Peshawar bomb attack victims struggle for daily life

October 28th, 2010 - 11:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Oct 28 (IANS) The victims of a devastating car bomb attack in Pakistan’s Peshawar city in 2009 still face enormous hardships to meet their daily needs as the bombing had snatched away the lone breadwinners of the families, a media report said Thursday.

The Oct 28 bombing in Meena Bazar in Peshawar left 137 people dead and 250 others injured. Female family members have been the worst sufferrers, the News reported.

Said Mohammad was working at his small tea stall when the blast occurred, killing him instantly. He was the sole breadwinner of his family.

He left behind his ailing wife Irshad and three daughters Bakht Meena, Bas Meena and Naureen.

“We have been going through hard times after losing our father in the bombing as he was the only breadwinner of the family.”

“Our problems have increased, as we do not have a brother. Had we one, that would have given some solace and hope to my ailing mother as a male is considered a symbol of protection for the female family members in our society,” said 18-year-old Bakht Meena, narrating the family’s ordeal.

“I have done my matriculation and have two younger sisters and a mother to care for. Because of the social norms prevailing in our Pakhtun society, I cannot leave my house to do an office job,” Meena said.

“But I will face no problem if given a teaching job at a government-run girls primary school, as that is a noble and respected profession. That job would help me in sustaining my family and also continue my studies,” said Bakht Meena.

She said her mother falls unconscious frequently due to problem of her nervous system.

“I am grateful to a kind-hearted woman from Haripur who helps me in treating my mother,” she said.

She asked the government to provide her teaching job and ensure proper treatment to her mother as the family could not afford it on its own and could not rely on her relatives, as they too are hard-pressed.

Asia Bibi, 30, a physically challenged Hepatitis C patient, is another affected woman who lost her husband and only son in the Meena Bazaar bombing.

She has no family member to earn livelihood for the family and is living with her two daughters, 12-year-old Laiba and three-year-old Muqaddas, in the Karimpura area.

“My husband, Mohammad Arshad, was a nanbai (baker). We were not living a prosperous life but at least we had a male member to earn for us the two-time meal.”

She said fortunately she had a home and was meeting the family needs by renting the upper portion of the house for a nominal rent of Rs.2,000 a month.

Another woman Sajjad Bibi lost her husband, Abdur Rasheed, in the bombing. He used to work in a shop run by a hakeem (a practisioner of Unani system of medicine).

She lives in the Mohallah Noubahar area on Phandu road and has no source of income after the death of her husband. Her brother-in-law is supporting the family although he himself earns meagerly. She has three daughters and two sons.

Adnan Hussain, 17, is the most unfortunate victim of the Meena Bazaar bombing as he lost nine members of his family in the attack.

The family had gone to Meena Bazaar to shop for a wedding ceremony when the blast took place.

The victims included his father, mother Rozina, four sisters, a brother, a cousin and aunt Robina.

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