• Monday, August 10, 2020

People of Thar have no food or water, but thanks for the free WiFi, PPP

Discussion in 'Social & Current Events' started by RangeMaster, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. RangeMaster

    RangeMaster FULL MEMBER

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    A child lays on a hospital bed in the desert region of Tharparkar. PHOTO: AFP

    Recently, the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) inaugurated the first free WiFi villages in Tharparkar. The project, which will cost $2 billion and is projected to be completed in 2019, involves the production of 660 megawatts of electricity through the process of coal mining.

    An investigative article published in The National Geographic in 2014 states:

    “Coal provides 40% of the world’s electricity. It produces 39% of global carbon dioxide emissions. It kills thousands a year in mines, many more with polluted air.”



    Even though WiFi has become such a necessity in today’s world, the question that arises is: do the people living in the villages of Thar even have enough money to spend on these devices? More importantly: Is their basic necessity Wifi or food and water?

    According to a recent report by the United Nation Observation Mission on Tharparkar, the districts of Umerkot and Sanghar fall under humanitarian crisis and the situation in these areas has not changed since the last Sindh Drought Needs Assessment report.

    For many years, Thar has been making headlines for different reasons. In May 2016, a report released by the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) stated that 1,380 children died of malnutrition related issues in Tharparkar. An estimate of 329 children died in 2016, 670 in 2015 and 381 died of malnutrition, famine and poor nutrition in 2014. The report further stated that the root of the crisis is food scarcity and 76% of the population has no food supplies at home. Due to droughts, hundreds of thousands of livestock perished during the crisis as well.

    In Thar, people depend on livestock agriculture of millet for their livelihood, but due to low rainfall in 2016, the livestock and the production of cereal grass are at risk. Since 2012, the lack of rains has become worse; the wells have dried up and there is no grass or green land for the cattle to graze upon.

    According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), if the Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate among children and women is more than 15%, it is to be considered as an emergency situation. During the National Nutrition Survey conducted in 2011, the GAM rate of Thar was at 22.7% and chronic malnutrition was 45.9%. The overall Sindh GAM rate was 17.5%. However, the situation went fairly unnoticed until 2016 when Sindh health officials confirmed the deaths of 143 children due to malnutrition in five months in a health department report.

    In 2014, then chief minister of Sindh Qaim Ali Shah failed to take the matter seriously and in turn made an insensitive statement about the deaths of children in Tharparkar, which he said were caused largely due to maternity related complications rather than hunger. His failure to address these issues forced Asif Ali Zardari to replace him. In 2016, Murad Ali Shah stepped in as the chief minister of Sindh – a decision hailed by many in Pakistan; however, we are yet to see any improvement in regards to governance.

    The Sehwan blast highlighted the current chief minister’s apathy when the victims of the blasts were unable to receive proper treatment at the local hospital and had to travel more than a 100 kilometres towards urban Sindh for the required procedures. Sehwan falls under Shah’s constituency, which is depriving its people of better health infrastructures.

    The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government dealt with the matter of poor governance politically instead of making decisions that would help solve Sindh’s problems. This is PPP’s second consecutive tenure in Sindh, and reports on Thar suggest that they are suffering from the same problems since 2011. PPP has been ruling over Sindh since the 1970s and the party has remained in total control of Sindh’s financial and political resources; yet, rural Sindh is still miserably poor and underdeveloped, lacking even basic civic infrastructure.

    In my previous blog, I raised the question of whether the government only remembers Thar when it comes to coal reserves, while conveniently turning a blind eye to those starving to death. The $2 billion project could have brought a change to the area if basic necessities were available to the people. They need clean water, alternate methods to grow agriculture and sustain livestock during the drought. They don’t need bags of ration, a few mineral water bottles and free WiFi facilities.

    To quote Zulfikar Ali Bhutto from the PPP’s official website ,

    “If things do not change, there will be nothing left to change. Either power must pass to the people or everything else will perish.”


