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Poverty forces 78-year-old from Badghis to Takhar

Poverty forces 78-year-old from Badghis to Takhar

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29 Nov 2022 - 18:35
Poverty forces 78-year-old from Badghis to Takhar
author avatar
29 Nov 2022 - 18:35

TALOQAN (Pajhwok): With age telling upon him, a 78 years old man is still struggling to win bread for his eight-member family.

“I was walking at dawn through Taloqan in quest of a story idea. I suddenly saw a friendly man sitting and chatting with others in the Badghis accent. I believed he has something to share,” said the Pajhwok reporter in Takhar province.

Asked about his daily wages, the man replied: “I am 78, looking for work in Badghis to win bread for my family. But I didn’t succeed and headed to northern provinces until I reached Takhar. Several days have since elapsed, but I have found no one to hire me.”

The elderly man, named Burhanuddin, originally hails from the Bala Murghab district of western Badghis province. Signs of old age are obvious on his face and his arms look weak. Poverty and economic hardships have forced him to grapple with numerous problems and look for work.

Burhanuddin shared with Pajhwok the harrowing story of his penury: “I sent abroad my three minor children in search of work and a better life. But three more children of mine are also unable to eke out a living for my family. Thus I myself have come to northern provinces in search of a job to find food for my family.”

The old man has tried for months to find a job in Badghis, “but I failed to. Finally, I have turned to the northern provinces.”

He went on to explain: “I have been here for four days. The job market is saturated. No one is ready to hire an old man like me,” he commented, with a tinge of anguish.

Striving to fight back his tears, he said: “I manage to polish some pairs of shoes in Taloqan and find bread only for myself. I have no option but to go to Kunduz province. My wife and children are disparately waiting for me to bring them food.”

Burhanuddin, like many others, complained of widespread unemployment in the country. He asked the government to create work opportunities for the people.

He continued: “I hoped for real and permanent peace in the country and for the education of my children as I wanted to raise them into responsible citizens.

“But multiple privations have shattered my dreams: My three children are still engaged in hard labour in Iran, whose nosediving currency has made it difficult for them to earn enough money to meet the medical needs of my family.”

Writ large on his visage are the pains of poverty, hardships of life and unemployment.

In the meantime, civil activists argued if international assistance is distributed transparently, no old man like Burhanuddin would be compelled into doing hard labour.

Attaullah, a Takhar-based civil society activist, said foreign and local aid was meant for the poor people, but dozens of people knock at the doors of welfare institutions every day. As they return empty-handed, the aid goes to the people who do not deserve it.

If such aid packages are utilised properly, needy people like Burhanuddin will not be forced into hard labour, according to Attaullah.

Burhanuddin is not the only individual who is faced with such fate. Thousands of other Afghans also want the government to address the issues of unemployment and poverty.


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