Rather than celebrating with their families, the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) at Jalozai Camp will observe this Eid far from their homes.
Ten-year-old Dawrana’s family left their house a year ago because of ongoing operations against militants in Khyber Agency. She was carrying old shoes in her hands to get repaired them for Eid. “My father bought new clothes for all of us, but could not buy new shoes because he did not have enough money,” Dawrana said.
She remembered Eid in her village where they used to visit her uncle’s house and play different games. “We used to visit our relatives and collect Eidi, but in the camp we cannot go anywhere,” she explained.
Dawrana’s family is just one of 13,000 families who now live as IDPs in temporary shelters at the camp in Nowshera. In previous years, families were given special packages to help them celebrate Eid. However, no welfare organisation or government body has yet announced a special package for them this Eid.
“My father used to bring new clothes and shoes every Eid but this year, we could not afford it,” said Jamshed, another child at the IDP camp. Jamshed too wore worn-out clothes. He was on his way to collect flour from the distribution point. “I am collecting flour because my mother said that she will make special bread for me on Eid,” Jamshed said, ecstatic at the thought.
Rasool Jan, another IDP, said that those who could afford cost of transport could go spend Eid with their relatives. He said that some people even went back to their areas where peace has partially been restored. Jan said that on previous occasions, social welfare organisations distributed Eid packages among them but this time nothing happened.
Adnan Khan, spokesman for the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), said that some local NGOs would likely to donate packages. Similarly, he said that some affluent people were also expected to distribute these packages amongst the IDPs.
He added that the PDMA has a plan to distribute Eid packages among the school children, that included books, pencils and sweets.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2012.
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