Women go hungry as men elbow each other to get food
By Mohammad Hussain Khan
HYDERABAD: “Bring me some food. I have to break my fast. I can’t wrestle with men to snatch some morsels of edibles. I didn’t eat much in Sehri too,” screamed Amna, a flood affected woman from Thull, Jacobabad at a relief camp set up at new Sabzi Mandi.
“Hum ko roza chorna, hum ko kuch la kar do, ye mard hum ko kuch nahi lenay detey heyn (I have to break my fast. Bring me something to eat. These men don’t let anything reach us when people come to distribute food),” Amna said.
She was soon joined by another woman. “They (men of the same relief camp) just bite each otherÂ’s forearms to grab food,” she said.
The women said that they could hardly get anything from donated stuff. “I can’t chase their vehicles like men,” she said.
Delivery of food is normally delayed and it shows that the authorities are still in the process of streamlining management of the biggest relief camp of Hyderabad where IDPs from Jacobabad and even Osta Mohammad and Jaffarabad have taken shelter.
“Is it the way to get meal or other stuff,” said an elderly Allah Bux Khoso pointing to a crowd of men, women and children chasing a Suzuki pick-up with some people throwing biscuits, sugar and other stuff to them.
Many stumbled and fell to the ground in their bid to catch hold of something. “After all, there should be some respectable way to distribute food. There is enough food for all but procedure should be transparent,” he said.
Work on water supply lines and lavatories continues and until then water is being supplied to IDPs from WASA’s hydrants.
Revenue authorities have registered around 4,000 IDPs so far in this camp and given a card to each family of IDPs, containing information like CNIC number, block number, name, address and room number.
“Holders of such cards will be entitled to any kind of aid on production of the card,” said camp in-charge Abid Saleem.
He agreed to the suggestion that any aid or food should be distributed through camp administration. Volunteers of civil defence had been called and police deployment was being increased to check possibility of local people taking away food items in the garb of IDPs, he said.
A policeman caught a man who was taking a sizeable quantity of food stuff in a rickshaw after collecting it at the relief camp.
On investigation, he produced his CNIC showing place of residence Jacobabad and said he was taking these goods to Lalu Lashari village where he and his family was staying with relatives.
He was asked to bring his family to the relief camp and told that others like him would also demand food for their relatives at the cost of those staying in the camp.
Of 68 notified camps, 27 are functional in the district for IDPs.