April 12, 2011

The value of a 1000 rupees

I am supposed to be studying for my final examination right now which will start in two days time. But as it always happens on occasions like these, I have something to talk and blog about. The value of a 1000 rupees. What do a 1000 rupees mean to me? And what do they mean to the millions of other Pakistanis around me? It is an important question. One which has the potential of defining the unbelievably harrowing disparity that exists between the social classes within Pakistan.

The poor Pakistanis
But to start of, I need to give credit where it is due. I only thought up of this question after watching a documentary about the economic divide existent within our communities. And yes, this documentary was broadcast on Geo TV (which will disappoint some of the Pakistani populace who believe that Geo TV is a project by the Antichrist to rid the world of Pakistan).

But getting back to the value of 1000 rupees. In the last 5 years the value of a 1000 rupees has fallen tremendously as was evident from the various answers that people belonging to various classes gave. For the poor lady on the side of the road with her near comatose kid, a thousand rupees meant medicine, food and milk for her young, sick child. For the stud with the Ray Ban glasses, a thousand rupees meant 500 rupees worth of fuel and 500 rupees worth of phone credit.

And the rich Pakistanis
For the lady getting out of the Honda Civic, a 1000 rupees meant a new lawn suit, while for the old baba with his back bent, hands scorched due to the ruthless sun and sadness etched into every single line on his face a thousand rupees meant 7 days of two time a day meals for his family of six.

The rapidly falling value of the rupee is causing a lot of economic hardships. Do I blame the stud with the Ray Ban for his answer? Do I blame the lady who wants to buy the lawn suit? I don't because the simple fact of the matter is that things have gotten dearer and they continue to do so by the day. The indirect taxes that are levied on the back of this poor nation make this all the more harrowing because now it just isn't possible to get what you want, or what you could've gotten 5 years ago in 1000 rupees.

But it does prove the point that I set out to make from the start. The rich and poor divide is now going to the extremes. If adequate attention is not shed by the government on this emerging phenomenon, this situation could truly get out of control.

A 1000 rupees may not matter much to you because its value is too petty; but a 1000 rupees is still the dream of many millions of Pakistanis.