ISLAMABAD - Rafique Marwat, 21, who mounted at a bus over 10 days back during a PTI's public mobilising rally in DI Khan for converging on Islamabad on the call of Imran Khan, has run out of money and is desperate to return to his native town once the sit-in on Constitution Avenue comes to an end.

Marwat was lured into having a picnic chance in Islamabad and then returning back to DI Khan on the same bus. He was quick in spending all the money he had in his pocket on reaching Islamabad without knowing that he would be required to stay for an indefinite period.

For him the beautiful Islamabad is not less than a prison where he has to sleep on sidewalks, begging for drinking water and is supposed to show up at the main gathering to hear the speech of Imran Khan.

"I have spent what I had. My hands are too empty to afford return ticket to my village. There is no bus to take me back to DI Khan. Everyday we are promised that the next day is final and decisive but it never happens at all," said Marwat who could not cast his vote in 2013 elections for being too sick to walk to the polling station.

A visit to Constitution Avenue by this scribe revealed that most of the participants have exhausted their energies and are desperate to return to their areas but there exists no transport facility to take them to areas from where they were brought on August 14.

The faces of participants, particularly women, have turned pale who have to go through an ordeal to attend washrooms or wash their clothes.

While women activists of PTI are mostly local and appear at evening before Imran Khan shows up at the stage, the women followers of Dr Tahirul Qadri belong to low-income class and have come from far-flung rural areas of Punjab.

It was observed that most of the women participants badly need medical treatment for living in a rough environment for the last 10 days contracting several diseases. The issue has been noticed by chief of Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) who blamed the authorities for supplying contaminated water to the participants of the long march.

With majority of participants running short of pocket money, the organisers of the long march have started supplying one dish food in an effort to ensure the protesters' stay long on the wide boulevard and to press the government for their demands.

While the followers of Dr Qadri have been staying in Islamabad since they were brought on buses, supporters of PTI continue to pour in as the participants who had reached the venue earlier have left for their native areas.

The organisers of PTI after sensing that the supporters were getting exhausted have come up with a novel idea to ensure activists' stay long on the venue by introducing renowned singers for making entertainment and reenergizing the participants.

"Every evening we expect that Imran Khan would come up with a final decision and ask us to return homes. But his speeches indicate that we will never be able to leave Constitution Avenue," Roshan Khan, 32, who has come from Bannu, told The Nation on Saturday.

Early in the morning when protesters wake up, a race begins to start for occupying the space under the shades of trees that would provide relief to the participants in daytime when sizzling heat reaches its peak.

"Thanks God there are enough trees on both sides of Constitution Avenue otherwise the scorching heat would have left us unconscious. When it rains, the trees protect us," Jawad Khawaja, a PAT activist said.

With no facility of toilets, the stinking smell on the venue has made the lives of participants miserable and that's why most of protesters could be seen wearing masks to avoid the odd smell.

"I longed for visiting Islamabad. This was my first trip to the beautiful city but now I regret to be here. I have requested my friend here to lend me some money so that I could rush to my village," said Moeez Khan, a PTI supporter who has come from Kohat.