By Miangul Abdullah
KALAM, 23 FEB, (DNA) – Whenever we talk about the scenic spots of Pakistan, we have a picture of the picturesque valley of Kalam in our mind.
Nearly all of us know about this scenic valley that has become a symbol of beauty for being a treasure trove of fascinating landscapes, thick forests, sprawling meadows, clear blue water gushing fast, azure lakes and bewitchment of flowers slopes.
However, in the towering mountains and spellbinding beauty of Kalam, there lie many localities the people of which are still living in the dark ages. They are deprived even of the basic necessities of life, like education and health.
Jal Band is one of such localities regarding which we know nothing or have a little knowledge about it. But on visiting it, one’s eyes fill with water to see the people of here still living below poverty line without any facility to them.
Nature has given much to the area in the form of incomparable beauty. But the government is not ready to acknowledge it and to give the dwellers even their basic rights of living like education and health, which are universally acclaimed rights.
Badly damaged during the supreme flood of 2010, this part of the scenic valley is like its name netted into countless problems and has yet to see the light of the day. The people of the abode are living into a pool of hardships they have to face on every step of life.
The only middle school the students of the area come to it, is situated at a long distance from them. Besides, there is only one teacher in the school for over 200 students. In the situation like this one can easily guess about the standard of education.
Set aside education or imparting knowledge to the students, the teacher would have to be a superman to control his temper amidst hundreds of students at a time.
Regarding the health facilities to the people of the area, the place within their reach, which you may call a dispensary or a hospital, has nominal healthcare facilities. One can hardly find a medical staff there. While the medicines like things are absent from it.
The masses have to depend on traditional hakims. Whereas in case of emergency, the people of the area have to travel hundreds of kilometers to the Saidu Group of Teaching Hospitals for healthcare facilities.
“In majority of cases the patient has been expired on the way to the hospitals”, according to a survey conducted into the area.
Speaking on the occasion, the locals of the area including Malik Hassan Zeb Khan, Zahoor-ul-Haq, Haji Aman Khan, Malik Fazal Wahab Khan Bhutto, Malik Muhammad Nawab and others stated that the area has been neglected in every government.
They said that no one is ready to duly recognize their problems and work for their amelioration. The only middle school approachable to the area has only one teacher. They approached the Education Department time and again to appoint teachers here, but to no avail, they revealed.
“Furthermore, the only telephone exchange that was damaged during the devastating floods of 2010 is still out of order”. “The people of the area have no communication with other parts of the country”, they informed.
“Not to mention of the road infrastructure in the area”. “One can hardly differentiate the road from a dry stream”, the locals conveyed.
“It doesn’t mean that funds were not allocated for the road”. “Funds were allocated for the construction and repair of the road time and again, but the same were meant for appeasing the few influential”, they added.
According to the locals the funds disappeared into the pockets of the influential. While work is yet to be started on the road despite the importance of the place from tourism point of view. In a way the road distract the tourists from the area.
They also revealed that the things like the benefits from reduction in petroleum prices or transport fares have not come down to the people here. The people have no share out of such benefits or reductions. They still pay the high fares according to the will of the transporters, they added.
“Ofcourse, the political leaders turn up the area”. “They have come to the spot time and again but only during their election campaigns, just to receive votes from the people and then disappeared”, they complained.
“And if it happened somehow by chance that the MPAs or MNAs came to the area”. “It was only to express solidarity with the people or console them in the hard times they are living in”, they added.
“Nonetheless, having made a photo session and resorting to a lip service, the leaders leave the area”. “And soon after they left the area, all the commitments were gone and they were not seen again”, they further added.
Obviously, the government seems to have abandoned the place at the mercy of fate. The problems of the people are complicating with each and every passing day, however, our leaders have no time to spare for the locality. DNA