Individual fates in Pakistan – Against silence and oblivion

Villages in the area of Khori

by Hannah Janvarious/DWA,  2013/03/08

When disasters shake a country and its inhabitants, what remains is often a large number of people in need of help. Yet this totality of people is made up of the fates of individuals and their families whose lives have undergone an abrupt and dramatic change.

In this third part of our series about Pakistan we invite you to accompany us once more on a journey to different life situations. The journey was untertaken by Pakistan coordinator Dr. Toni Großhauser together with Hannah Janvarious from PMS (Pak Mission Society).

5th encounter: Bhero

For many years, Bhero has been living in the village of Manzoor Wassan. He is an old man who, due to his poor financial situation, still has to work in the fields every day.

Bhero hasn’t got any son, his daughters are married and live together with their husbands. Bhero is blessed with six daughters, yet one of them has a special status: she was born deaf and mute.

Her name is Sumjhu, she is almost 22 years old and has two children who mean everything to her. She was abandoned by her husband who had not managed to cope with her disability. After their separation, she had to return to the house of her father Bhero where she has been living since then.

In 2011, the flood destroyed the village and the inhabitants had to flee into the desert. After two months without protection and shelter they were able to return to their village and erect makeshift shelters there. The village didn’t receive any support at first. Thanks to PMS and humedica the people in this region now receive help as well.

Bhero is one of the beneficiaries since his income is too low to provide for his family. In addition to this, he has to bear the responsibility for his disabled daughter and her children. The house which is currently being built for Bhero and his family will certainly help to ease this concern.

6th encounter: Balaam

Balaam has been an inhabitant of the village of Khair Mohammad Wassan for ten years. The father lives in a small, makeshift shelter with his family of seven, his wife, his two daughters and three sons.

When our partners from PMS visited the family, Balaams wife told them that Balaam had suffered from a severe fever some years ago, which resulted in a mental weakness so that he has never regained normality.

This condition makes it difficult for her and for their children to take care of Balaam. Although he gives his best when working in the fields, his illness prevents him from working continuously. His state of health aggravates the family’s already difficult financial situation even more.

The 2011 monsoon hit Balaam’s family very hard. They remained on a hill until the water masses had slowly receded in the course of four months. Then they returned to their village and built makeshift shelters to start all over again.

Pak Mission Society has chosen Balaam’s village for support. They will assist him and his family – as well as other families – with building a monsoon and flood proof house and support them financially. Balaam and his family set all their hope on PMS and are happy about the fact that they will soon have a better home.

7th encounter: Meeran

Meeran lives in the village of Haji Abdullah Dars which is part of the region of Khori. She has been living here for seven years. Since her husband died some years ago she bears the whole responsibility for her eight children on her own.

Two of her four sons already got married, the other two still live with their mother. Meeran and her children work in the fields to make their daily living.

The 2011 flood hit and devastated the whole region. Meeran’s house was completely swept away and she was forced to move to her father’s house with her children. Due to their financial hardship rebuilding their house was not possible for them in the near future.

In May 2012, PMS decided to support the villages in Sanghar and among the chosen people were Meeran and her loved ones. They will receive a safe and waterproof house and will be given a shelter till the house is completed. Meeran is very grateful and happy that so many villages receive help now. Although they urgently need help, they hadn’t received any attention and support before.

Many more people than those presented here suffer from the consequences of the severe floods in 2011. Due to the disaster, they lost their livelihood and they don’t have the possibility and financial means to start all over again. Often, physical suffering adds to that. Many people call for help, but
other events have become the focus of attention or their cries for help are simply not heard.

One of the goals of humedica is to help those who suffer but have lost public interest, have been forgotten by many, but still need help, like the people in Pakistan. With your support we are able to help them. Heartfelt thanks!

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