Pakistan witnessed a turning point in its history in the summer of 2007. The two major coinciding events of the year were the rain which caused a flood in areas of Baluchistan and Sindh, and the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) issue.
In Karachi, this heavy rainfall during the month of June triggered severe traffic jams, flooded roads and caused prolonged electricity failures. But that was not enough! more misery was added when gushy winds caused billboards, trees and walls of houses to collapse causing more difficulties for its citizens. Although many routines were disrupted, there were a large number of the citizens who were witnessed throughly enjoying themselves on the beach (even though it had been declared a danger zone by the authorities due to an expected cyclone), dancing on the roads or out on a long drive.
A cyclone warning had been issued and the cyclone which was expected to touch the coastal area of Sindh caused no major harm in Karachi, BUT it does not end here! The rainfall and the tropical storms affected many locations around Jhal Magsi in Baluchistan and Shahdadkot in Sindh which were flooded.
An estimated 800,000 people are said to be affected, out of which 100,000 families were left homeless. And sadly it still does not end here, livelihood of the locals depended on farming and cattle rearing, an estimated 150,000 acres of cropland was also lost.
What could be worse than losing one's loved ones, home, means of income and then being made to live under the open sky without food and shelter?
It is just sad how even though most of us knew about the flood and how it adversely affected our fellow Pakistani's, we turned a deaf ear to the situation and were instead busy concentrating on the issue of the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque), we completely neglected an equally (rather more) important issue being faced by the country. Not only did we neglect the flood victims, we also neglected our responsibility of lending a helping hand to serve humanity!
It is even more sad how the media that processes the power to manipulate a major part of the society was busy concentrating and hyping the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) issue. After all, this is the same media which at the time of the earthquake played a key role in uniting the nation, pumping adrenaline into the youth and helping millions affected by the earthquake. But this time the media did not play its role wisely, it opted to give much attention to the 'Hot Issue', rather than emphasizing equally on both the important issues. The nation of tremendous unity disappointed this time. Our response was bad, terrible!
As a result our Pakistani brothers and sisters were dying of hunger and cold, waiting helplessly for relief and aid. Why was our response so bad this time? Is it because we are dependent on the media to such an extend that we require issues to be publicized to get our minds started and enable us to act? Where did all the patriotism disappear this time? Or have we become too engrossed in our own life? Have we changed this dramatically in just a matter of 2 to 3 years? Is our condition this deplorable? These are some of the questions which linger in my mind!
(Picture: http://karachirelief.org/image%20gallery/Flood%20Relief%20109.jpg , Karachi Relief )
To conclude, Leaving aside the boundaries of caste, creed and religion it is our job as humans to help the flood victims on the basis of humanity.
Below are two ways to help the flood victims:
1) Karachi Relief (www.karachirelief.org):View the website, they require funding and volunteers.
2) Contact me, if you are interested in providing direct relief in Baluchistan, i have a friend whose village is in dire need of help and aid.