Monday, 31 October 2016

Pensioner's suicide

Dawn has a grim piece about a Karachi pensioner's suicide after shameful treatment by officials.

ONE can only imagine what it would take for an elderly man to commit suicide. The recent case of one such individual, who had been making the rounds of Karachi’s Civic Centre to obtain pension that he had reportedly not been paid for 13 months, leaves one reeling with anger. His family says he had been making repeated trips to collect what was his due, and the staff that he spoke to made fun of him and his efforts to collect his pension. The resulting depression, according to his family, led him to take the extreme step of jumping off the building, and not the lack of payment. The explanations given by KMC, where the man worked all his life and from where he expected his pension, and by Karachi’s deputy mayor, somehow do not ring true. They claim that pension cheques worth Rs740m “have been readied” and will be disbursed once the Sindh government releases the funds.

Apart from the obvious, what strikes one about this story is how the actions of those officials are now available for the whole world to see and deplore. A few years ago this would not have been the case.

The internet has tied that pensioner's callous treatment to Karachi, Karachi's Civic Centre and KMC, the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation. It may be too late for him but the world is changing. It could change for the better.


Michael said...

This is indeed a very sad story.

Re your comment about the transparency issue, it's a sad reflection that I get almost all my news from the net now, and hardly any from the BBC. The latter is substituted by excellent commenters (most of them anyway), on the Biased BBC site, as they tear into the real debate and I can happily ignore the dross we're fed for thirty-something quid every three months.

Sam Vega said...

I agree, but it's a double-edged sword. The same technology is used by the demented to abuse people, hound them out of jobs, and make life intolerable for them. This man's suicide could have been prevented by the internet, but there are plenty more that have been caused by it.

A K Haart said...

Scrobs - I get all my news from the net - none from the BBC unless I'm interested in the mainstream spin on a controversial story.

Sam - yes that's so and the ultimate shape of the upheaval is not particularly clear, but in the long run knowing more should be better than knowing less. Unless madness also stirs the pot.

James Higham said...

I, a pensioner, am having government issues too. However, they've been civilized so far.

A K Haart said...

James - yes they are generally civilized.