Will it be a second Eid in relief camps?

Hyderabad’s district administration has asked the displaced people to return after Eid.


Ppi August 10, 2011

HYDERABAD: The district administration of Hyderabad has allowed 1,200 flood-affected internally displaced people (IDPs) to live in the New Sabzi Mandi relief camp till Eidul-Fitr. However, the majority of the IDPs do not want to return to their previous homes as their houses and assets have been destroyed and the law and order situation there has worsened.

The IDPs were unsatisfied with the new deadline, which was announced on Tuesday at the closing ceremony of a medical camp. The medical camp had been organised by Sindh Rural Partners Organisation and Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research at Sabzi Mandi camp.

Previously, a division bench of the Sindh High Court had granted the IDPs a stay order which allowed them to stay till August 6. The auspicious occasion of Eidul Fitr is approaching and the people living in camps are upset because the government has not taken any measures to rehabilitate them - in fact they have been given a deadline to leave.

“We have nothing to do in the village. My wife and I do not have children,” said 80-year-old Dil Murad Jatoi, who belongs to a small village in Shikarpur district. “When we were brought here in the camp, hundreds of other families, displaced from different areas of Sindh and Balochistan were living here. We were depending on charity organizations for food, water, clothing and tents. I have not decided where to go, because we both cannot work.”

Hyderabad Revenue Deputy District Officer Abid Qureshi, who set up an office in the Sabzi Mandi camp when the flood victims were arriving, also spoke on the occasion. He advised the people to shift their families to their native areas. The government would provide them with seeds, fertiliser and agriculture machinery. He thanked PILER, SRPO and other organisations for their cooperation.

A large number of women, men, elderly persons and children participated in the gathering and schoolchildren sang songs on their plight, uncertainty and feelings. PILER and SRPO donated two sewing machines to two widows and rations to 10 deserving women.

About 200 families have been living in the New Sabzi Mandi relief camp since August 17, 2010 and they celebrated Eid in the camps last year. They belong to Shikarpur, Jacobabad, Qambar-Shahdad Kot and Dadu. They are mostly farmers, who fear that if they go back they will be trapped again by landlords and tribal chieftains. Haji Manthar, a 78-year old farmer from Jacobabad, said the government should fulfill its promise to rehabilitate them in the big cities.

PILER and SRPO were running a primary school and providing health care. The joint director of PILER demanded the government release a second installment of the Wattan Cards.

“PILER along with SRPO provided medical facilities to 50,000 people and similar assistance of relief goods, food and non-food items and continued schooling the children for one year,” said the joint director.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 11th, 2011.

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