    Farheen Rizvi
    The author is a supporter of the MQM, has a Bachelors in business management from Iowa and a Masters degree in international management from the University of Maryland. She works for US based charities like IMHO and SUN while based in Virginia. She tweets @farririzvi (twitter.com/FarriRizvi)
     
  2. Lion786

    Lion786 FULL MEMBER

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    PPP should be prosecuted for treason against the people women are killing themselves in tharpakar and there children because they can't feed them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
  3. OTTOMAN

    OTTOMAN BANNED

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    All PPP voters and politicians should be forced to live in thar for rest of their lives.
     
  4. VCheng

    VCheng ELITE MEMBER

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    Not just free WiFi, thank for the expanding the nuclear umbrella beyond minimum credible deterrence too, as if there is more proof needed that national priorities are totally reversed to the detriment of its people.
     
  5. Devil Soul

    Devil Soul ELITE MEMBER

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    Free WiFi: It’s time Pakistan recognises PPP’s noble efforts for people of Thar
    By Shehzad Ghias
    Published: March 21, 2017
    14SHARES
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    PHOTO: INP

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    For years, people have criticised Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz for their priorities – building metro buses while ignoring basic health care and education. Well, the Sindh government just looked at that and said: hold my drink…

    The Sindh government is made up of geniuses whose storm protection plan is the shrine of Abdullah Shah Ghazi and who’ve managed to make 2017 Larkana look like 1017 Larkana (funnily enough, Qaim Ali Shah is seen in pictures of 1017 Larkana).

    And now, they have announced that villages in Thar will get free WiFi so the people there can go online and see the basic necessities of life that people around the world enjoy. The Sindh government will not give them those basic necessities but at least they can now look at pictures of water online while they die thirsty.

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    It’s not easy for the government to provide all the basic necessities of life to the people of Thar but the people can now look at these pictures and pretend like they have them. They just need to imagine hard enough and it will be. At least, now they’ll know what a meal looks like.

    Who needs food when you can do a Buzzfeed quiz to find out which Friends character you are? Food is overrated but Chandler Bing is not.

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    Who needs water when you have Tinder? The internet caters to a variety of thirsts. Although nobody from Thar is probably using their WiFi to play Temple Run, that is pretty much their life.

    Who needs hospitals? Life in Thar is so cumbersome who wants to live anyway? Lucky for them now they can die in 4G. They can even Snapchat their miseries, maybe then the world might take some notice.

    Who needs school? The internet can be their education. The internet pretty much helped me grow up.

    They can post pictures on Instagram of their empty wells or add a doggy filter to the child’s face as it sticks out his tongue from thirst. Thanks to the malnutrition, they can fit a hundred babies in a single picture.

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    If nothing else, the free WiFi will help all the visitors who come to Thar – they can now feel better about themselves by posting a picture with the locals along with a deep empathetic message only to leave Thar and go back to their lives while the babies go to sleep on a healthy diet of empty promises.

    Pakistan is one of the most water-stressed countries in the world and Thar is a literal desert but there is no point investing in water. Everyone will die anyway. Why not build a coal mining plant and make some money before that?

    Wait, did you assume the free WiFi was to benefit of people of Thar in any way? Oh, my poor summer child – but not as much summer as a Thar summer. The WiFi is for the two billion dollar project. The project will provide jobs, money and WiFi – everything except basic human necessities.

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    They might need stronger blinds on their curtains if they don’t want to see children dying of thirst from the penthouse of their tall towers. Investors do not like those kinds of images so the government needs to add some more dollars to the project to get rid of the people of Thar – or they can continue ignoring their basic needs for a little longer and nature will do the job for them.

    Maybe that has been the plan all along; control your Thar problem and your overpopulation problem at the same time. Two birds with one stone – if only they had also rented out hunting permits to Arabs to hunt these two birds, then it would have been a master plan like no other.

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    Even with the free WiFi, we know the people who live in Thar will not be posting on social media about their plight because we all know what is worse than a corrupt government with a colonial mentality – yes, social media liberals. Now how about removing all WiFi for them?

    Your move, Sindh government.

    This article is a work of satire.