Balochistan covers a handy territory and an abundance of natural resources which are taken by the Pakistani government and utilized in Punjab and some areas of Sindh provinces. Emerging from Sui, the natural gas does not reach to the town itself but long-drawn pipelines which go through their homes to rest of Pakistan. The locals collect wood for themselves instead.
Not only this, but a great amount of children belonging to Sui and other areas of Dera Bugti come to the capital city Quetta and beg instead of getting an education. A couple of days ago, when I turned to a hotel to have tea with my friend, Jalal, in Quetta, two kids followed us. Coming to us, both of them enlarged their hands and said nothing. I asked them where they have come from, on which they looked at each other for a while, and then the elder kid [somewhat 7 years] replied “Sui”. With thorn clothes and no shoes, they looked down the earth with their hands still tall. How sad it is that kids belonging to a rich region are in such a poor state!
When I asked them what they would do when I give them some money, the elder kid replied in innocence: “We would give it to our mother. She does not have any money.” Despite the fact that they were shoeless in a city as Quetta and with thorn clothes, they were only thinking of their mother who, God knows, has been going through challenging times.
Jalal gave them some money and asked them to tell their mother to buy clothes and shoes for them, after which the elder kid responded, “Waja, our mother gives us food with this money. We do not need shoes and clothes but only food.”
This time we both looked at each other and maintained silence for some great moments. Jalal broke the silence and asked the kids of their education, upon which the younger kid [5 years] replied, “Waja, maara padag nelant (Sir, they do not let us read).” I insisted as to who did not let them read but they only echoed “they”.
Circumstances have grown as such that they do not feel the need to instill education in the locals. The governments, as observed, only want to limit the locals to food, nothing else. Because the Islamabad officials justify the control over the Sui gas in words as “the locals are illiterate and they do not know the use of it.” But, whose job is to curb illiteracy in the region?
Balochistan’s government seems very careless about educational awareness in regions as Dera Bugti and other nearby areas so that they too would follow the line of education and have great reliability on education. Or maybe, it is intentional so that the residents may not be literate and ask for their fundamental rights!
Education is, in fact, the real need of hour to be promoted in each corner of Balochistan, which has drawn the region very backward in the given century. A report declares 77% females and 67% males [overall 72%] children as out of schools in Balochistan. Dera Bugti is one such district where education is given the least attention. Would the residents be given with education, they could know the best use of the natural resources which come out from their land.