provided food and shelter.
The two women on the donkey cart appear to be in good health as they have developed an immune system which repel and ward off all evils and diseases while the man on the motorcycle is wearing mask as protection.
The presence of these trash pickers raise many a questions for policy makers who have made Pakistan ‘heaven on earth’, Asian tiger and what not on the power point presentations and this status will be on the rise with every passing day and may be after CPEC there is a possibility Pakistan will have individuals who will top the list of global rich.