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Poverty Stricken Christian Man Commits Suicide in Sahiwal



According to recent reports, a Christian man from Sahiwal has committed suicide due to poverty.

Wasim Masih 30 was the father of five and worked as a labourer for some landlords.

Reportedly, he had borrowed 40,000 rupees from the landlord. The landlord started demanding for the money which Masih was unable to return.

The situation perturbed Masih greatly and he finally committed suicide.

He has four daughters and a son.

This is not an isolated incident. In January this year, a thirteen year old Christian boy committed suicide Sumundari, also due to poverty.

ALSO READ: Thirteen year old Christian boy commits suicide in Samundari

The boy was a brick kiln worker who had to leave his job due to conflicts with the kiln owner. Unable to find another job and provide for his family, the thirteen year old hung himself from a tree and committed suicide.
Poverty is one of the major causes for suicide in Pakistan. Approximately, 40% of the population lives below the poverty line.

Suicide linked to poverty is not unique to Pakistan. Since the mid-1990s, an estimated 150,000 small farmers have committed suicide in neighbouring India, mostly over debts, according to the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at New York University.

But Pakistan has nowhere near the economic power that India does, so tackling social ills could be more difficult here.

Growing economic pressures could push the suicide figure even higher in the South Asian nation where over one in five people live below the international poverty line of $1 a day.

Poverty in the small Pakistani Christian community is worse than it is for the majority. With a large percentage of Pakistani Christians devoid of education and proper skills, Christians are unable to provide for themselves.

Religious discrimination also plays a role in the aggravating the situation where Christians cannot open food businesses or even set up small food stalls (a norm in Pakistan) as the majority of Muslims do not like their food stuff touched by any non-Muslim.

NGOs and church organisations are playing a part in educating teenagers and teaching them skills which could help them live an honourable life, and a lot has been done in this regard, but there still remains a vast majority of Christians who require support to live a normal life.