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Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 248 of 2018

2234hrs:

I've approached the stage where I have to change my approach towards my co-citizens. 

Public policy operates on public finance and although we have taken a few leaps in getting this message across AJK since 2012 - our strategy has been quite reactive to date - in the sense that funds were always raised from the public on an ad-hoc or as per immediate need basis. 

It can no longer afford to be so.

The attitude of our public to those who work solely for the collective benefit of society - is on the whole - quite pedestrian. That does not mean that they don't contribute or value those who work for them on their own initiative. Indeed, at least two-thirds of the local population contributes. It's just that they are not as alert as they need to be or proactive enough.

In my specific context, my overheads have sharply risen in the past 14 to 15 months. Hitherto, I lived at my family home in the village. There was no rent to pay or even any utility bill to deal with. The children's school tuition fees were also comparatively modest. There were even times when we got through the whole month on less than 3,000 Pakistani rupees (less than £20!). Now, I have to find 30,000 Pakistani rupees (about £189 at current exchange rates) every month just to keep my family afloat. This doesn't include expenses for public activity and its related costs.

Throughout my 13 year 'tenure' here, I have avoided debt as I feel that it to be anathema for a public activist who relies on the goodwill of the people he's working for. However, as I write I have approached a debt burden which is coming close to 1 lakh rupees (c. £629).

Thus, I have to be pro-active now and accumulate funds so that all necessary expenditure in public interest can be met in a timely manner. These costs will only increase with time as our public interest research (and activism) intensifies.  

I hope our citizens - especially those enjoying the fruits of democracy in the diaspora - pay heed to this need.  

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I find this position intriguing, not because of its veracity or lack of but because it touches on an angle not much discussed in mainstream Indo-Pak discourse.



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