Thar – The stepchild of Pakistan
“Hunger is not caused by a scarcity of food, but by a scarcity of democracy”, these thought mobilizing words of Frances Lappe are perfectly illustrating an ugly picture of the hunger stricken area of Thar and the ignorant attitude of “democratic” authorities over this issue. The beauty of this desert has ruined due to lack of basic life sustaining facilities, unemployment, poverty, absence of clean water, poor health facilities and other innumerable issues but the most gruesome situation has been created by the mother of all evils which is “hunger”.
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The abundant desert of thar is facing the issue of food shortage since ages and people are still at war against the grave effects of hunger which includes malnutrition in children, stunted growth, miscarriages of women and now the death toll due to suicide is also touching its peak. According to a report of the UN Observation Mission more than 70% of the people have no food access at home which depicts the alarming attitude of authorities towards the people of Thar.
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Moreover, the situation got much worse due to covid-19 and more than 500 children died due to malnutrition in 2020. A woman lost her two kids due to lack of food. Loss of eyesight is growing among the people and there are numerous other disturbing stories to quote. Hence, the fingers must be raised on the role of provincial government and responsible authorities because the area does not possess water resources to grow food and the harsh climatic conditions are also not favorable for many crops to survive which depicts that only the government has to step up and provide the food to Thar. The current government of PPPP has been ruling in Sindh since the 1970s but no fruitful effort has been made to compensate for the deteriorating food shortage.
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They have announced many funds in the financial budget for Thar, but the ground reality is portraying a different picture. Federal government has also played the role of a silent criminal and it looks like nobody really cares about this barren land just because it has failed to meet the expectations of people in power.
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In a nutshell, Thar is already laying in the coffin and authorities have played their role in exploiting the area, its resources, and people. The government needs to take serious measures in order to eradicate the problem of food shortage because the people have been living hungry generations after generations but now it is becoming too much for them to bear. Indeed, a test for the advocates of democracy which usually rendered it as the “government of people” and a high time for them to realize that Thar deserves food!!! Thar – The stepchild of Pakistan
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Author : Sehar Awais