Category Archives: Society and Literature

No Light at the End of the Tunnel

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The grave problem of energy crisis in Pakistan needs no introduction for those who have been living and experiencing it from the last five years, with the government idly watching from the sidelines. In spite of the growing ratio of economic growth in the entire world, Pakistan “proudly” follows its own motivational mantra, “one step forward, two steps back”.
Energy is now the talk of town in Pakistan. Starting from the housewives to the traders, businessmen, students, ministers – all have become the collateral damage of this repulsive situation. The city of Lahore experiencing upto 12 hours of load shedding in the peak of hot weather, is just the cherry on the huge, melting cake.

Pakistan is in the vise-like grip of a serious energy crisis that is affecting all sectors of the economy and the various segments of the society. As the situation stands today, there are hardly any immediate solutions to resolve this issue. A change of attitude and a change of lifestyle is needed at the national level, which should be triggered by the ruling elite and followed by all segments of the society that have access to electricity. At best, there could be some short and long-term solutions to the crisis but they need immediate planning and execution with an enormous investment.

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Dr Khalil Ahmed of Alternate Solutions Institute has succinctly put this in the following words:
It is to live in a Guantanamo Bay of uncertainty’. He says ‘even if we do not resort to unruly economic, social, moral, psychological behavior, we feel depressed to the core of our deepest selves and what is more dangerous is that our trust in the system, nation and country evaporates in the air, …. Transforming us, the lowly citizens of this elitist country into neurotic and psychotic beings’.

The multidimensional ongoing energy crisis has been having a knock on the life of every Pakistani. Without sufficient energy the wheel can’t run on roads, industry and agriculture can’t sustain, hospitals and operation theaters can’t function, schools and laboratories can’t work and public and private sector businesses can’t operate.
Hence, being the youth of this disintegrating nation, we can only hope for a better day, and a brighter future – where one is able to point at the map proudly and say “This is Pakistan! Where the skies are blue; the grass, green; the air, clean; and where one is able to watch a complete movie without the disruption of an electricity failure”.

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In the search of hope

IMG-20130328-WA0001   It is not often that we see the whole of Pakistan come together for a cause, it is also quite rare to see the now scattered Pakistanis come in the foreground with a showcase of true patriotism and partisanship, where the barriers of classes, gender and race are broken to form an amalgamation of people who are all looking for the same thing, HOPE and a “NAYA” Pakistan.

I was proud to be a witness of such a mass gathering where whole villages and towns were not paid to come and fill the crowds, but they were present with will and their zeal and passion was reverberating through the crowd gathered around the Minar-e-Pakistan. And it was not just that enclosure, but miles before reaching the designated area me and my friends were spectator to the innumerable people waving PTI flags, screaming slogans and PTI’s anthem, and supporting t-shirts of ‘Khan’s Army’, heading towards the “NAYA” Pakistan. these moments i was able to capture through the pictures that follow.

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No storm and no amount of rain deterred these people who were there to witness Imran Khans speech and have their hopes refueled. The crowd stood strong against the weather and held onto every single word coming out of the hopeful prime minister and his party leaders, whose speeches comprised of themes of anti corruption and nationwide vehemence. Imran Khan attracted large throngs of supporters, and spoke of the power of faith and his belief in Quiad’s Pakistan and made the following six promises:

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6 PLEDGES OF PTI CHAIRMAN IMRAN KHAN:

1.” I will always speak the truth to the people of Pakistan.”

2. “The PTI government that will come into power, I promise that we will try to end tyranny. Until the time our system in this country isn’t grounded in equality and justice, Allah will never send his blessings to this nation. We will stand the weak and the powerful in front of law all the same.”

3. “I further promise you, that all my wealth and property will be in Pakistan. I will take ownership of this country and won’t be like those leaders who create hideouts abroad”

4. “I will never take undue benefits from politics nor will I grant favours to my friends and family. I am not here for personal gain.”

5. “I will protect your tax money! It won’t be spent on Prime Minister and Governor Houses. Inshallah the day PTI government comes in power these walls of governor houses will be brought down. We will break these walls and make libraries and playgrounds for the public to use.”

6. “We will stand together with every Pakistani in or outside Pakistan.”

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The torrent that followed Imran Khans speech hardly dampened the spirits of the magnanimous crowd which held people from all ages and walks of life, it infact proved a symbolic finish to the jalsa. Although people are now referring to the PTI jalsa as having offered ‘more hope and less substance’ I must add that hope is what brings our ideologies and thinking to the boil demanding us to take action and stand up against what we see as wrong and each be that single drop which when brought together can create an ocean and later maybe a ‘tsunami’. For it is when the people demand a change, a change is seen.

