We help make others’ homes, but what about ours | Pakistan Today

We help make others’ homes, but what about ours

The impoverished brick kiln workers in the rain-hit areas of the province – who play an essential role in the construction of houses and other buildings – are now without homes themselves. The government or non-governmental organisations have done nothing so far to help them live a normal life again. Heavy rains demolished their mud-houses and they have no source of livelihood at the moment as water accumulated in these areas have forced the closure of brick kilns. “We are not given proper attention. Just three tents for 21 families is a joke with us. We were provided with ration once and we see officials visiting our camps and taking photographs, but they don’t talk to us and ask us about our problems,” complained Misri Kohli, a brick kiln worker.
They are now forced to live on roadsides near their factories and homes. “The speeding vehicles on the road are a threat to our children playing there. We have made some temporary speed breakers near our tents,” said Bhagat, another worker. “Where should we go? All our relatives in the area or in other districts including Mirpurkhas and Tando Mohammad Khan are facing the same problems,” he added. Another worker Natho said that they make homes for others, but don’t care much about how strong their homes are. “Can you see my home now? I had a small home just near the factory but now you can’t see it because it’s submerged,” he added. “There is no respect in the society for our community.
A car stopped by our tent last night and two mosquito nets were thrown to us. Why did those philanthropists behave in this manner? We are human beings and need respect. We are not living in a remote area, but just two kilometres away from the city. Then why are we not provided with proper food and shelter? We don’t know who we should contact and where to go.” Over 40 families are living near 10 factories but all of them complained that the government does not pay any attention to them. Abdul Sattar Kumbhar, a brick kiln owner, told Pakistan Today that the government should take appropriate measures to rehabilitate the workers.
“There are about 20 brick kilns in Badin taluka where majority of the workers are Hindus. They don’t take holidays and don’t move to other areas,” he added. Kumbhar said that the Hindu workers (majority of them the Kohlis) have never been to Hyderabad or Karachi.
“They get married near these factories in a very simple manner and their babies are born here. These people are very peaceful and that’s why the brick kiln owners prefer them as workers.”
Kumbhar said that easy loans and draining of rainwater by the government can facilitate the workers “The government should chalk out a proper strategy for them [workers].” The roadside tents where the workers are living have no toilets or clean drinking water.
“The water will stay in our villages for about a year. It seems unlikely that we will start living a normal life again for the next few years,” a boy living at a tent village told Pakistan Today. Dodo, a youth living in a tent said that 99 percent of his people are farmers and labourers. “I want a better future for my children, but don’t know how to give them that,” he added.



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One Comment;

  1. Mukesh Kumar said:

    It is unfortunate of nation that indigenous people are suffering and facing various forms of discrimination in their daily life.

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