Hunza has ceased to grow

By Rashid Ullah Khan

Hunza is one of the most educated districts of Pakistan. Ironically, despite the fact that the region has a large number of educated minds, children in a large number of villages of the district don’t have access to better schooling system. Health is another major problem the natives are facing currently. Paradoxically, access to the potable water throughout the years seems a day dream for the residents of some villages in the region, which is covered by largest glaciers of the world.

Doubtlessly, our elders who were born in the mid of 20th century have seen a rapid development in our economy. They have seen the diffusion of technology to our region and the construction of the road which connects Hunza with Gilgit city. As in last 40 years, the community experienced a rapid growth in the economy. A change in the attitudes of people was much needed to improve their well-being. Therefore, the economic growth helped the community to change its priorities and locals began to educate their children. And in some parts of the region, locals constructed community schools.  A positive attitude of the community towards learning assisted the development. Consequently, It broke some of the traditional norms which impeded its economic development. Including, the class system, under which a certain class was not allowed to be educated, to some extent ceased to exist.

The biggest problems which our community is facing nowadays are, lack of potable water in some villages of the district, excessive load shedding in the entire district, lack of health facilities, and lack of quality education in some villages. From the very first day, we are dependent on the funds of various NGOs. Hence, we don’t ask for our basic rights from government. In short, we have become ”lazy” in demanding our rights. Moreover, brain drain is also making it difficult for the economy to grow in the recent times, best minds who were supposed to help the community are running away from the region.

In conclusion, educating children and altering the culture were low-hanging fruits, because, bringing in communal facilities needs more effort and firm leadership than educating one’s own child. And one of the most educated districts of Pakistan deserves more than what it has currently.

The contributor studies Economics and Mathematics at IBA, Karachi.

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