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“A painful phrase written on sand by a small boy who lost his parents in flood, “Dear River, I will never forgive you even if your waves touch my feet a million times””. It was a text message sent to me by my friend; illustrating grief, misery, pain and personal loss of flood-stricken, in some measure. The small boy tried to put in words his hatred towards the river; a river which once provided water to his crops, activity to his leisure hours and scenic beauty to his surroundings, all of a sudden became unsympathetic and submerged all that he had.
In 2010, Pakistan suffered the worst flood in its history, a loss greater than 2005 earthquake and tsunami. About 1/3rd area of Pakistan was hit by the calamity. From Khyber Pakhtunkhawa to Sindh, vast areas of settlements disappeared into water. What was built or gathered in years and decades; washed away overnight. Small towns and villages were the most badly affected as the dams and barrages were breached to save metropolises. Thousands were rescued and transported to relief camps but scores were marooned who could only cling to the hope of some divine help. Were they the humans, their homes, their crops, their cattle, their hopes or their dreams, heavy downpours and angry torrents inundated everything. For millions, life changed from prosperity to misery and thousands became needy from patrons in a matter of days.
Children were the mostly vulnerable character in this episode of natural disaster. Struggling for rescue, crying and craving for parents, mourning loss of belongings, sustaining with meager supplies, despairing of uncertain future; they being the weakest suffered the most. The collapse of educational infrastructure, destruction of medical facilities, scarcity of resources and loss of family and settlements means the sufferings would not be over even after the waters recede. Things perhaps never might be the same for them.
This once again makes me wonder how for granted sometimes we take things in our life, never really understanding how generous we have been bestowed upon by God and how thankless and ungrateful our outlook becomes very often. Disregarding things, showing no gratitude for His blessings, looking down upon others, not understanding others’ sufferings, how mean we become every now and then. Remember one thing, what flood-stricken are suffering today could also happen to us tomorrow. It’s not just their misery; their loss and grief is OUR tragedy and their relief and rehabilitation is OUR National challenge. Let’s stand up and become one for them. Let’s start helping and caring for them. Let no eye weep and no face starve. Let’s get together to bring smile and hope back to their faces before it becomes too late to mend and realize! And let’s begin thanking God for everything, more ardently!