West frontier Province of Pakistan were shaken by an earthquake measuring 7.7 on Richter scale .The official death toll rounded off to 79,000 with thousands handicapped and many other homeless. Severe waves of panic and devastation were apparent throughout the district. The initial rescue work began right after the incident , although at this particular point the aftermath of the earthquake was still not clear. The first day went by dealing mainly with the ‘ Margalla Tower’ collapse. The next day brought with it a different larger picture unleashing the havoc of the quake. Media teams were specifically covering different areas and appeals for relief were aired frantically. The pain and suffering of the people were deeply felt through out the country generating a phenomenal wave of donations and aids.
While foreign aid continued to pour in millions of dollars and food supplies the nation stood in solidarity shoulder to shoulder. The media went head on with the coverage capturing every inch of effected areas. The coverage aided rescue and relief organization to address effected areas. In all this mayhem a nation stood against all odds. With every sign of life under the rubble the nation breathed relief. The greatest earthquake to hit Pakistan also became one of the exemplary incidents of rescue and relief not only by the authorities but by the ordinary man. Ever passing day brought with it hopes of efficient rescue and relief facilities. The month of Ramadan passed in prayers and hopes of survival of the victims. Rescue work went on day in day out setting new standards of public generated relief and aid.
After three years of the incident many still remain homeless. Although the relief funds provided first aid facilities but due to lack of strategy long term plans were not chalked out. According to records:
The data released by the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (Erra) reveals that about 462,900 families were supposed to get compensation in four instalments. The number of families receiving all the four instalments was 218,317 or about 47 per cent of the total. This means that more than 52 per cent affected families, or about 245,000 families, had not received compensation in full.
According to the data, of the total of 610,716 destroyed houses, including 101,091 partially destroyed, construction of 409,613 houses has been completed while another 118,406 houses were under construction. Construction of 35,972 houses is yet to start.
The rising infiltration adds up to the misery of the homeless survivors. While the country continues to fight insurgencies and economic backlashes the victims demand significant improvements. It was during the time of such chaos that the country came out as a nation united and unanimously concerned upon the welfare of their own people. While the media moved on to hawk on opportunities the victims seemed to be forgotten by many. However many organization continue to work in rebuilding infrastructure but without strategic backup this too seems short lived. The plea of the survivors ask for something more than just relief they ask of us revival of the same spirits that once kindled in our hearts. The holler from the victims ask of the same sincerity in handling issues from the media, Government , NGO’s and most importantly us. At least for today let us remember the survivors in whatever way we can . Most importantly let us revive the spirit that once set standards of patriotism and Unity for the interest of ourselves and our people.