My name is Allah Ditta and I’m a Human


My name is Allah Ditta and I’m a Human

My name is Allah Ditta and you may probably have judged me by my name already; I belong to the lowest strata of human beings in Pakistan. I know you must be quick at making opinions about me and would ironically forget a fact. I am still a human being though I have no bank balance, or any note-worthy business to brag about and sadly, no education to be any prestigious in your eyes, but I do one thing to my merit- I work hard! Yes, I work around the clock so I could make ends meet for my four children and my ailing wife.  But is that enough?

 

I sell balloons. I bring smiles to a lot of cherubic faces. And though I only earn peanuts for money, I stay honest at all times. I don’t steal. I don’t rob; I don’t beg and never adapt any illicit means to add to my meager sum so far. But it’s not easy to carry that big, hefty rack of balloons on my hunched back under the scorching sun that shows no mercy to me as well. The point I want to make is, I work really hard but to what avail? I still starve, not just for food but the smiles of my own children. How would it hurt for a man who goes around selling smiles to other children, to have his own devoid of it.

 

 

Self-pity makes me want to believe I’m the only victim of time and conditions, but it would be grossly wrong to assume that. There are hundreds and thousands of people out there, who like me, are hunger-stricken and terribly deprived. And while all strategists and politicians are tangled in sorting out remedies for terrorism, foreign affairs, female empowerment, our only problem is a small meal two times a day. My children can only stare at other children going to school with envious eyes and gloomy hearts but I can still live with this only if I’m sure I’d manage to get them the meal for tonight.

 

 

Well-wishers ask me to get a better job. I just wish I could, for I’m not even educated enough to be hired as a clerk (even the minimum qualification for clerks is Intermediate these day). And how could I ever meet this criterion, for just like myself my father could barely afford to feed me let alone sending me to school.

 

 

Poverty has made me do things that you see as abominations. I beat my wife each time she whines about money for I can’t bear the resonance of her voice cursing me for her empty-stomach. I shrug my children off when they come to me asking for money and though I’m a father, I turn my back on them so I won’t have to see their famished faces.

 

 

And while these politicians discuss me on their plush sofas, I can hardly afford tatters to sleep on. Then you ask me to choose my vote carefully so some other big shot could win for the office, chanting the slogan of change. How do they plan to “change” my life and of my family? And how long would I have to wait for them to do something for me and for my likes? For a man who lives his life on a day-to-day basis, I can’t wait anymore. If I could, I’ll sell my vote if it gets me something to eat for tomorrow, for there is nothing you and your likes can do for me other than chanting slogans of change and revolution.

 



Hadeel Naeem

Student of philosophy and biotechnology at Forman Christian College.


  • Asif Abbas

    We should do what we can do for Allah Dita type examples which we have in our surroundings as we are answerable to GOD on day of judgement.

  • Anonymous

    Absolute truth.

    Thanks, Hadeel.

  • Farooq Hashmi

    ” My children can only stare at other children going to school with envious eyes and gloomy hearts……” ” I beat my wife every time she whines about money for I can’t bear the resonance of her voice cursing me for her empty stomach”. Allah Ditta’s story is nothing more than an old soup just warmed over again. It’s not something novel as sighting a Cyclops on a uninhabited, desolate island.There is no new revelation in the story from its opening to its end. Pakistan’s civil society is jam-packed with Allah Dittas who beat their wives each time they pester them with the demand of money to buy food, and whose “children stare at other children going to school with envious eyes and gloomy hearts”. Lachrymosity on such stories and pulpiteers’ sermons that destitution of the oppressed segments of the society is the ” Will of Allah”, are tantamount to peppering the chronic festering economic wound of the country’s deprived classes, much less than applying on it the soothing ointment of the drastic economic reforms,starting from scratch. The dangerous situation is that the gullible deprived multitude of Pakistan’s people are taken in by the intriguing bearded-bigots so that the former believe that their salvation lies in the antediluvian and circuitous theories, and not in the economic ideology of the modern day. Unfortunately, the deprived people do not realize that the religious nostrum is no more than the dose of morphia to keep them from rising up for their basic human rights.The religiose ones’ sermons that self-abnegation in the present life will be rewarded with an eternal life in paradise, have distracted people from questing an earth-bound solution of their woes. Again, ever since dictator Zia’s ‘ coup d’ etat ‘, the number of the bearded persons has been growing at a pace as do the toadstools in the decaying peat during the humid monsoon season of the country_____ it predicts no happy future. The bottom-line is that unless Pakistan’s eco-political structure is raised on the scientific principle of ” to each according to his need, and from each according to his aptitude “, there will no end of Pakistanis miseries, and Allah Dittas and their dependents will be overrunning the country like bandicoots.

