Exploited workers

Published November 29, 2023

I AM a young daily-wage sanitation worker. I sweep the streets of Karachi and work at the bottom of the food chain. Above me are at least three tiers of contractors and subcontractors. I am paid an illegal wage of Rs15,000 per month for which I am made to work for 30 days without any weekly day off.

Words like democracy, constitution, law and justice are irrelevant and meaningless jargon for me. The only reality I know is that I, my family and millions like us have been collectively deceived and exploited by the country’s greedy and inept leaders. The only reality I know is that these words are merely tools to keep us enslaved.

Where is democracy, constitution and the rule of law when I am denied even a single day of proper education; when I am paid Rs15,000 against the legal minimum wage of Rs32,000; and when my salary is deducted if I fall sick even for a single day?

Could this happen without a vicious collusion of the government, the labour departments and the human rights organi- sations? Ask yourself and you would know.

Ghulam Hussain
Karachi

Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2023

Opinion

Editorial

Spirit of ’74
26 Feb, 2024

Spirit of ’74

FOR three days in 1974, starting Feb 22, Lahore witnessed an epochal meeting of 38 Muslim nations as it hosted the...
Silence strategy
Updated 26 Feb, 2024

Silence strategy

Attempts at internet censorship only serve to tarnish Pakistan’s image globally and betray the democratic principles the country purports to uphold.
Nepra’s reluctance
26 Feb, 2024

Nepra’s reluctance

WHAT is the point in having a regulator that does not punish the entities it oversees for misconduct and...
Pipeline progress
25 Feb, 2024

Pipeline progress

THE outgoing caretaker government has decided to move forward with the much-delayed Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline...
Engaging the Taliban
25 Feb, 2024

Engaging the Taliban

DEALING with the Taliban — Afghanistan’s de facto rulers — continues to present a diplomatic dilemma for the...
Burden or opportunity?
Updated 25 Feb, 2024

Burden or opportunity?

Maryam Nawaz is embarking on a journey of challenges and opportunities.