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June 20, 2021

Effect of price hike on common man

The sufferings of Rawalpindi city residents know no bounds. The prices of most daily essentials, including vegetables, meat, fishes and spices, pulses and edible oil, sugar, rice, mark a further rise despite adequate supply in the city markets.

The common people have started to adjust their food habits to cope with the spiraling price. It is in fact alarming. Ostensibly, this tendency might have a halo of flexibility and smart ingenuity.

It gives the impression that the common people are skillfully dealing with the escalating food prices and that all is well or at least as well as one can realistically anticipate. However, giving in to such complacency would be denying approaching adversity. It would be similar to closing the eyes and burying the head in the sand.

Even though one can describe the state of affairs of certain areas as characteristically in the throes of poverty at this time of the year, the tendency would assuredly apply to the poorer section of the people from corner to corner of the city, conceivably differing only in the degree of their adaptation and expenditure cuts.

The fact that such people like day laborers, rickshaw pullers, or those at the bottom rungs of the fixed-income group have had to cut back on their expenditure on food is unquestionable since the prices of daily essentials have increased at a far higher rate than the increase in their wages.

Reduction in expenditure has taken a toll on the protein intake of poor households that have begun to give up meat, fish, and lentils. These households are also cutting back on their purchase of vegetables and fruits. It implies that the nutrition and calorie of these households will slowly but surely decrease.

Although the instant effect might be trifling and even that will be difficult to perceive because of the lack of nutrition, the long-term effect would surely be devastating. The capability to work hard and long will without doubt decrease. People will lose their natural resistance that only nutrition may make available. General health will also begin to suffer. Nevertheless, more alarming would be the effect on children.

Suitable nutrition, particularly in the case of children, not only makes sure that they achieve satisfactory physical growth, but also that they grow up to be intelligent. For grown-ups, it boosts their efficiency and ability to work more.

Suffering and austerity is inevitably a part of life for the common people of a third world country such as ours, nonetheless, it is surely intolerable that generations would grow up to be underdeveloped and children would go to bed hungry for days on end. We urge the representatives of the people to pay due attention to this threat and straightaway initiate measures to improve this state of affairs.