We are witnessing the ever increasing number of the flood affected people daily. The number has crossed 13 million which is more than the combined total of the three big calamities which happened in the last decade. The total number of the victims of those disasters including Asia Tsunami 2004, Kashmir quake 2005and Haiti quake in 2010, was estimated to be 11 million. A great number of people are still threatened, and may have to leave their homes and households back, to save their lives. They have got their whole lives, properties and belongings at stake. The only thing which most of them, rather almost all of them are certain about is the uncertainty about their future and their life.
But what is most unfortunate is that, newsprint, media, Bloggers and common people are describing the same situation of mass disaster and poor management that was reported nearly half a decade ago after the Kashmir earthquake rocked us in 2005. The poor people are still as susceptible to the calamities as they were some years ago. So, what have we achieved in all these years? Nothing has changed. The state is functioning reactively as usual. And poor bad at that too.
The mainstream media is busy in politicizing every issue. The food prices have climbed up in the markets to exploit the tragic situation. The hoarders and marketers will then Zakaat and feed some poor to console their conscience but in the times of national tragedy is that what they must do. To act on the law of supply and demand and maximize profits. The civil activism and volunteerism of common people is in action again.
A cursory look at the prevailing situation exposes well the validity of all the development reports and surveys presented in recent years. People are dying of floods, poverty and committing suicides. Those who survive live in miserable conditions facing various crises in their daily lives.
These problems point towards our approach of short-termism and reactive attitude towards the challenges we face at local, national and global levels. On state‘s part, it is the bad management and bad governance, which has brought the situation to the verge of disasters.
The current tragedy is prime example of the inability of our political masters , economic managers and administrators to guard against the catastrophes. There was acute shortage of water in the parts of the country before the monsoon started, but now that people are dying of floods, there is still no water to give life. It reminds me a line from the ‘Rime of Ancient Mariner’:
Water Water everywhere, Not any Drop to Drink