Founding Editor: Shafqat Munir   

Blank eyed, dry lipped: are they alive? 

12 Julie 2010 11:44:42

Blank eyed, dry lipped: are they alive?

Aftab Alam

Islamabad July 12, 2010: Striding steadily under the heavy load balanced on their heads, the young girls blankly stare at the photographer as he captures their graceful gait under the bundle of wood that they are carrying home for fuelling their stoves. Poverty, which has been a constant companion for them ever since their birth, has robbed their now expressionless faces of all innocence. 

Unaware of their basic human rights -- the right to education; the right to playful childhood activities; the right to ask for toys of their choice; and the right to enjoying their youth in a blissful, carefree manner -- these daughters of the soil are a living example of the fact that ‘those who learn to walk under a burden, walk straight!’ 

Although they are unaware of the word ‘fashion,’ there is so much elegance and grace in the manner they are dressed. They know just how to display whatever little lies within their reach -- be they matching bangles, nose pins, or the dress itself.

The barrenness of the background complements the withered fortunes destined for these girls. Who is to be blamed? No one, except us! Why we? Because we negate the basic commandments of God to share with our fellow humans, what we have affluently been blessed with. 

This photograph pictures the heart of the capital of Pakistan, where every common man is enjoying their basic rights to a certain extent. Imagine the plight of poor people who are abiding in hard-to-reach, far-off places of the country where they have to live below the poverty line.