Whenever there is a war, an insurgency, a civil war or of any other disruptive event in any country we see and hear about it in the media. We shake our heads at the brutality of it all and sometimes turn our faces away from the pictures of suffering. We are momentarily disturbed but then get on with our lives.

Over the last decade or so,since America started its war on terrorism, new words have entered the war vocabulary……..collateral damage, IDP’s (internally displaced people). This too has played a part in desensitising us to the full horror of what happens to ordinary people and their lives during a war or a conflict situation. Atleast the word ‘refugee‘ painted a mental pictue of a person in need of shelter, food and security but the new one (IDP) dehumanises the whole thing by reducing a whole population in turmoil to these three alphabets I,D,P……

What used to be casualty figures (meaning the number of people who had lost life and limb in a war) are now clubbed under the fanciful term ‘collateral damage’. Almost sounds like some loss made in a financial market or in a trade…….

Over the last month seeing the pictures of fleeing humanity in Sri Lanka and in Pakistan’s Swat region I have wondered  at the stories of these people.They flash past our screens and our attentions for brief seconds but what is the full extent of the sufferings of these people ? I wonder more about the women amongst dispalced people. How do they manage? How do they protect and care for their children under brutal circumstances? What happens to their simple and impoverished lives when even their bread winners are snatched from them?

Then yesterday I happened to read one account of some of these ‘ IDP’s’ on a Pakistani blogzine.I am cross posting it below.

This is an account of the suffering of the women of Swat in their own words.These are women from a very backward and conservative area and their already precarious existence has been further jeopardised by the happenings in that region.

Click on the link below for the full story:

pakteahouse.wordpress.com/2009/06/09/the-women-of-swat-and-%e2%80%98mullah-radio/ 

All pictures are from the internet.