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Many people decided to go to the jalsa in hopes of seeing Imran khan while the others just went to be a part of such a mass gathering, some went looking for hope. And in the pulsating rhythm of the  devoted crowd, I found hope.

note: all pictures in this blog post are taken and edited by the author, copyrights reserved.

 

The Fake Beggar

 

ImageOn my way back home, the car stopped at the signal. That’s when I saw her for the first time. Sitting on the pavement, shabbily dressed and with her head bowed down. She suddenly looked up at the traffic and got up. Her hair, oily, like they hadn’t been washed in years fell on her forehead and over her wide lost eyes, with which she was scanning all the cars. She slowly started approaching them, on a closer look I saw tears in her eyes. She reached up with one hand and wiped them off and with the other hand spread forward, she went from one car to the next, begging people for help. She looked utterly helpless. People turned their heads to the other side when she approached their car. I could see grief in her eyes and wondered what could possibly be the reason behind her tears. But before I could do anything the signal went green. I found myself thinking about it the whole day. I talked to my mother about her and she said it was just one of the tricks these beggars pull now a days. I didn’t believe her for a second for I truly thought I felt her pain and that she wasn’t faking it.

The next day, at the same time, same route while coming back from my university I saw her again. The same spot, same clothes, same face and the same tears. Surprised at the revelation that my mother was actually right, I rolled down the window and waved at her to come over and when she did, I gave her some money and asked her why was she crying. She replied through her sobs that she didn’t have enough money to feed her children. I told her that so was the case with every other beggar but I didn’t see them crying for sympathy. And then I left. But what do you know? A few days later the car stops at the same signal again, and there she is crying, again.

Downfall of Agriculture in Pakistan

CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF SMOKING

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There is increasing trends of smoking not only among the elite class or the religious group of the society nowadays, but also the youth, especially the students enrolled in universities and colleges. The realms of smoking are broad enough to encompass tobacco smoke as well as shisha smoke among people of all types. The increasing popularity of cigarettes and shisha among students specially is a major issue at hand these days. Smoking cigarette is an unhealthy behavior that becomes addiction and it gets difficult to quit smoking and it is the most important factor that causes premature deaths. There are many factors that lead a person to start smoking and these factors are difficult to understand. Many people start smoking because of tobacco advertisement, peer pressure and a concept that smoking is an acceptable behavior. Many people start smoking in young age. Shown by the study there are more people of young age that have started smoking, the highest percentage of smokers is 25 to 44 year age group and there is more percentage of males then females. Advertisement of tobacco attracts young people to start smoking, they first think of only trying it once but then they get used to of it. Many people who get attracted to smoking have a family member or close friend who smokes.

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It is a known fact that smoking is a behavior that can become addiction because of the nicotine and few other chemicals that are present in it, the main chemical that causes addiction is nicotine and this is the chemical that causes major diseases among people who smokes. The major causes of smoking can be peers, teenagers may smoke because they want to fit in the environment they are living in, and surrounding people can also attract the non smokers to smoke. Another factor can be image people might want to smoke because they think that smoking will make them look better and high in the society.
There are many effects of smoking, with the passage of time chain smokers’ teeth starts turning yellow. With the period of time your body gets trouble in blood circulation because of the smoke you inhale and it gets into your blood stream, your body will not be able to circulate blood as freely as before you start smoking and your arteries will begin to clog. A health skin have natural glow but with the clogged arteries, and with less blood flow, will slowly and steadily make your skin pale. With the passage of time chain smokers began to experience smokers cough this is because of the toxins you inhale you body uses this coughing to try and get rid of the toxins you inhale.Smoking affects just about every organ in the body. One of the organs’ that is most directly affected is the lungs; this is the organ in direct contact with cigarette smoke.

Water-pipe smoking also known as shisha in other countries is often reflected as fun, harmless and lighter version of smoking without the dangers cigarettes stance. Add the appealing social element of going out with friends to charmingly decorated hookah lounges, filled with an array of sweet-smelling odors, and it’s no surprise that hookah, smoking has become a rising trend in the Pakistan, especially among youths and the college student population. There is a widespread myth about water-pipe smoking or shisha is that the passage of smoke through the steaming water in water-pipes ‘purifies’ the smoke of all harmful elements. The studies have shown that shisha is more harmfull then cigarettes and it directly affects lungs and heart leading to lungs cancer.

