The floods or deluge
The only effective, solid and exemplary role in helping the victims of the flood , by evacuating them, providing food, medicines, building the destroyed tracks and bridges, protecting the bunds and barrages was performed by the Army, .Navy and the Air Force .It proved that the Army is the iron will of any nation. This means that it can still be used for resettlement of affected persons when the flood recede. Salute to them and the brave young ladies and young men of private TV channels for showing to the nation the grave situation in the affected areas reporting from the field. These are our heroes. The Government is wasting time in holding conferences, setting Commissions etc That is politiciansí love for self publicity to put up shows as a substitute for action This is the time for immediate action and not talk. . It is not necessary that all help to the Displaced Persons should be made through or with the help of the Government. Much more is possible and is being done by voluntary help of unofficial channels. The problem has three aspects: immediate scour, resettlement of Displaced persons in their homes after the floods recede and reconstruction of the devastated houses and facilities. In making immediate help available we have three responsibilities giving donations in cash or kind.; using agencies to transport the donated items to the Displaced Persons at their temporary shelters. Self-help should be the key word in meeting the challenge of the calamity. Ordinary Pakistani can contribute liberally in cash and kind once it is sure of the things going to the deserving and not diverted to other charities including charity to the Party bosses. The magnitude of the problem is so colossal that unless the Civil Society comes out to share the burden, it would be impossible to. provide food, shelter, medicines, to the destitutes.
There is also a problem of discipline the items of aid are being distributed which the political workers should take care of themselves. There is no doubt that once Pakistanis are sure that their donations will reach the displaced persons and not some where else Pakistanis will contribute with open heart. There may be any defect in the Pakistanis but not helping the miserable is not one of them Properly motivated public can meet much of the burden themselves The Civil Society of this country once again demonstrated by donating items of aid in kind in Karachi on the appeal of the dynamic Mustafa Kamal of the MQM that no other city can provide matching aid than Karachi and Lahore put together, The rich politicians with millions and perhaps billion and filthy rich Waderas would still not match the contribution of these too cities put together, although they could if they have the same spirit. Incidentally, it is shocking that when these wadera-turn political bosses come for their photo-sessions with the destitutes
The main problem is distributing the help to the displaced persons, This can best be done without loss of time by two, either philanthropist organizations like Edhi, or political parties with credentials for integrity like Imran Khanís , etc. Mentioning only two such organizations does not mean that they are so few. The donor knows who are the most reliable in their areas If the Army or Navy or Air Force agree to accept to transport the donated items for distributing to the needy this can be the best arrangement. They have no problem of transporting the donated items to the destinations. Donations in cash should never be given to organizations of doubtful of reliability. And bureaucracy has time consuming formalities to comply. ,
Anyway, the displaced persons need many items in kind . Even small bags of rice and atta can be given to these organizations to send it to the right destinations. Thos who are middle class wage earners can make small pockets of dry goods like biscuits, dry cakes, towels, soap, medicines of every day use like disprine, ointment, etc, after asking these charity organizations what would be of use to the destitutes Every thing that is in need how so small would still be useful to them The civil society has already responded massively to their responsibility in a typical Pakistani manner When the nation is in trouble they may be expected to be donate generously. After all who reseetled seven million destitutes from India in 1947-48 without a pie of help from abroad. As regards medical assistance to these persons, Pakistan has no shortage of doctors, surgeons and the students in the medical colleges of the country. Someone should organize teams of volunteers to go to the camps and help the sick, women and children. Medical firms can contribute medicines, injections and dressings. Except for the genuine help extended by our brotherly countries , no foreign aid need be sought or accepted. We should certainly not accept any LOANS of the Shylocks , like the World Bank, They are paid back through our nose with interest . Even the aid/loans of distant countries with which only diplomatic relations bind us need not be accepted. Donations sent by our brotherly peoples and countries with whom we are linked through the closest ties of all kinds from centuries like Saudi Arabia, Gulf States, Turkey and other Muslim peoples voluntarily, or by China cannot be placed on the same level as aid from other countries on so called humanitarian basis, which looks like charity . Resettlement of Displaced Persons in their homes
After the floods recede in a fortnightís time hopefully, the Displaced persons should be resettled in their homes . The Displaced Persons should therefore be sheltered as near to their homes as possible so that they can return to their homes quickly Leaving oneís home is worst thing that can ever happen to any body On return there would be a natural tendency among these returnees to rebuild their destroyed houses and farms. If Self help program of Akhter Hameed Khan could establish Korangi Township or Commilla Project, same can be done by the Displaced Persons.
Major Reconstruction of Destroyed villages or Towns: can be done by the Government . The Government should do this type of activity. To raise funds for this purpose perhaps a ten per cent increase in the Income Tax may be introduced for one year or two but no more like at one time we used to pay East Pakistan Relief Tax long after East Pakistan had seceded The tax should be used ONLY for this specific purpose and nothing like diverting its funds to some Income Support scheme. Some lessons should be drawn from these floods. Our politicians would have seen that had Kalabagh Dam and other similar dams were in existence there would have been less damage by the floods They should bow to the technical advices and not stick to local political interests . Pakistanis can construct excellent dams and barrages and roads bur they do not look after periodic repairs of these facilities once made. After the floods recede the damages done to such facilities should be repaired . It remains to be seen whether such rains will come next year or not.