Tomorrow will mark the third anniversary of disastrous earthquake that hit northern Pakistan, especially Kashmir and parts of India and Afghanistan. More than a hundred thousand people lost their lives. Since then, even with millions and millions of rupees coming into the country for reconstruction and development in those parts of Kashmir affected by the tragedy, the term disaster region still largely holds true. Yes, Muzaffarabad has been rebuilt, but unemployment is high, education facilities lack, heath care facilities need attention.
Likewise, there are still many families living in tents (temporary metal containers) in Azad Kashmir. Moreover, despite the anniversary and how the catastrophe shaped todays Muzaffarabad, the day was largely forgotten by most people.
But lets face it, with a population of well more than 160 million, it shouldnt be that hard to do. That is, had not corruption, incompetence and indifference set in instead.
On second anniversary of the earthquake in Pakistan, it is required that we should not forget our fellow countrymen and help them as much as we can.
Annela Derwash was in her classroom at school and about to take a test, when the devastating earthquake struck the Mansehra district in Pakistan on Saturday, 8th October, heres her account of the disaster:
Our teacher was busy checking papers and I was sitting on the floor near the door. Suddenly children started running out of their classes. At first I didn’t know what was happening, but then I realised that there was a terrible earthquake.
I rushed out into the street along with the other children and saw that all the teachers were also running out, but one teacher lost consciousness and fell down on the ground. The Headmistress stood in the courtyard of the school and kept shouting, leave the building, leave the building! I left everything behind in the school and started to rush to my home.
The father of one of my friends, who had come to our school, took me and some of my other friends to the village. When we got there, I could see that my whole village was destroyed except for two houses. People were searching for their dear ones, while some were busy recovering their belongings from the collapsed houses.
Pakistani Kashmiri survivor of the 08 October 2005 earthquake Shaikh Jehangir (R) and his eight-year son Mehran Jehangir, whose leg was amputed, arrive at a graveyard to pray for their lost family members in Ghari Dopatta some 22 km from Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani administered Kashmir, 04 October 2006. Jehangir lost almost all of his family in the 7.6-magnitude quake on October 8, 2005 which killed more than 74,000 people and left 3.5 million homeless. (Photo credit should read AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images)
With wet eyes, and and lots of prayers for the victims as well as the brave survivors , I leave you with this: