islamabad - Illuminated lights on disorderly built houses, decorated Christmas trees, stalls of cross pendent, stuffed models of Santa Claus and sketches of Jesus on imperfect walls depicted that slum inhabitants are ready to celebrate Christmas with religious zeal and hope.

“Santa never discriminates between the child of a rich and poor, and we have the hope that one day our all miseries will be gone by the grace of God,” said Shakeel Maseeh, who is a sanitary work in federal capital and resides in the Christian Colony of sector G-7.

There are nearly a half dozen Christian colonies in the federal capital in the sectors G-7, F-6, F-7, G-8 and I-9.

Thousands of residents in these colonies also dubbed as ‘Kachhi Abadis’ every year come under the spotlight, when their decorated houses send signals to the outside world that some sort of happiness has arrived.

According to Shakeel, it is the only annual event for the community living in slums which brings happiness.

Mostly male members of the Christian community living in slums of the city work in the sanitary department of the government while their females work as housemaids.

These inhabitants lack the basic amenities of life because settlements have not been given the property rights.

Without any proper provision of electricity, water and gas, people from the community are enthusiast to celebrate the birth of Prophet Jesus.

“It is actually a kind of competition between all slum colonies to decorate their colony,” said Aftab Bhatti President Christian Community Welfare Association.

Bhatti said the community makes all arrangements of celebrations just for their own happiness; there is a mere possibility that people beautify their homes to get attention of the people living outside these areas.

Adil Gill, a resident of France Colony, F-7 is busy in setting LED lights on the Christmas tree, he is not happy with the living standards of the people in the colony.

Every year he joins his community in the arrangement of Christmas celebrations with the hope that next Christmas will bring better and improved life for them.

“Though it is a biggest celebration for us, but decorating homes and expressing solidarity on the special day is not the solution of the problems of people living here,” he said.

The youngster talking to The Nation argued that the real celebration day will come when the basic problems of the people living in slums will be resolved and the society will accept them as their part.

“I have a hope that people will one day understand our sorrows also along with our happiness,” he said.

Meanwhile Aftab Bhatti told The Nation that these people in slums are spending their lives on very low income and work on the decoration of their colonies by the savings made in entire year.

He said every house contributes Rs 300 for the ornamentation of their colony while, students and youngsters come with their adornment ideas on this occasion.

“This is considered as the happiest day for the community so they spend their entire savings on this day which also creates problem for them when New Year begins,” he said.

Bhatti said in his 14 years career of social work he has not seen any serious effort by the government which could be considered as ‘cooperation’.

“Everything is done in the slums are the efforts of the people living there,” said Bhatti.

He said people of Christian community are poor and peaceful, though their lives are not enlightened like the illuminated lights but they try to gift everything to their children on this occasion because children keeps hope on Santa .

“Struggle for the rights is our aim and community has to fight this war alone,” said Bhatti.