When I launched this blog, I never even thought I would be using it as a platform to appeal to my readers to use their right as citizens of this nation to come out and vote in the upcoming elections on 11 May, 2013… Specifically to vote for ‘Naya Pakistan‘.
I am a strong PTI supporter and although I cannot do much to support the political party by going and attending jalsas or by becoming a TR (Tabdeeli Razakar) because of my multiple sclerosis diagnosis 3 years ago, I can still do my part by reaching out to my readers and convincing them to vote for PTI.
I will not go on ranting about what Imran Khan / PTI will do or might do if his party wins the elections but let me start by telling you about the daily struggles I have to face and have been facing as an MS patient ever since my diagnosis and what I have done so far to help me cope with my condition.
Every day is a new fight, a new struggle but the biggest issue I have to face is extreme heat intolerance especially during the scorching summers in Lahore. The electricity crisis in our country just adds to the problem. Here is a list of some of the measures I have taken in the past few years to cope with heat intolerance and keep my body temperature in control to prevent MS flare-ups:
|Product Name||Approximate cost (Pak Rupee)||Details|
|Split A/C||55,000||Needed this to cut down the electricity costs of Window A/C|
|UPS # 1||30,000||This one is for my computers, modems, routers etc. to keep me working given the endless hours of load shedding.|
|UPS # 2||30,000||This one is to power the lights and fans in our house so we can avoid going to the dark ages every time there is a power failure.|
|UPS # 3||30,000||Needed a separate UPS in my room to help me cope with my elevated body temperature.|
|Generator||150,000||6 – 8 hours of power failures cannot be dealt with UPS alone.|
|MS therapeutic cooling suit||150,000||Cost me a fortune!
Paid $1000 for the MS cooling suit with shipping/handling plus insurance and another Rs. 50,000 in custom clearance!
Helps me move around without being trapped in one room all day with the air conditioner.
|Refrigerator||25,000||Had to get this one to make sure I have enough ice stored to use with my MS Cooling Suit.|
|Cool Medics Cooling blanket||This one was a gift from my sister, so saved me 300 AED (Rs. 8,100)|
|Cool Medics Cooling Head Band||This one was also a gift.|
|Ice packs||Got these from a local pharmacy|
The figure above of Rs. 470,000 is just an approximate figure which I spent on buying all these cooling products, not to mention the overhead costs associated with their running and maintenance, UPS batteries, fuel for generator, monthly maintenance, labor costs of workers, transport costs and the list goes on! If the energy crisis in this country was under check, I could have saved this expense of half a million easily!
Despite all these cooling aids by my side, I face endless sleepless nights, counting every second, waiting for the electricity to come back, afraid to fall asleep fearing that when I wake up, I might not be able to walk properly as a result of pseudo-exacerbation and extended heat exposure. There must be millions others out there who have to face sleepless nights because they don’t have the luxury to afford a UPS or generator!
Then there is a hila dene wala gas and electricity bill you get every month! Even with the summer season here, I fail to understand why we get Rs. 12,000 monthly Sui gas bill? And the electricity bill breaks all records when we hardly get 6 – 8 hours of electricity daily! I don’t see the situation improving any time soon if the same rulers are in power the next few years because they just don’t have a plan! No road maps, nothing! At least someone has put an effort to come up with a realistic energy policy.
There are also medical costs, doctors fees, hospital bills, to pay etc. As an MS patient, I have to regularly visit my neurologist, ophthalmologist and urologist every two to three months.
Being a tax paying citizen, the saddest part is that we do not have any facilities, no benefits provided by the Government. My father is also a tax paying citizen and he has been paying tax regularly for the past 50 years, but being a senior citizen, he has no old age benefits! We do deserve more than that!
We are being given an opportunity to change all of this.. to change the state of this country and to change our state!
If we do not take an action now, these rulers will keep making fools of us. People forget their history, and only remember that they distributed laptops, made bridges and under passes, but do they remember their corruption scandals? And how do you even count the laptop distribution as Merit Based?? THE HELL!! Even my maids son-in-law got a laptop because he works as an office boy at an office on Ferozepur road where these laptops were distributed. All he does is listen to songs and watch movies on it all day, when he cannot even feed his wife and children!
Before you cast your vote, just remember that aazmaye huye ko aazmana bewaqoofi hoti hai and if we vote for the same old rulers again, in the hope that maybe, just maybe, they will do something extra ordinary this time, we are doomed! They have been running this country without a plan all these years and they will continue to do so.
We need CHANGE and we have to make it happen as Allama Iqbal’s words also remind us: “Khuda Nay Aaj Tak Us Qaum Ki Halat Nahi Baadli / Na Ho Jis Ko Khayal Aap Apni Halat Badalnay Ka“!
An opportunity is knocking at your doorstep, don’t waste it…
Vote wisely, vote for change, vote for Naya Pakistan.
Are you with me?