Shirabad is a poor area in the north of Zahedan, Iran, in the province of Sistan-Balochistan with a population of about seventy to eighty thousand.
Shirabad is located in the uptown of Zahedan, but in terms of services and social, political and economic participation it plays the role of the downtown of the city. It is deprived of social and welfare services. When I entered the town, I felt as if I am not in a part of Iran; rather I am in a war-hit city damaged by poverty!
Shirabad has many problems and deprivation, but the biggest one is identity documents; many of them have no national identity document so they are deprived from many civil rights and services like health, education and civil services. But those who enjoy identity documents have their own problems.
When you roam around the town, you rarely see any public dustbin; so people throw garbage around their houses and it is a reason of outbreak of diseases. The world is fighting with Covid-19 everywhere, but the people of Shirabad have been fighting and suffering from various viruses for decades and no one cares.
Zahedan’s municipal wastewater gathers here and goes ahead. But there is no enough fencing to protect residents from dangers and diseases. Lack of drinking water, shortage of electricity, markets, parks and green spaces are the other problems in this crowded town. Most of the residents are young, but with no job, proper education and sports centers.
Due to poverty, many prefer to live in Shirabad; they build slum or improper houses. However the municipality destroys some of them and some other remain untouched, but they cannot be named house comparing with luxurious soaring houses in the capital.
Iran is one of the biggest natural gas exporters in the world, but here in Zahedan and Shirabad people suffer from lack of natural gas. They hold gas cylinders and charge them by carrying the heavy cylinders on shoulder.
Drug addiction is one of the main problems in Shirabad. Addiction has destroyed people .So many people including women and children from different parts of the city come to Shirabad to take drugs. It is the natural fruit of poverty and unemployment. Ignorance of authorities is the root cause of deprivation in Shirabad.
Education is a deep problem here; there are no enough educational centers for students. The present schools are not standard.
The Mohsenin charity organization, affiliated to Darululoom Zahedan provides relief to the people of Shirabad in some part of its services, which is very small compared to that large population of the town.
Shirabad is a part of Iran located in the provincial capital of Sistan & Baluchistan. This province is one of the poorest and most deprived regions of the country.