Articles and letters may be edited for the purposes of clarity and space. They are published in good faith with a view to enlightening all the stakeholders. However, the contents of these writings may not necessarily match the views of the newspaper.
Covid-19 and the class difference
As lockdowns ease, who will be safe from coronavirus? And will the risk of exposure fall along the lines of rich and poor? Economists at the University of Oxford found a direct correlation between the pay and physical proximity at work. If you are higher paid at your job, you will come into physical contact with the fewer people and if you’re paid more you are also more likely to be able to work from home.
The poorer you are the more likely you will be to live close to other people, where multiple generations share one home and the risk of passing the virus to older people is higher. Asthma, diabetes and heart conditions are all risk factors for Covid-19 and poverty is linked to these underlying health problems. In some developing countries that have been badly hit by Covid-19, like India, Brazil and Mexico, those who are dying seem to be younger. The places where healthcare is really lacking, the rich and powerful can choose to go abroad. All of this may be moot once a vaccine is discovered, but who will get it first?
Where is the Ummah?
This letter refers to the plight of the Muslims of Kashmir, Syria, Palestine, India and Yemen. The world is suffering from the Coronavirus pandemic, irrespective of religion, faith, creed, or race. It is, however, sad to see that Muslims living in countries with Muslim minorities such as India and Palestine – surrounded by Israel – are victim to the aggression of the non-Muslim majorities.
Today, we must stand together as human beings irrespective of whether we are Hindus, Muslims, Christians or Jews. My heart aches when I hear news of villages of Muslims testing positive for the virus being burned in India. Palestinians are victim to Israeli aggression day in day out. It is time we listen to the voices of the innocent children, women and old, and stand together as united to oppose the oppression we face world over.
Another eminent disaster
After the economic desolation caused by Covid-19, another disaster is/has approached. According to the media and food and agriculture organisation’s warnings, a monstrous flow of desert locusts is about to arrive in starting of July. Previous governments responded with such matters by taking no action. Locusts eat up and destroy the crops in the wake of uncoordinated efforts between federal and provincial governments. During the previous two months, the arrival of the locusts in parts of Sindh did not have disastrous consequences, as wheat, cluster bean and mustard, along with other crops had been harvested. But in the Dadu District, the losses were quite ruinous. The Agriculture Extension Department officers at their specified sites should warn the farmers by informing them this disseminating information through pamphlets and have shared their contact numbers in cases of emergency. According to the experts, the only solution to prevent this threat is through proper administration of aerial sprays, for which federal government would have to provide a special helicopter or an aircraft, along with other necessary material.
If the federal government remains unconcerned, the outcome will be very catastrophic. If the prediction of the July arrival of locusts turns out to be real and governments do no large scale preparations, then neither federal nor provincial government will be able to cope with the locust attack and counter its destructive impact on whole Pakistan’s agriculture, food security and the overall livelihood of a majority of Pakistanis who either directly or indirectly depend on agriculture for a living. It is requested that Federal Minister for National Food Security, Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar may kindly look into the matter.
We should celebrate teachers, tutors and lecturers in discharging their roles effectively by helping students to become knowledgeable about the world and the complexities of today’s society, make them aware of moral, ethical and social issues. We value educators in their dedication in nurturing honest, eager and critical minds. They also teach students to constantly question and innovate, help them achieve their fullest potential, inspire them to challenge the status quo and question the norm.
We greatly appreciate educators for educating and preparing students to discharge the offices of life with usefulness and reputation. Despite setbacks, challenges and insurmountable obstacles, educators should continue to pride themselves in cultivating students to appreciate great achievements of human beings and disciplined sensibility to the poverty, injustice and oppression that burden the lives of so many. Please continue to create a sense of human solidarity and concern for the common good that will bear fruit as learning becomes service to justice.