Gilgit - Baltistan

May Day – Is there any hope for the poor?

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  1. May Day-The Mountain Poor’s Dilemma

    “Labour Day is an annual holiday celebrated all over the world that resulted from efforts of the labour union movement, to celebrate the economic and social achievements of workers.


    May Day is celebrated in Pakistan and the Northern Areas as a holiday. Labour unions in the urban areas arrange walks and seminars.

    In the Mountain Areas, the poor subsistence farmers continue to face high costs of inputs like fertilizer, seed and cost of transportation and lack bargaining powers to sell their crop(potato being the only cash crop) at a better price. On the other hand the crop is either bartered for cheep food items or taken on credit by the agents, and the net amount received after months delay is less then the actual price!

    It is estimated that the average income of a subsistence farmer is less then Rs 2000 per month and the expediture is double the amount.

    The price hike of daily utility and consumption items, especially food prices, high cost of quality education,tertiary health care and poor living conditions, exacerbate the situation for the poor and limits access. Food insecurity and malnutrition are major challenges. Suicides, dropout from schools, deaths due to lack of better health care support, social delinquency among the youth, unemployment etc. are common reports in the newspapers.

    There seems to be no alternative.

    We are trapped in vicious circle. The gap between the rich and poor is widening. Bad governance, corruption and mismanagement of public funds and misplaced priorties is eating up the resources.

    Due to limited landholding, the opportunities for intensive agriculture is limited. Monocroping is affecting the fertility of the land. There are limited off farm income opportunities. The abled bodies are migrating to towns and cities,which are already facing multifaceted challenges.

    Is there any hope? mmm…..skill development and education seems the only hope.

    ‘Education and skill’ are the poor man’s bomb to fight against poverty!

    The government and the civil society need to create opportunities for education skill development through institutional actions at the local levels.

    Amin Beg

  2. Dear Readers,
    I partially agree with Amin Beg to some extent but he has lost his faith in vocabulary and NGOs style solution for the disputed territories of Karakorum (Gilgit-Baltistan) here i would like to plead Amin beg and likeminded people to come out of the NGO made ghettos and fight for browbeaten against persecutor

    Farhat Kawish

  3. Farhat, I respect your views.

    I will appreciate to see other solutions, if you may have to adress issues of poverty in this part of the world!

    Highly greatful.

    amin beg

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