We will Rise Again.....
It was the last warm week of July 2010 when the rain started heavily in Pakistan. People were happy with the unexpected rain. Indeed they were dancing with happiness. Farmers started to hope for good crops. Shopkeepers hoped for a rise in profits. But no one imagined that this blessing will change in to a nightmare for all of them. The rain continued for many days and water climbed the surface of the bridge in the rivers. People started to worry about their future and their lives as they notice the water level rising in the rivers. Rapidly, the water broke its boundary and started to reach into near rural community. People’s hopes, dreams, and future started to float in water. Villages were overflowing with water. Water knocks drastically all the provinces: NWFP, Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, more drastically than we could have even imagined. After few days, one-fifth of Pakistan was under water. From above the country looked like the sea surface.
For the sake of lives, countless people started to evacuate to other places. During their evacuation, they experience a lot of difficulties. Half of the houses were under the water so moment was hard. People carried the necessary items on their heads, holding children’s’ hands and were trying to move. They were falling in the water again and again then again standing up, fetching their children and move forward. Some were holding their children with both hands and trying hard to keep their balance in the water. The water was polluted and it smelled very strongly like the smell from kitchen sink. When people fall into the water they can experience that smell significantly. Their condition was like the divers who were diving over again in the water. The was flowing all the way through the small street and its color changed into dark brown like mud or stem of a tree. During this war of life and death in water, many people lost their lives though some were able to pass through to dry land.
After coming out from the intense waves of water, people looked back at their houses with misery in the eyes. Their houses were totally damaged and many pieces of wood, metal and plastic that belong to the wrecked houses were floating above the water. The walls of houses were partly collapsed and the red white brick were scattered in the lawns of the houses. Some shoes and dupatas were floating on top of the water. Animals were also under the attack of water and those who died were thrown out by water waves on the wet ground.
People moved forward with their families to look for the new place to live. Children with hopeless eyes, faces with fear, wearing torn, wet dress holding the hands of their parents were moving forward to find a place where they could cover their heads. Girls were arranging their wet scarf and clothes over again and following their families without knowing where they were going. Mothers with ragged, wet clothes, with tears on their less wrinkled face, covering the child with their dupatas, helping other to move, were looking back again and again as they wanted to capture the whole scene of their damaged houses in their eyes because they knew that they would not be able to see these houses again. After having a look at their houses, they started to move forward swiftly as they don’t want to stay and see the destructions anymore. Fathers with no shirts and wet shalwars, carrying things on their shoulders were looking here and there with desperate eyes to discover a dry land where they can stay for a while.
After searching for many days, several of them discovered a dry piece of land where they can set shelter. They started to put their tents on the hot ground, with empty stomach, restless bodies. They had nothing where can sit or lay down. Children were starving with hunger and there was no possibility for receiving foodstuff because everyone in that area has the similar circumstances. Fathers were sitting on the warm ground entangled in their thought as they are not part of this world. Only one unpleasant incident ruined their hope, their wishes, and their future. Mothers were sweeping and arranging the things, they have with them, to make the place more comfortable for their children and husbands.
Hunger was major problem after shelter. All people were traveling for days without eating anything to find a dry land. Now when they were under the shelter, they need food to decrease the appetite. They came out with the hope of getting food from their temporary residence to search for a relief camp. After a long search, they came close to a flood relief camp and saw a time-consuming line of the people who were also affected by flood and waiting for the distribution of food. They stand in the line to get a piece of food.
People became homeless, hopeless, and jobless because of this flood. It is estimated that “the number of individuals affected by flooding in Pakistan exceeds the combined total of individual affected by the 2004 Tsunami, 2005 Kashmir earthquake, and 2010 Haiti earthquake.” (Hassan, Geo news). According to Pakistani Government data, the flood directly affect about 20million people, mostly by destruction of property, livelihood and infrastructure, with the death toll of close to 2,000 people. It has been 1 month that water waves has left our country but the people’s condition is still the same. Till now: they have to stand in line for food, they have to live on the ground under the cloth tent, and they have to wait for everything else. During this period of time, there was Eid and the affected people spend their eid under the tent, waiting for food.
A Pakistani famous poet, Muhammad Subuktageen saba, describes the condition of flood affected people in his poem:
عجب حالات میں اس بار اپنی عید آئی ہے
کہیں ماں باپ روتے ہیں،جُدا بھائی سے بھائی ہے
کسی کے اہل۔خانہ مُنتظر ہیں آج تک اب بھی
کوئی اپنوں کو ڈھُونڈھے ہے، عجب نا آشنائی ہے
نہیں سر پر کوئی بھی چھت،نہ چادر ہے نہ دیواریں
کوئی ہے خاک پر سویا،لئے نیلی رضائی ہے
کوئی روزے کی حالت میں ہے تشنہ لب کئی دن سے
کسی نے چار دن سے جُز ہوا،سحری نہ کھائی ہے
کہیں بچےبلکتےہیں کہ خالی پیٹ ہے اُن کا
کہیں بوُڑھے سسکتے ہیں،نہیں کوئی دوائی ہے
کبھی خوُشحال تھے جو،ہے مگر اُن کا اثاثہ اب
فقط اک ٹین کا بکسا، فقط اک چارپائی ہے
کوئی لیڈر نہیں ان کا ،کوئی منزل نہیں ان کی
مری اس قوم کی یا رب عجب ہئیت کذائی ہے
اگر سیلاب نہ آتا تو سب دھوکے ہی میں رہتے
ہمارے راہنُماؤں نے جو یہ کھچڑی پکائی ہے
یہی پانی ہے وہ پانی کہ جس پانی پہ جھگڑا تھا
اسی پانی نے اب دیکھیں یہ کیا آفت مچائی ہے
نہ سندھ،پنجاب نہ خیبر، بلوچستان اور گلگت
نہاب کوئی ہے خوُش اس سے ہر اک دیتا دُہائی ہے
اگر اک بار مل کر سب اک اچھا فیصلہ کر تے
یہی رحمت بھی بن جاتی جو آفت سب پہ آئی ہے
سنبھل جاؤ،مری مانو کہ اب بھی وقت ہے لوگو
ابھی تو جبل سرکے ہیں، ابھی طُغیانی آئی ہے
خُدا کو یاد کر لینا،وہیں فریاد کر لینا
تُمہارے ہاتھ میں اپنی یہ خوُد مُشکل کُشائی ہے
یہ جو قطرے کی صورت تُم ہوئے کمزور تو کیونکر
ہو طاقتور مگر ہر ایک سے ہی مار کھائی ہے
بنو سیل۔رواں چھا جاؤ ، ایوانوں میں ہر جانب
بدل دو اپنی قسمت کو،تُمہاری ہی خُدائی ہے
مگر میں سوچتا ہوں کس طرح ہوگا یہ سب مُمکن
صبا کی بات جو مانی تو مانو جگ ہنسائی ہے
Everyday people need to sleep with partially filled stomachs under the spacious sky hopingfor the best. There condition is more miserable than the people living below poverty line. Many volunteers and employs are there to help them but the financial support is not sufficient to accomplish their needs. Even though, there are a lot of difficulties but people of my Pakistan are having high hopes for their future. They did not give up. They will rise again with new life