WE need to save precious time nowadays, especially when the country is in a severe crisis owing to the spread of Covid-19. The government has been coming up with ideas which are delaying the much-needed support for the people.
The recent bright idea is that of ‘Tigers Force’. Many young people have enlisted themselves in this force. However, the question is: do we know if these volunteers will be 100 per cent honest in their work, or are they trained for the job assigned? Are they trustworthy? It is like reinventing the wheel in these critical times.
The problem with the federal government is that it does not acknowledge or appreciate the good work done by the provincial governments such as that of Sindh, which has launched a mobile phone application for assisting the people. With the help of welfare organisations having a clean record and already trained in providing relief to the people, the Sindh government delivered.
It has been over 20 days since the lockdown in Sindh and there has been no protest. The same procedure could have been adopted by the federal government to give relief to the underprivileged in other provinces instead of wasting time in recruiting and training people who may not be able to deliver what welfare organisations can.
ONE appreciates the government’s concerns in battling the coronavirus pandemic within the available resources. It is making all-out efforts to safeguard people, provide medical care, set up quarantine centres and enforce social distancing.
The government’s actions have managed to check the disease from spreading out of control. Partial lockdown has yielded encouraging results.
However, at the same time, these measures have badly affected daily wage workers and the poor in our society. Since factories and markets are closed, they have no means of income and are unable to earn a livelihood, finding it hard to feed their families.
The prime minister has announced a relief package and incentives for the construction industry to revive economic activity. This is a good step which will help people earn a livelihood, and the poor will get jobs to sustain their families. The setting up of Tigers Force and launching Ehsaas programme is a good step.
However, to ensure that all deserving persons get a fair deal, it is the government’s responsibility to ensure that the Tigers Force has no political objectives and only does social work. There should be no discrimination in helping deserving people.
However, the government cannot fight Covid-19 alone. It needs the assistance of the opposition parties, NGOs and philanthropists to deal with a crisis prevailing all across the globe.
Published in Dawn, April 18th, 2020