Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, February 27th, 2020

The Economic Plight of Kabul Citizens

The wintertime compounds the hardships of poor women and children in Kabul city. They live in crumbled houses and slums. These people who earn their bread and butter by begging, how is it possible for them to obtain fuel for heating? They can hardly ever make ends meet. Even though, their bodies are numb with cold and their faces pale with hunger, they still survive death.
A 12-year-old girl, with disheveled hair and sloppy clothes, begs on Kabul streets with her mother every day. She has grown up facing life’s difficulties. Poverty is her twin sister. Obviously, she has been living deep in pain and sorrow from the very beginning of her life! Whenever she recalls her bitter memories, she cannot suppress the strong burst of her emotion and her eyes are filled with tears. Now, as each passing day adds to her age and takes her away from childhood, that faraway look is disappearing. Therefore, mostly she is in deep thought and a shadow of great despair appears on her face. Saying farewell to childhood’s simplicity and stepping into the world of responsibilities appears to be one of the most traumatic experiences in her life.
Now she gradually understands the adult world. Her approach of childish simplicity is unaware of the tortuous path ahead. She does not know about the hypocrisy, duplicity, deception and fraudulence of this world. She is fully ignorant about the traps laid for her in this world. She never thinks that she will be waylaid by the evil-minded creatures of this selfish world.
She does not know her many faults. Of course, being a girl is her primary fault. In this society, women and girls are tortured, disrespected and sacrificed for the faults of the male members of their families such as brothers, fathers and spouses. Females are tormented in cellars, they are mutilated, they are hanged on trees, corrosive acid is sprayed on their faces and their schools are burnt down.
Being a child is her second fault. If you are weak, your rights will be trampled upon in one way or another. Being weak is an unforgivable crime in this country. Therefore, children are made undergo back-breaking labor from early morning till late night.
She is not the only girl who suffers from such challenges of daily life. There are thousands of others in the same boat. If one walks in the streets of Kabul city, there are many touching sights of needy children and also of old men and women.
The scenes of disabled beggars who are crawling across the streets, imploring for a penny from each passerby, touch me greatly. They really survive hunger and poverty through their lives. Without a doubt, they are pressurized by deep and intolerable economic crunch. Perhaps, they might be the hated group in the eyes of the rich.
Few years back, a friend of mine mentioned a moving story about in Kabul city. He saw a crowd of onlookers gathered around a van, in which were two teenage girls. When he enquired, one of the onlookers answered that the two girls had sold by their opium-addict father. When they were being carried a way, the girls beat the van with their fists and police overheard the sound and stopped the van. The case has been discovered by police accidentally, but what about many other children who are bought and sold secretly this way? What would happen to them? A girl, who is sold as a payment for her father’s debt, has no future. Wouldn’t she be used as mere servant who must labor twenty-four hours in the kitchen? Perhaps she is doomed to live her whole life with some disgusting forty or fifty-year old men, under the same roof. She will be used as tools for satisfying their carnal desire. Do you know why? Because their fathers are addicts! My God! Imagining such a picture is difficult and shameful.
Thomas Hobbes has rightly said: “man is man’s wolf” meaning that man preys upon man. He says “As machines, human beings pursue their own self-interest relentlessly, mechanically avoiding pain and pursuing pleasure.” In this world, many are as machine, bereft of human feelings, emotions, sympathies and dignities, pursuing pleasure at the cost of others’ lives. They threaten, torture and murder in order to benefit in every possible way.
The fate of Afghan children seems horrible. They mostly experience pain and sorrow. They are involved in life drudgeries from birth. But they are too small to be touched with those labors.
The stony silence of the government officials is very disappointing. The fact is that they live in skyscrapers, eat sumptuous meals, drive costly vehicles; no pains and pressures touch them. Hence, in such a utopian world, how can they realize the meaning of difficulties and poverty! They do not ever want to imagine the dystopian world of the poverty-stricken families.
It is unfortunate for our poor people as ears have turned deaf, eyes have turned blind, and hearts have turned stone. It is natural that when such tragedies are repeated every day, people will gradually get used to it. Now, it is the same with our country, especially with our officials. Therefore, every tragedy is normal; something to be ignored.
Whenever I observe the cruelty of this world, I lose my hope in life. Indeed, such a life does not worth living.
The government has to pay serious attention to the economic plight of the citizens, especially to children and widows, who sit on streets in early morning and late nights.