“Mauritius was made first, and then heaven, and that heaven was copied after Mauritius”- Mark Twain.
What comes to your mind when we talk about Mauritius- a long relaxing holiday on the famous white sand beaches, hiking, rock climbing and mind-boggling water activities for everyone? Same feelings were in my mind when I was packing my stuff to attend a Social Leader Forum in Port Louis the capital of the country whose stories of multi-religion, multi-culture and multi-language always fantasized me- High rank of democracy, economic rate and political freedom has always been the tales about the island by the number of websites on the internet which put me in a doubt when I personally went and observed.
With new dreams and desires, I landed in Port Louis to experience and learn what Youth United in Voluntary Action- YUVA has to offer in 2017 Social Leader Forum. Meeting and sharing past experiences with the delegates started the day in a lighter mode until the time we went for the day’s activity- Visit the deprived areas of Mauritius for clothes donation. I had been the part of such activities where I got to meet the people deprived of different needs even basic needs of life but the harsh reality of the so-called ‘Paradise’ and the extreme poverty observed left me and all with no practical words but thousands of questions. Are they not the humans who are liable to even have the cleanliness around to breath in fresh air of this Paradise? Are they not the citizens which should be catered for at least a small setup where they can have living separate from the toilet? What about the Government’s pledge of 2016-17 to fight against the poverty and empower poor families at the lower rung to move up the ladder? How the people are with even such conditions seem satisfied? Have they lost the faith and belief of getting into a better situation and being helped by the government? Why the people have accepted YUVA and are not ready to see any government official?
These questions pinpoint many of the hidden facts which the authorities have to unfold if they really don’t only need needy voters but the people who can also feel blessed in the Paradise. But being the part of today’s activity also made me realize and thankful to the YUVA organisation which has gained reputation and trust among those poor families who apparently have lost faith in any government running association. It clearly showed that how dedicated YUVA workers have been serving to fulfil their stated belief of making a long-term impact by helping the people living in poverty.
By Nida Jawad