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

Cold Weather Adds Insult to Injury

With the approach of winter, the pain and sufferings of the individuals, who do not have a roof over their heads, increase and they seek shelter to survive the cold weather. The number of women and children has been compounded on the street begging, selling plastics, polishing shoes and doing many other manual labors from dawn to dusk to satiate their hunger. Unemployment and inflation add insult to injury. For some, life turns to hell.
The population increases with each passing day and there is no birth control in the country. On the contrary, some families have no more than one bread-winner, especially when the number of female children is higher than male. In such a case, it is next to impossible for a middle aged/old man to provide food, clothing, shelter and education for all his children. Moreover, there is no attention from the government to alleviate their sufferings through providing job opportunity or at least strengthening security situation so that the entrepreneurs could start factories and invest freely.
In addition, there is an unprecedented rise in recent months in the return of registered and unregistered refugees from Pakistan, averaging 5,000 people daily in early September. Combined with the new internally displaced, an alarming one million (57 per cent of whom are children) could be on the move just as winter sets in between September and December 2016. All will require urgent food assistance, health, shelter and other essential services. This spike in the numbers of IDPs and returnees will increase the percentage of the population facing seasonal or permanent food insecurity beyond the current estimate of 40 per cent, and will further strain already meager economic and employment opportunities and public services.
Child labor is a serious problem in the country and a number of children abandon the idea of going to school being engaged in manual labors to earn bread and butter for their family members. They wander the streets, mainly in Kabul city, and return home with small penny. Similarly, some old men, who head their families, are involved in backbreaking works such as carrying heavy burdens on their shoulders or wheelbarrows but their income will suffice only bread for their large families. Few days back, an old man revealed his family issue in the same way. He was a shoe-polisher and said with a sigh of pain that he got out of home in early morning and returned home in late evening but he got no more than 80/100 Afs, which was not enough for only bread. His tired face and sad expressions would fill one with a deep sense of sorrow. The life plays really rough with our people. What about those women who lost their spouses in war or terrorist attacks?
The women who lost their spouses have to provide food and clothing for their children by hook or by crook and that is none of the government’s business! Perhaps, they are born to suffer. There is no one to read or listen to their life story. They have no option other than doing laundry, cooking, cleaning or just begging on the streets to find a morsel of bread for their children. Don’t you see the widows begging regularly in the cold weather? What about the children with filthy clothes? “Life” is, probably, the most meaningless, sorry, painful word for them. Their share from childhood is severe pain and bitter moment. No one can feel their grief and the lump in their throat. The question is that are not they still allowed to leave the country?
The officials, especially high-ranking ones, who live in luxury buildings and skyscrapers, will answer negatively to this question. They never feel empathy towards them. Dear officials please find us job or provide security! Our rights are violated, our blood is spilt and the graph of civilian casualties goes high and higher with each passing day. The officials will simply say: no, you have to make your country. But how, they neither know nor care. What about the refugees who return home? Do they have any facilities, jobs or security? Their return it believed to add to economic, social and security problems.
It is state in the preamble of constitution that the government is committed to “Strengthen political, social, economic as well as defense institutions; attain a prosperous life and sound living environment for all inhabitants of this land; and, eventually, regain Afghanistan’s appropriate place in the international family”. Moreover, the mouth-watering agenda of the President and CEO during their presidential campaigns, got people to picture a utopian society with tight security and strong economy. But none have come true and the nation suffers more than before. The political challenges suggest that the Constitution has been violated frequently by the officials themselves.

It is the government to provide job opportunities, security and “sound living environment for all inhabitants” and protect their rights and liberty. When our youths have jobs and security, they do not need to abandon the country. It is simply said that ‘actions speak louder than words’. Ordering the citizens to stay in the country is not a solution for the problem but providing them a safe and sound living environment is the panacea. The officials had better work for the nation rather than ordering too much so that the citizens do not seek/find solution in abandoning the country.