ASADABAD (Pajhwok): Rasouluddin, 77, a resident of Korangal valley of Manogi district in eastern Kunar province, has been looking after 21 grandchildren after his three sons were killed in the past war.
Korangal valley was also nicknamed “The Valley of Death” during the past conflict.
Bent on his back, clad in old clothes with sings of poverty and difficulties of life clearly visible on his face, Rasouluddin said in a quivering voice: “In the last stage of my life, extreme poverty, the deaths of my sons and looking after their orphaned children and widows give me a lot of pain.”
On the basis of tribal distribution of forest, he only owns a few trees and has no property, land or anything else.
Rasouluddin counts the last days of his life and still has to look after his grandchildren.
Sitting in the sunshine on an old bed and surrounded by his grandchildren, he said: “My one son Abdul Hakim was martyred in a face to face fighting with Americans, he left behind a widow and six children. My two other sons Hizbullah and Naseer were killed in the past conflict, they also left behind widows and orphans.”
He said he third son had separated and did not live with them.
“I am not in good health, I have joints problems, cannot move from one place to another, but still I look after my grandchildren.”
Rasouluddin said some of his grandchildren studied in school and madrassa while others helped him in home related works.
He said: “I have nothing but a poor life, have no money at home, my neighbors are good people, they often provide support.”
He said Korangal valley, 30 kilometers from Asadabad, was covered by trees and jungle and it had been the scene of heavy fighting in the past.
Haji Zarawar Khan, a tribal elder from the valley, also talked about Rasouluddin’s difficult life.
He said the past conflict had affected almost all Afghans. He said the conflict claimed the lives of Rasouluddin’s three sons and now he had to look after 21 grandchildren.
“The US did massive persecution here, 250 widows are here in our village and their husbands died during clashes with US forces.”
He said they provided support to widows and poor people, but it was government’s responsibility to resolve the problems faced by these people.
MawlaviNajibullahHanif, head of the Information and Cultural Affairs Department, said that a large number of widows and orphans lived in Kunar province and all needed help and support.
“Government through a proper strategy has launched efforts to improve the lives of past conflict victims,” he said.
It is worth mentioning that the 40-year long conflict claimed the lives of millions of people in Afghanistan.
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