We need ‘Mohtaj Ghar’ for homeless, orphans

Following a decision to increase the petroleum rate significantly to appease the International Monetary Fund, in his broadcast speech, Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif also announced a package of Rs 28 billion to be given as a relief to the poor people. To the underprivileged, this seems something strange. In the first place, the government is depriving them by enhancing the petroleum rates, which is the need of everyone in their everyday life. Vegetables and eatables prices are deeply linked with their transportation rates. In the cities, ordinary citizens rent the house, and for commuters, rent of local transport is the fundamental problem that generally upsets their house budgets.

Distributing two thousand per family without any well-settled criteria will only benefit political workers of some parties in power. The other important point is the real purpose of the International Monetary Fund: not to make your people beggars and shun this load on the public exchequer. The US-based international financial institution is also against the subsidies given to different industries. This practice keeps the industry on a ventilator and benefits only the incompetent industrialists. The coalition government, which was the coalition opposition some weeks ago, used to label the outgoing coalition government of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf slave of the International Monetary Fund. But now, they are doing that ‘slavery’ far ahead of the former ruling coalition.

The International Monetary Fund provides money to the countries with economies in great trouble. Before dispersing the money, the international financial institution wants borrowers to decrease their expenses and correct their economies’ direction toward real progress. They believe in the least government, which means transparent with all unnecessary costs and especially those expenses which are only for the benefit of the political workers, unnecessary expansions in the government departments, overloading of institutions like the Pakistan International Airline (PIA), the Pakistan Railways, and the Pakistan Steel Mills, after making these institutions unviable with the labor overload the ministers concerned likely to issue statements as: “If giving ‘opportunities’ of livelihood to the families is a sin then I would like to commit this sin.”

Corruption is another cancer-like problem of our economies where some ruling parties consider it their privilege to plunder the public funds in billions. It is easy for some politicians to blame others for their corruption and do everything against the state’s interest. They are powerful, and the primary source of their power is piles of plundered wealth. Their ‘paid’ or sometime unpaid workers are propagating against the opponents, and the whole political atmosphere is converted into foggy; poor people are compelled to face this poisoned, uncertain, and disappointing environment during different regimes. Even, some emotional or overcharged followers and paid workers need no understanding between right and wrong of different political parties.

Still, there are crores of impartial people also, among them wise, literate experts and those people are included who were compelled to pay to the political leaders and their cheater workers or who have observed and known realities of these fake plunderers accurately. At present, the fact is that tyranny and fake truths have been imposed upon us, and we are compelled to live within our limits. Money makes the mare go. No matter to what extent, the words uttered by some politicians are shallow and absurd. Instead of distributing the money to healthy, trained, and greedy party workers, we need to establish ‘Mohtaj Ghar’ – the destitute houses – at all tehsil headquarters for orphans, old people, homeless, widows, and other deserving people.

We can think about the children and healthy beggars in all the busy roads, markets and roundabouts of cities. In the Mohtaj Ghar, we can provide health facilities, accessible jobs, and training to the inmates. Their administration and supervision should be exemplary. Zakat collected through the banks must be spent on these destitute houses. Old homes should be a separate entity so that those who have spent their youth honorably should enjoy a hostel-like life here. These people should be provided with facilities, including health and entertainment, social events, hobbies, and parties etc. So, our politicians must know to speak the truth.

Ordinary people also very sagaciously chant slogans of a party, and there are always personal objectives behind this. The party objectives must be put in second place, and the priority must be on the national or public interests. If our politicians can’t get rid of lying and blaming others for their deeds, what can they perform to better their country? Unless, our politicians don’t understand it correctly, that overwhelming majority keeps a close eye on their performance and hidden personal objectives and hates lying and cheating. They will not change their behavior. Is there anyone who can make it clear to them?

With 50 years of teaching experience, Professor Dr. Shafiq Jullandhry, a noted writer and author of award-winning books, is former chairman of Punjab University's Mass Communication Department (now School of Communication Studies); also heads Elaaf Club and Pakistan Media Guild as president. He can be reached at drjullandhry@yahoo.com.