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     October 31,  2015


 2015- a year of disasters for Chitral and Relief Items.

The predictions and research info on global warming was being taken light by the common man who cared little for such type of media talk and carried on his/ her chores as usual but the summer of 2015 brought with it an unprecedented cataclysm in the shape of uninterrupted showers in the Monson rains which hardly reached the upper parts of Chitral in the past but this year the Monsoon clouds were bent upon wreaking havoc in the region to wash away everything of value- communication infrastructure, agricultural infrastructure, tourism opportunities, fruit and vegetable produce, fodder collection and stocking opportunities, firewood collecting chances, preservation of cultured Lucerne produce for sale as well as domestic use as essential part of village economy. Al kind of land produce was destroyed completely and the cultivators left high and dry, in a traumatic state as how to face the hard winter months. So they first thought of selling their livestock to buy food to feed their children.

The govt. announcements about distribution of relief items is a white lie and its is given only to those who are well off and well connected. The poor, orphans, widows, landless families, disabled ones etc . have been al togather forgotten. Last week I had the chance to visit my valley to assess the progress of relief work in many sectors but found most unattended by the departments concerned except the main road to Terich Mir which is under construction. All the other announcements have been forgotten. The river had done tremendous damages on both banks and washing away scores of jireebs of crops, cultured crops, grass lands, houses but nothing has been done to divert the river to its original course and its now flows down the main part of the villages , posing threat for the poor families who cannot face if it rises next summer and if the govt. move as slowly as it has been doing so far. In the mosque of my village I saw a quilt wrapped and kept in a corner. For three days I did not ask about its nature but on the 4th I could not contain myself anymore and asked about the origin of the quilt and the mosque-goers told me that there was a relief package from some NGO which contained 10 blankets and 10 quilts for the deserving people of Terich valley of 14000 people. Upon consideration the relief workers after consultation with the party leaders decided to give the ten blankets to ten Mullas of the village and the ten quilts were given to ten mosques to be kept there to provide to visiting hawkers from Bajour or Mohmand. Was it a right decision??? I donít think so: there are widows, orphans, flood affectees in the same village and the relief goods should have been given to them but the well off persons grabbed them. The poor and the affectees were neglected. Was it a fair deal? I donít think so. The same type of distribution criteria has been adopted after the catastrophes all over Chitral and this will alienate the sympathies of the lower classes and pave way for a bloody revolution as similar situations had led to great revolution in the past.

Prof. Rahmat Karim Baig


mail @ chitraltimes@gmail.com

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