They are all around us. When a automobile stops, if it stops, during a red light, they mount subsequent to a car, seeking for a few rupees to feed themselves. Rags on their body, though a shoe on their feet, they hit on a coloured window, usually for a newcomer to demeanour elsewhere. When a automobile parks in front of a dialect store with products from distant off lands, and prices noted adult over reason, they appear, infrequently alone, infrequently in groups, seeking for something, anything during all. No one knows who they are, or where they come from, either they have a home or not, and if they even have a name. Our insusceptibility to their participation means that we do not caring if they are there, sent by a mafia that feeds on poverty, or sent by a craving that creates misery. Visible to us all, they are a invisible ones.
I have high hopes from a census, that we consider is one of a best pieces of news entrance from Pakistan in a prolonged time. we know that we should keep my expectations low, and afterwards be happy when a low expectations are met, though we can't enclose my fad about information that might assistance us know how many of us live a country, and how we all make a tapestry of a society. My fad about basing process on genuine information is palpable. But my fad is some-more than only about a data. My wish from this counting practice is that this information will not only count me and you, those who can write in an English daily and can review it on their tablet, though also a invisible ones. My dream is that a census will also count how many do not have an residence since they live by a side of a highway whose name they do not know. Whether they are there since their relatives sent them to enterprise and ask for a meal, or since they are left behind by a cruelty of society, or since they were innate in a wrong city during a wrong time, we unequivocally wish a census to count them only as it would count those who have a extraction that we all envy. My wish is that a census will not only be an practice in counting though a common enterprise to live in a republic where a invisible will turn visible.
Back in a day, there was a parable that meant that those in a civic areas had access, and those in a farming areas were inherently though entrance to purify water, health and education. A expostulate by a civic centres, from a North to a South, will break that myth. Some of a lowest people in a republic live in civic areas, infrequently only around a dilemma from a richest, infrequently right opposite a highway from a mansions. They do not have entrance to any services, comforts or rights, and their right to live itself is controversial in a eyes of society. As we start to count and take batch of how many of us are there, we wish that this will concede us to unequivocally recognize who we truly are as a people and how we ought to be.
There is indeed most to applaud in a 2017 census, something that was prolonged overdue. Yet, we can't assistance though remind us that a genuine value is not in a information or only in a numbers, though in what a information helps us do. we wish a census of 2017 will assistance answer a doubt Ibn Insha asked decades ago “Yeh bacha kis ka bacha hai? “ (whose child is this?).
A republic indivisible can't have people among it who are invisible.
Published in The Express Tribune, Mar 21st, 2017.2017-03-20
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