Yasen’s unending problems


By D.J Mathal
The Yasen tehsil of Ghizer district is without basic facilities of life even in the 21st century thanks to the apathy of the authorities concerned and its elected representatives. The residents are neither self-sufficient in agriculture, their primary source of income, nor they have resources to switch over to other professions like business, etc. This is perhaps the only area in the region which has been completely ignored by the power that be, in social sector development. The 55,000 people of the valley are not only entangled in socio-economic problems like poverty and unemployment but also live in the virtual Stone Age deprived of even basic necessities of education and health care. Education is the basic requirement for the development of any nation. Here it seems that the government has deliberately ignored the area as far as promotion of education is concerned. With the increase in population, the government has failed to open new schools and colleges especially for girls. Till a couple of years back, there was only one high school for boys and now three middle schools have been opened for them but they too are without proper facilities like science teachers, laboratories and libraries. The students are made to sit under the open sky whether it rain or shine. Due to absence of government educational institutions, girls of the area go to Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee Schools. But after passing the matriculation exam the door of education closes on them. Boys do manage to move to urban areas and continue education by doing part-time jobs but girls of the area remain confined to the four walls of their houses. The so-called political leaders of the area promise to bring revolution in the area during election campaigns but after reaching the assemblies disappear from the scene. A few years back a building for the inter-college was constructed but classes could not start on time in the institution. It would have been more beneficial had the authorities concerned built the college for girls keeping the importance of women’s education and lack of educational institutions for them in the area. Natural calamities including torrential rains, snowfall and floods play havoc with the standing crops and buildings in the area every year. However, the affected people never get compensation for the losses due to lack of interest on part of their elected representatives. Unfortunately, politics in the area always revolves around centuries-old clan rivalries leaving no room for solution of burning socio-economic issues of the masses. When Lalek Jan Shaheed was given the nation’s highest military award, Nishan-i-Haider, it was expected that an era of progress and development would dawn in the poverty-stricken valley. But except upgradation of a middle school in Hondur no substantive development projects were initiated in health or education sectors. Besides, on the false promise of providing him job, the health department acquired a piece of land from a poor man in Hondur for establishment of a health centre but later he was neither provided job nor paid the price of the land. This is one of the many cases of injustices meted out to the area people by the authorities concerned. The people are now fed up with the government authorities for their unfulfilled promises and injustices. Due to absence of opportunities and rampant poverty in the region, educated youth of Yasen are compelled to migrate to other areas in search of jobs and better living standards. It is unfortunate that the young generation after completing education leaves the area and have to run from pillar to post in search of livelihood instead of working for the welfare of their native land. It is time local people especially the educated class come forward and formulated a strategy to bring development to their area for the benefit of their coming generation.

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