Pakistan and India may be known for poverty stricken masses deprived of their basic civic amentias and equal job opportunities but owing to the current economic disasters and recession engulfing the West; the state of affairs of the masses out there is also not very different especially in US; the land we knew famous for its freedom and equal opportunities to excel.
The recession has forced many factories and other institutions to close their businesses and most of the people find themselves redundant. The closure of places from where the commoners used to earn their living has pushed them down and out of their houses that they are no more able to pay their rents or mortgages. They find themselves homeless and compelled to live on the road sides in the open–high and dry.
There are more than five times as many vacant homes in the U.S. as there are homeless people, according to Amnesty International USA. Since 2007, banks have shuttered about 8 million American houses, almost doubling the previous number, while 3.5 million homeless shiver in the cold. Experts expect 8 million to 10 million more foreclosures in the years ahead. Foreclosure is when banks repossess the properties for non-payment that people gone out of job or with little income cannot keep up paying their prescribe mortgages to the banks.
In the last few days, the U.S. government census figures have revealed that 1 in 2 Americans have fallen into poverty or are struggling to live on low incomes. And it is claimed that the financial hardships faced by their neighbours, colleagues, and others in their communities will be all the more acutely felt over the current holiday season.
Along with poverty and low incomes, the foreclosure rate has created its own crisis situation as the number of families removed from their homes has skyrocketed.
Since 2007, banks have foreclosed around eight million homes. It is estimated that another eight to ten million homes will be foreclosed before the financial crisis is over. This approach to resolving one part of the financial crisis means many, many families are living without adequate and secure housing. In addition, approximately 3.5 million people in the U.S. are homeless; many of them veterans (retired Military men and women). It is worth noting that, at the same time, there are 18.5 million vacant homes in the country.
Housing is a basic human need and a fundamental human right says ‘The Human Right council’. Yet every day in the United States, banks are foreclosing on more than 10,000 mortgages and ordering evictions of individuals and families residing in foreclosed homes. The U.S. government’s steps to address the foreclosure crisis to date have been partial at best.
The depth and severity of the foreclosure crisis is a clear illustration of the urgent need for the U.S. government to put in place a system that respects, protects and fulfils human rights, including the right to housing. This includes implementing real protections to ensure that other actors, such as financial institutions, do not undermine or abuse human rights.
Back home in India and Pakistan; the creed of Mirasi is known for their pangs of poverty and joblessness;. In recent floods in Pakistan when most of the villages and lands were found submerged under water; so were the houses of the feudal lords and their villas and entire houses with their house hold and live stock were seen swept away in the flood.
Just to save his life one Mirasi had climbed up on a tree; where he found shouted upon by one of the vadera that why he does not come and help him save his life and of his children… Mirasi very amusingly replied – Aj he tay Ghareeb hoon da sawad aya. ‘This is the day that I am enjoying the most and rejoicing that after all my poverty was a blessing for me that today I had nothing to lose’.
Alhamdo-lillah; peoples in Pakistan and India may be living under thatched roof huts and shelters or in shanty towns but most of them have got houses built of their own with each other’s help to live within their families. Jobs may be less, poverty may be gripping but unlike in the West, at least you have got a roof above your head. This is the blessing of the joint family system and of family bonds which keep the peoples united and they live happily; even when a Mirasi has to climb up the tree for his safety during floods.