SWAT: “We are starving to death and you are talking about Eid celebrations? If someone’s long-made world was wiped out in a flick, what will be his/her situation?” said Tasneem, a resident of Madyan, while taking food from a distribution point in a flood relief shelter.
While the unaffected areas illustrate to some extent the nearing of the festival of Eid, the devastation in the flood-ravaged areas has greatly prevented the survivors from indulging in any sort of Eid preparations.
“You know happiness and sorrows dwell inside the hearts. If there is Eid and happiness in the entire world, so what? We can never be happy because we no longer possess a house, food items and other necessities,” she said curtly.
Ramzan Ali, a resident of Sheti Mills Mohallah, busy collecting stones for laying the foundation of his collapsed house, disappointedly said, “The house which I had constructed with an income that was accumulated over a period of 50 years, was snatched away in a moment by nature, along with my other belongings; Eid can only increase our miseries.”
Regardless, shopkeepers have increased rates of the Eid items, as they took advantage of the multitude of customers visiting the Mingora Bazar.
“We anxiously wait for this moment of happiness; people give higher rates happily during Eid days,” said a shopkeeper in Mingora’s China market, adding that his business this Eid was, however, badly hampered by the floods.
Shahid Iqbal, a social worker, while collecting donation for the flood victims told The Express Tribune, “We as a nation should seriously think over the matter, because one part of our nation is suffering from hunger, poverty, diseases and inferiority complexes, while the other is enjoying life to the full. If everyone amongst us buys one gift each for the grieving family, it will at least extend some happiness to them.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 9th, 2010.