SUKKUR: A large number of physically challenged persons took to the streets and held rallies in Jacobabad, Kashmore, Ghotki and other towns in protest against ‘nepotism’ and ‘favouritism’ in distribution of ration bags during the lockdown.
The protesters alleged that financial help and rations were being given to relatives and friends of officials of district and town administrations and the deserving persons were being deprived.
The government claimed that ration worth Rs25 million had been provided to the district administration for distribution among the deserving persons and specially the physically challenged but they and their families had been without food for over two weeks now.
They appealed to the government to take immediate notice of misappropriation of food items and relief goods meant for the handicapped and the needy.
SHIKARPUR: Frustrated by unending wait for ration bags, city residents took out a rally and held a demonstration during the lockdown the other day against the government’s failure to provide relief to the poor and distribution of ration among favourites.
They said that the federal and provincial governments and the district administration had so far done nothing for the poor and deserving people during the 15 days of lockdown.
They said that the deserving persons were kept waiting for the relief goods while well-off persons linked to the ruling party were being given ration bags.
As the lockdown entered the fifteenth day, people appeared fed up and came out on roads in groups.
BADIN: Eight out of 12 chairmen of union councils of Shaheed Fazil Rahu taluka have resigned from ration distribution committee and refused to distribute relief goods in protest against limited number of ration bags for a large number of deserving families.
The chairmen led by Naveed Memon, Walayat Luk and Sanaullah Jat said at a press conference at Golarchi Press Club on Monday that the district administration was offering 88 bags each for a union council while 4,000 ration bags were needed.
They had prepared a list of 390 deserving people from each union council which was rejected by the district administration, they said.
In-charge of Covid-19 relief committee Dr Ali Nawaz Bhoot said that there was no justification for the union council members to protest and refuse distribution of relief goods among people other than those on the list.
The district administration had 9,047 bags which would be distributed among the deserving persons with the help of security forces and committee members, he said.
MIRPURKHAS: The district administration has started distributing ration bags according to the lists provided by leaders and office-bearers of ruling party, which contained an overwhelming number of party workers and supporters, according to sources.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan leader Khushi Mohammad Mughal told Dawn that the district administration had kept MQM away from the process of ration bags’ distribution.
They had prepared lists of their favourites instead of deserving families and were distributing relief goods among them.
Protest against ventilators’ shifting to Nawabshah
NAUSHAHRO FEROZE: Members of civil society held a demonstration outside the Naushahro Feroze Civil Hospital in protest against shifting of nine out of 10 ventilators at the hospital to Nawabshah.
The protesters demanded immediate return of the ventilators and said that the district administration had established quarantine centre at Bahria College but it had no facility of ventilators.
Additional District Health Officer Dr Sikander Abbasi said the ventilators were shifted on the instructions of higher authorities.
HYDERABAD: Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui has said that it was time to serve humanity and avoid point scoring or protecting political interests. He said Covid-19 had become a national challenge, therefore, all stakeholders would have to discharge their responsibilities to cope with it.
He was speaking to the media at a blood donation camp set up for thalassaemia patients at a health facility of the party’s welfare wing, the Khidmat-i-Khalq Foundation (KKF), here on Monday.
Party leaders Kanwar Naveed Jamil, Shabbir Qaimkhani, Hyderabad Mayor Tayyab Hussain, Deputy Mayor Sohail Mashhadi, MPAs Nadeem Siddiqui, Rashid Khilji and Nasir Qureshi, and Zafar Siddiqui were present.
Mr Siddiqui said that Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) always claimed to be champion of democracy but, he alleged, it was preferring only favourites in ration distribution. He believed that PPP’s Sindh government and allied district administrations were discriminating against ration seekers on political and lingual grounds. He urged the provincial government to make sincere and unbiased efforts in this regard.
He regretted that lower-level government employees were heading the committees set up for ration distribution while elected chairmen of UCs were overlooked. He said that the MQM-P was distributing ration to everyone, especially needy persons, while keeping in mind their self-respect.
He pointed out that MQM-P workers were donating blood for thalassaemia patients in this crisis period.
Mr Siddiqui said that since there was no treatment for coronavirus, prevention was the only option to protect oneself against the disease.
He said that his party believed the lockdown should have been started much earlier but also noted that it had certainly increased problems for the underprivileged and those living below poverty line. He apprehended that the problems might multiply in the next two-three weeks.
Published in Dawn, April 7th, 2020