Editor in Chief: Dr. Hussain Yasa Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

Support for the Least Advantaged

There are many parts of Afghanistan where the people are suffering from the dearth of rudimentary requirements of life. Because of decades of instability and improper attention to the basic issues of people and failure to develop the basic infra-structure, the poor people in those areas have gone through very tough times. The government has not been successful in providing services to the remote areas and there are major governance issues prevailing there. The circumstances get more tragic and challenging when those areas have to face the surge in insurgency or when they have to go through severe weather changes, as they do not have proper food, cloth, shelter and health facilities.
Afghanistan’s Bamyan province is one of the examples. Though the province is equipped with some natural blessings and historical importance, the administration and governance have failed to play any major role in utilizing the advantages. Therefore, the people have kept on suffering to a large extent.
A recent study shows that thousands of cave-dwellers near the Buddha statues in the province are suffering from poverty, health issues and deadly animals such as snakes and scorpions threaten their lives. Around 3,000 caves are dotted around the famous Buddha statues, inhabited by 250 families from Bamyan and other provinces. Caught up in grinding poverty, the people living here do not have other shelters. Moreover, as they do not have any source of income their children and family members have to be content with eating breadcrumbs and unhygienic leftover food collected from restaurant rubbish.
Braving under subzero winter temperatures and other day-to-day privations, the cave residents do not have blankets -- much less other home appliances. Resultantly, starvation, illiteracy and backwardness appear to be their destiny.
It is an irony to find the people around such a historical place in such condition. The place could be best used to attract the tourists, where they could be shown the historical beauty of the place but what they can find there is misery and an ugly shape of administrative arrangements. People of Bamyan, like all the other Afghans, require proper and due attention of the government authorities.
Governor Spokesman Abdul Rahman Ahmadi, when asked about the situation, said that over 50 percent Bamyanis lived under the poverty line including the cave-dwellers who had been suffering from poverty and other problems. He claimed that the government provided help to the people living in caves. In 2004 as many as 120 families were provided with shelters and this year 20 families were provided with shelters. He also claimed that the local government tried to coordinate distribution of assistance so that deserving families could get the assistance.
Nevertheless, looking at the condition it is easier to draw a conclusion that there is really something wrong our administrative and governance mechanism as they are suffering from serious challenges. The question at this crucial moment is whether the country can go ahead with such a setup, wherein most of the people of the country suffer from hunger and poverty. Is it just that almost all the people of the country went through era of instability and chaos and mostly the common people gave sacrifices and their whole lives were influenced negatively by socio-political and economic circumstances, yet they remain the most unprivileged stratum? Is it really ethical that by gaining authority the ruling elite has gotten the license of having all the privileges they want it and, at the same time, remains unaccountable?
It is really important to consider all the questions thoroughly and try to find out their true answers. The sort of negative practices and thinking mentioned above have become a part of daily life and soon they will become a part of our nature; therefore, it is necessary to understand them and take action against them before they are able to become irreversible. Unfortunately, the common people are so ignorant that they do not even realize that they are being dodged and their rights are being violated. They are kept in dark and instead of demanding for light they have started to make compromises in order to live in the darkness.
It is the demand of better living and higher thinking that civil society and people representatives must rise to the occasion and strive to let the people know the evils of ignorance they have and must suggest economic reforms and clear changes in the socio-political setup.
The government needs to listen to the voices of the people who are suffering from lack of basic requirements of life and it needs to take tangible measures in this regard. It has to start from the areas that are the least developed and where the needs are required on emergency basis.