People belonging to all walks of life – including businessmen, politicians, medical professionals, artists, sportsmen, apart from dedicated relief workers as well as commoners — are taking an active part in flood relief activities in the country in whatever capacity they can, like by making cash donations, setting up relief and medical camps, raising their voice for mobilising more and more people towards the sacred cause, etc. There are also people who have provided shelter to the flood victims and are sharing their belongings with them. Even ragamuffins have been seen donating to the humanitarian cause out of the meagre amount they eke out from their day-long labour of collecting refuse from heaps of waste and trash.
However, there are some people who tend to fish in troubled waters. For these callous people, this time of unprecedented rains and floods in the country is an opportunity to mint money by fleecing the distressed flood victims who rather need their help in the calamitous situation. According to media reports, police in Hyderabad town of Sindh have arrested five shopkeepers involved in hoarding relief goods and selling them at exorbitant prices. For instance, a tent which normally costs Rs7,000 was being sold for as high as Rs27,000 — nearly four times as much. That these dishonest and heartless people deserve exemplary punishment goes without saying.
Relevant authorities across the country must keep a watchful eye on elements out to benefit from the misery of the flood victims, and cause an impediment to the relief activities. The authorities must also make sure that relief goods are not misappropriated — as has happened in such situations in the past — and reach those in whose names they are being collected.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 29th, 2022.
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