THE international children's day is being observed around the globe today with the need to safeguard children against disease, hunger and other dangers and provide them with an environment conducive to physical and mental development. However in our country a number of social evils, most importantly, poverty have all combined to make the situation scary. Two reports appearing in the press on Wednesday indicate the sad plight of children in Pakistan. Forced by poverty, eight children aged between five and 12 belonging to three families were dropped off by their mothers at the Edhi Foundation in Karachi. The expression on the children's faces, upon learning that they had been abandoned by their parents, reflects a mental trauma that anyone in such a situation would feel. Shocked by the incident Mrs Bilquees Edhi rightly said that this was reflective of the fact that apart from the poorest sections of society it was becoming more and more difficult for the middle and lower middle classes to make both ends meet. Yet with the situation - the uncontrolled inflation, the food crisis, rampant unemployment - the incidents of desertion and suicide have become far too frequent. Back in April, a woman in Lahore along with her two children committed suicide by jumping in front of a running train. Her suicide note lamented the dire circumstances of indigence forcing her to take the extreme step. Unfortunately on the other hand the ruling elite is not willing to compromise on its perks and privileges. An ever-increasing number of ministers in federal and provincial governments, roving ambassadors, advisers, fleets of cars and foreign junkets have become the norm causing a big hole in the national exchequer and weakening the government's ability to provide relief to the common man. Worse still, the repercussions of the IMF loan and the strings attached to it have yet to be felt as there are fears, and rightly so, that it would be the poor class that would be hit the hardest.