After the coronavirus outbreak in Pakistan, the federal and provincial governments decided to impose lockdowns within their jurisdictions to stop the further spread of the pandemic. These lockdowns have left hundreds of thousands of daily wage earners jobless in all parts of the country, besides affecting many others. Many people are deprived of even a loaf of bread and are in a dire need of help.
The government has initiated an ‘Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme’ for the needy so that they are able to feed their families during the lockdown. But the sum seems insufficient due to the prevailing price hike. It has become very difficult for people to survive on a couple of thousand rupees. Many distribution centres are also providing lesser amount than released by the government which shows that ground-level corruption is prevalent even during the time of crisis.
In cities like Karachi and Quetta daily wage earners keep roaming the streets in search of work or cash dole-outs. They can be seen huddling up in front of any car that stops nearby. Many of them knock at the window panes of the cars asking for food or money so that they are able to feed their children.
While the government has done a decent job catering to the poor and needy people through cash handouts under the Ehsaas programme, it should increase the amount of the funds and the number of beneficiaries.
The authorities must also take action against the distribution centres that are involved in providing lesser amounts to the cash recipients. It is heartbreaking to witness that even in such difficult times, the lust for money trumps all morals. Will human nature ever change? The current situation calls for sacrifice from all of us.