Founding Editor: Shafqat Munir   

All that glitters is not gold- Miseries of Islooites 

12 Augustus 2010 12:30:21

All that glitters is not gold- Miseries of Islooites

By Sardar Imran Azam

Millions of people living outside Islamabad wish to live or at least visit the federal capital due to its beauty, richness, power politics and what not; but they forget that Islamabad too has more poor in slums than in many other cities.

These poor and marginalized folks are too Islooites but their share in the cake is just traces as they have no access even to basic amenities under the same administration and the same territorial limits.

Hundreds of thousands of dwellers of more than a dozen slums live a miserable life in shabby huts and mud houses prone to heavy winds, sun, cold and rains. They are almost homeless and their kids have to access to clean drinking water, schooling and clothing. Their condition is not in any way better to other poor in the country. They live in tents in precarious conditions locally known as ‘Jhuggi’ in unhygienic conditions.

Mr Jogi, 72, a snake charmer who hails from a slum near I-8 sector alongside the Pirwadhai road told INFN: “Four snakes are my lifeline as through their tricks I earn my livelihood.” He said he is homeless for the last 64 years when he was only eights years. Pakistan’s life is 63 years and Jogi’s homelessness is even older than the birth of Pakistan. During almost seven decades, Jogi used to travel across Pakistan, but despite many a government housing schemes in the past did not benefit him and hundreds of thousands of his fellow poor people.

“I always think, am I a citizen of this country? Do we have not any right on this land? Our forefather struggled along with others for this homeland then why this discrimination against us is still going on even after 63 years of independence” he added.

Jamal Hussain another resident of slum said: “Though we wish that our children get education, proper clothing and nutritious food but they cannot afford such luxuries as hunger made us vulnerable to diseases.

“No NGO, no government can feel our miseries, we want better life. Our children always remain sick because of unhygienic condition and so many of our community children died without any medication,” said Khatoon bibi, 45 and a resident of slums in Islamabad.

Two children Raheela, 6 and Arif, 7 said. “We do not want any thing except shelter which can protect us from rain, heat and cold. When we see other children in school uniform, we wish to go to school as they do.”

Now the question arises, don’t these people have any right on this state? Don’t state have any responsibility as for as these people are concern. Is this not responsibility of Islamic state to provide them shelter cloths and food which is the basic need for every human being.

When our constitution guarantees a compulsory education, why these kids only wish and cannot go to school? Who will give them an answer regarding fulfilment of their desires as children? Who will provide shelter to those who have spent their whole life without a home?