Every year on 1st May, in Pakistan we celebrate Labor Day by enjoying a gazetted holiday, by doing nothing but relaxing in the comforts of our home. Whereas, the real labor, for whom this holiday was declared goes out in search of his “dihaari” wages, so that the families could be fed and the needs be met.
Internationally the date of Labor Day differs from Pakistan, here in our country we celebrate this day on 1st May since our labor policies were devised in 1972 and this date was selected for a national holiday. Right after independence in 1947 Pakistan also became a member of ILO (International Labor Organization) which promotes social justice and human / labor rights.
Unfortunately, along with all such organizations and realizations, the labor is still in poor condition. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. We lack basic necessities, the rich can afford alternatives, but think of the poor labor lot, who work each day to win their bread and butter for that day alone, where would they find UPS and bottled water to fulfill the basic needs of their families.
Imagine, Labor Day was dedicated to labors, so that realizations could be generated among the worthy to be able to upgrade working conditions of laborers who are one important module of our society. Instead, we see people dying of drowning, getting electrocuted from open and multiple high-tension wires, falling off high rise buildings, getting burned alive, getting crushed under cranes and what not. Over and above they still work in the same conditions. No change occurs for the betterment.
Labor laws have been made but they are not being implemented. The rights of laborers are defined but they are not being given, the holiday is being celebrated but the labor himself is still out on roads seeking his bread and butter.
My eyes fluttered open to see I’m stranded on a hill, chained to a tree, its branches digging into my back. Graves all around, of wood and metal and marble. I could feel the chain, cutting through my hands, my body ached with a pain unknown to me. I was soaked in blood, mine or someone else’s I didn’t know. Where was everyone, my parents, my brother?
Something, at the back of my mind tells me that they are all dead and the world I once believed in destroyed. I struggled a little and the chains fell down. I dragged myself into a cave, wanting shelter more than anything. Inside, I screamed and shouted, but nothing came out of my mouth.
I saw a stream, flowing with blood, a heavy fog everywhere. The deafening silence killing me. It took all the energy I had, but I got up. I went outside the cave to see what was happening, but nothing was right. A moment ago there were graves, now bodies piled up on each other. All the silence was now gone, mocking jays around me. They were whistling a tune that hurt my ears and blood tickled down my spine.
Then I woke up with tears in my eyes and my palms sweaty. Everything is back to normal. It was just a dream, I thought. Or was it?
Big Bird Day 2014 in Pakistan was a propagation of the annual event initially started by the Delhi Bird group to celebrate the joy of bird-watching, the first of which was arranged on February 22, 2004. The main objective of this activity is not just bird-watching it also provides for counting the species seen in a particular area. By doing this activity on a fixed day we have better chances of reaching to a more accurate population of at a particular time. More over with such activities we have a p
Big Bird Day 2014
ossibility of re-discovering a particular species which was not seen for a long time. Recording the confirmed sightings across the country on the same day would provide the essential and realistic data which will show the actual diversity of Bird Life in an area. A great advantage of this activity in Pakistan came out to be that it brought Pakistan on the international map of Birdwatchers.
We had an opportunity to go to a place called kala khatai in Punjab close to Pakistan India Border for bird species count. A team of six members was formed by us and we made our best efforts from dawn to dusk to count the maximum birds of the said locality. We were able to spot 52 species in total and another one as a probability. A summary of confirmed sighting was compiled and submitted to the ebird website http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ Species that we were able to locate were as follows. Graylag Goose Bar-headed Goose Ruddy Shelduck Gadwall Mallard Northern Pintail Green-winged Teal Common Pochard Gray Francolin Black Francolin Great Cormorant Little Cormorant Gray Heron Purple Heron Little Egret Indian Pond-Heron Black-crowned Night-Heron Eurasian Spoonbill Black-shouldered Kite Eurasian Marsh-Harrier Eurasian Moorhen Eurasian Coot Black-winged Stilt Red-wattled Lapwing Common Ringed Plover Common Sandpiper Eurasian Collared-Dove Yellow-footed Pigeon Greater Coucal White-throated Kingfisher Indian Roller Eurasian Hoopoe Long-tailed Shrike Black Drongo House Crow Crested Lark Barn Swallow Red-vented Bulbul Ashy Prinia Common Babbler Jungle Babbler Black Redstart Pied Bushchat Bank Myna Common Myna Asian Pied Starling European Starling Western Yellow Wagtail White Wagtail Red-headed Bunting House Sparrow Nutmeg Mannikin Participants of the Activity: Bilal Qazi Abel Griffen Ali Shah Arthur Anab Shams Awais Ali Sheikh Yawar KhanLooking at the current response from our country (Pakistan) we expect a higher turn over from passionate Bird Watchers to join us in this activity. It was a wonderful experience and a great learning opportunity.
Harvesting season of wheat comes with many challenges, specially in the regions where harvesting is done by hand. Wheat is most common food crop, harvested in the late spring. Golden fields, dust of threshing and the sound of air moving through the crops makes a majestic entourage. The cycle of seeding through harvesting is a six months duration requiring constant care and upkeep.
Soil is prepared by plowing, then trenched and then natural manure is thrown for fertilization. Seeds are thrown across the furrows using semi-circular movement of wrist. In hot weather watering is done quite frequently. Insecticides and pesticides are sprayed to protect the crop from insects. Once the kernels turn golden, scythes are used to cut them and threshed. The grain attained is later processed to make Wheat flour, White Flour, Semolina, Angoori انگوری (for sohan halwa) and other material. Interestingly the waste of the threshing is also useful for making Paper, Card Boards and Animal Feed.
We must appreciate the efforts of the farmers who put in their toil and sweat to produce the food for all of us.