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Chitrali workers move to cities too early

CHITRAL, Sept 16: The local labourers have started leaving their homes for other cities of the country in search of work ahead of their usual schedule owing to exorbitant hike in the prices of essential commodities. A number of young people waiting for a passenger coach at the local bus stand told Dawn that they were leaving their homes two months before the date they used to leave in the past. Haider Khan of Kushum Mulkhow area said that it was his routine to leave for Lahore by the end of October along with other people of his village to work there as labourer. “But this year, I exhausted what I had earned last time. I am left with no option but to haste to the down country only for the sustenance of my family,” he added. Arshad Khan, the manager of the bus stand, said that more than 20 passenger coaches departed from the stand everyday against the routine number of four to six a day. He said that sometimes they faced shortage of coaches owing to rush of passengers, going to down country in search of work. Some of the passengers were found dejected as they thought they would celebrate the forthcoming Eidul Azha without their families. Rahmat Shah, a resident of Oveer valley, leading a group of 11 persons of his village, said that he was in a hurry to reach Rawalpindi and work there to send money to his family so that it could celebrate Eid in a befitting manner. He said that he would miss his family members on the occasion of Eid. “This year, we will have to elongate our stay at the workplace from five to seven months to meet the expenses, which are result of soaring prices of different commodities,” he said. He said that unemployment was rampant in the area and youth had no option but to leave for down country in the summer season in search of work. Owing to limited employment opportunities in the district and stoppage of work on the construction sites in the winter season, the unskilled labourers throng down country every year and return by the month of May with earnings to support their families.–Dawn]]>

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