Children are the basic building blocks of the society. Uncorrupted and innocent, children are subject to molding by their parents and society. If a society or government fails to bring them up in line with basic children rights, we might not expect anything further from such a government. And if they even fail to save their lives, it calls for more than mere drawing room criticism.

With each passing day, I am beginning to think how cheap a single life is in the land of pure.  Whenever I pick up the newspaper to update myself about my state, somewhere there is a story about Thar and inefficiency of Sindh government.  

The headings go like, ‘Six more children die in Thar; toll rises to 33’, ‘Another child dies in Thar, death toll rises to 32 in 11 days’, ‘Thar Famine: who is responsible’, and there is no halt to it. It’s a never ending dilemma that the people of Thar are facing. In the last year 311 deaths have been reported from the unfortunate place.

Out of 675 villages, the media and relief camps can only be seen in Mithi Civil Hospital. But neither the media, nor the relief camps, could reach the affectees without the requisite land route. Without altering any headlines, the authorities reach the point for a good show of photo-ops. But where is the action? Who is planning the remedies? Most importantly, who is to blame for this all? Is this a natural calamity or the negligence of authorities?

The Pakistani section of Thar in Sindh has the same ecology and climate as Rajasthan, which is in the Indian part of Thar desert. Both face potentially rough famine every 10 years, which can range out to two to three years. And yet, kids do not die in Rajasthan like they are dying in Pakistan.

Dying children is a sign that it is time to wake up. I don’t want to mention Bilawal and Qaim Ali Shah who generally represent Sindh government or Maula Baksh Chandio who went to console people there today. In fact, I don’t want to put the blame of the departed Thar souls on the ignorant and arrogant government at all. This is because we don’t have any collective will; we are directionless as a nation, and hence, unfortunately such atrocities might continue to happen.

It’s time to take matters in our own hands; it is time to ask questions and it’s time to grab some collars.

I was really fascinated by the latest campaign “fix it” from a citizen of Karachi regarding open gutters. But I guess it’s naïve optimism to expect that Mr. Qaim will fix anything. So we have to “fix” this for ourselves.

The matter of kids is not restricted to Thar only. In January last year around 90 children were killed in Sargodha General Hospital. It’s difficult to put blame on hospital administration alone or in the Thar case, on local MNA or chief minister.

As recipient of such destructive news on daily basis, either we the common people will go insane or become numb – because we have other ‘important’ things to do. Already there are millions of kids who cannot even go to school, but at least they are alive. But if our collective ignorance is snatching lives of kids on a regular basis then there the problem at hand won’t be solved by wishful thinking or abusing the government.