Unemployment pushes labourers into begging
JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Growing unemployment in eastern Nangarhar province has forced many people into begging, says the All Afghanistan Federation of Trade Unions (AAFTU) chief.
Dr. Mohammad Liaqat Adil told reporters while monitoring the laborers’ condition in Jalalabad, the provincial capital, the situation of workers and laborers in the province was worrying.
Labourers are still paid wages in the Pakistani rupees, whose exchange value is less than the afghani. Joblessness had increased in the province and labourers, waiting for days on roads and public squares, could not find work, the trade unionist said.
In addition to the absence of work, other problems of workers include lack of safety, denial of full wages and working beyond specific timings.
Non-availability of work for days has forced many labourers into begging. They say each of them has eight children on average, and they find work for a day in a week. This cannot meet their household needs.
Tariq, hailing from Kama district, comes to the provincial capital early in the morning in quest of work. One man hired him for 500 Pakistani rupees a day, an amount far from enough for him. Tariq demanded Rs. 700, but his demand was rejected and the labourer relieved.
A resident of Haska Mena district, Mohammad Karim, was forced by increasing Daesh attacks to take refuge in Jalalabad. But he has not yet found work in the city to support his family.
He complained of the government’s failure to provide job opportunities for the people. He also assailed the authorities for not paying any attention to the rights of labourers.
Syed Mohammad, a resident of Kunar who has come to Jalalabad in search of work, said he could not find any job despite hectic efforts over the past week. As a result, he asks restaurant owners for food. At times, he goes begging on streets.
On the other hand, the governor’s spokesman, Attaullah Khogyani, told Pajhwok Afghan News efforts had been launched to control unemployment in Nangarhar. Joblessness was a common issue across the country and its immediate resolution was difficult, he argued.
He said payments in the Pakistani currency to workers were based on compromise between the two sides. Stopping the continued circulation of the rupee was beyond the local administration’s authority.
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