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Friday, 17 August 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 229 of 2018

2309hrs:

One of the many things that I have yet to discuss on this blog is the abysmal quality of food that we have to import from Pakistan.

It isn't so palpable when we eat at home or as a guest at somebody else's home. However, when you're eating in the bazaar - day in day out - as I have been doing in Rawalakot for the past couple of months, you notice it with increasing intensity with every meal.

Water - despite living in a region with possibly the highest ratio of fresh water (per capita) in the world, most - if not all - our urban centres in AJK are finding it increasingly difficult to provide uncontaminated water to their populations. Waterborne diseases are approaching epidemic proportions in some cities.

Salt - processed salt is what we use and its a killer.

Oil/Ghee - In the Dogra Era, importing oil or ghee was illegal and a lot of state resources were devoted to ensure compliance. We import oil and ghee from our neighbouring country. They in turn are apparently the world's largest importer of used oil. What is supplied here doesn't undergo any kind of scrutiny for its quality. We have no idea what we are buying!

Wheat flour - The rotis we eat in bazaars have very low wheat content. Some investigations have found evidence of plastic being used.

Spices - Most spices used in hotels/restaurants here are powdered versions and just like processed salt, they edge us towards ill-health.

Living in a territory with such a sublime natural environment that facilitates optimum health is juxtaposed with a burgeoning private health sector, that compels many of our poverty-stricken citizens to take loans to try and recover what remains of their health.

AJK is a land - which due to the absence of governance - has been converted:
- From a natural health resort to a sick society.
- From a potential global knowledge hub to an illiterate society.
- From a central trade route to an economic black hole.

It is these imposed contrasts which motivate us to work for change in our society. The more we learn about our people's baffling paralysis, the more determined we become to resolve this totally un-necessary dilemma.

   

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