  • S Nasrullah

    More than 40% population of Pakistan exist below poverty line -hardly ever meeting both ends. Your tear jerking narration should invoke lot of sympathy for the poor, but is there a relief in sight? In a country like Pakistan, Cash strapped and deficient in Resources, suffering from the cancer of corruption and a leadership vacillating between the horrid and the hopeless. The Leadership not only lack vision, enterprise and most of all, integrity, but that the elites among them have covert agreement to share the booty in their turns. Pakistan needs a Revolution. A system change. Not just the change of faces, but paradigm changes.

    Pakistan was achieved in the name of Islam, but it neither implements Islamic jurisprudence, nor the Islamic social justice. The Haves among the society have to essentially and religiously contribute to the National exchequer a certain sum of Zakat every year which should reach the Have-nots without fail. Also, the good neighbor conduct that Islam enjoins abundantly insures that no one in the neighborhood goes to bed hungry. The rich are getting richer evading Taxes and increasing their profits illegally. For the past two decades, Pakistan has not seen any systematic economic pursuit to alleviate the miserable lives of the poor.

    It was astonishing that in the Aman Ramzan Program of Dr Aamer Liaquat, hundreds of affluent people, Trusts and Organizations responded positively to help the needy for their maladies and misfortunes. Those individuals and Organizations trusted Aamer Liaquat and not the Government or their Agencies.

    On a personal level, Imran Khan with his Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital and Nemil University may help the deserving among the poor to improve their lot ; Edhi with his limited sources undertaken to house the destitute, the scum of the society, providing food,clothing, medicine and shelter; Abrar-ul-Haq and Jawad trying to build Hospitals to cater for the treatment of the poor and the underprivileged. Government must extend every assistance to them in their noble cause with Tax Exemption, subsidy and Excise duty exemption on equipment designed to upgrade and update their service standards.

  • M.Saeed

    Poverty is a necessary phase of life and everyone must have a taste of it for success.
    Silver-spoon births are often adynamic (anti-dynamic) and end in poverty. But, perennial poverty is a disease and its patient can only add “2-plus-2 equal to 4 breads”. In their struggle to survive, they lose even a desire to find their abilities to win. They become indifferent to future and live only for moments in senseless, soulless, heartless and aimless confinements.
    There is a saying that, “Poverty is the Mother of Revolution”. But, our poor can only dream about parenting more and more of destitute-begging-bowls.
    What is the way out?
    There is only one cure for the miseries of our poor masses. Their salvation is possible only, if our filthy-rich leaders become richer in humanity as well!
    Alas!

  • Muhammad Tahir Amin

    poverty breeds strife.Government should take steps to eradicate poverty.And our politicians and our so called leaders should think about poor people, who they spend their life below the poverty line. i am so much hearted to read this column.This is not only Allah Ditta in our country, there are Millions Allah Ditta’s in our country who are suffering in this situation, they cant get food one time.
    Ai Allah Rab ul Ezzat please help those people who have not enough food to eat and other necessities of life and please Allah give me enough wealth to help these our muslims brothers and sisters.