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Projection of Turkish Dramas in Pakistan

Pakistani media that concentrates on acting is being watched to have been troubled of the developing rating of Turkish shows in Pakistan. The serials like Ishq-e-mamnoon, Aasi, Manahil or Khalil, Fatima Gull etc have earned massive reaction from our viewers and have created the disappointment of dramas in Pakistan. Then again, the disappointment of dramas and Turkish shows are direct following to the appearance of Turkish media dominion in Pakistan. Turkish shows are considered as focal purpose of level headed discussion in media since couple of months, it was watched that Pakistani serials had been successful because of the unbelievable victory of Turkish serials in Pakistan

The strong devaluation opposite Turkish serials is not just made by TV creators, executives and writers yet even an aggregation. They depict Turkish Dramas as opposite the society of Pakistan. It is surely real to recognize the fact of Turkish shows raising its communicational power in Pakistan what’s more this additionally teaching, planning, or more every last trace of the belief of secularism in Muslim social norms. The individuals of Pakistan are dividing in their tendency of conduct consistent with their ethnic society and its conduct consequently the loving of Turkish’s media stuff is resultant of it. apart the drama viewers have been enraged of Pakistan’s neighborhood dramatization serials in light of absence of variety in serials that might conceivably catch the eternal consideration and willingness of viewers.

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They are not educated of specialized matters relating to media hence the level of drama serials are more than show-fiction and less than social message, it is likewise matter of gratefulness to the old serials of Pakistani media throughout 1960s, 70s, and late 80s. The nature of traditional serials began to decay with the rise of Islamism and fundamentalism majorly throughout Musharaf’s tenure. We need to acknowledge and recognize that media could not outfit the stuff such of the mentioned Turkish shows. Assuming that we do will to run the business media at defensive level, we need to think about some major adjustments and enhancement in show serials with the different social note and dispose of scripts and deficiently steered dramas.

People think that they are very familiar to Pakistani culture but this concept is totally wrong. Their costumes which are being used in these dramas, their story out line, their family traditions and many things which have been projected in these dramas are not familiar to our culture, norms and traditions. In the picture iven blow you can see the dresses which are not acceptable in our society. Moreover the last episode of drama Ishq-e-Manoon was projected in cinemas of Pakistan to continue the influence of these dramas in Pakistan.

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Turkish dramatizations are controlled by profoundly qualified specialists and moreover extremely well mannered and conventional dialect is utilized within scripts signifying the qualities of living standard in Turkey and we need to get used to the same level of composition and making serials. The business and established dramatizations are full of societal reflection. The characters, scripts, planning and topic are obliged to be situated as far as making social acquaintance; so the dramas might as well refresh their scripts with a specific end goal for the standard of public order through their particular beat of work in media.

Pakistan’s business media is presently needed to render its ability to match the worldwide standard of dramatizations rather than maundering opposite different dramas as Ishq-e-mamnoon, Aasi, Manahil or Khalil, Fatima Gull and numerous more.

For more information visit:

http://www.turkishweekly.net/op-ed/3066/pakistan-39-s-window-into-turkey.html

http://www.buzzpk.com/protest-against-foreign-turkish-drama/

Festivity rules Lahore as Metro Bus kicks off

Festivity rules Lahore as Metro Bus kicks off

 

The Metro Bus System (MBS), Pakistan’s first rapid mass transit bus project, that cuts through Lahore, was launched here recently amid much fanfare. The main credit goes to Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, who joined hands with the Turkish government, made this dream come true.  As part of this modern metro looking project, about 45 buses are plying a 27km dedicated corridor from Gajjumata to Shahdra for a minimal fare.

 

The MBS route covers dozens of residential and commercial localities along the city’s main artery. The route has 27 bus stations, nine of them built on the 8.6km long overhead. The Traffic Engineering and Planning Agency (TEPA), a subsidiary of the Lahore Development Authority (LDA), was given the task of constructing the MBS, a copy of the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) of Istanbul, in collaboration with Turkish and local experts.

 

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The project is of tremendous value to people who had to wait for hours while travelling in old buses for decades. The project has been completed with an investment of only Rs29.8bn, which has made the people’s dream of travelling in state-of-the-art buses that never happened in the history of Pakistan. Escalators are installed at every station so that older people can also go on the bus. On the main hubs public toilets and water coolers have been set up.

 

The government and the Lahorites took the MBS inauguration like a festive event and a large number of people thronged the route to welcome the inaugural operations right from Gajjumata to Shahdra. The people, including government officials and PML-N workers, showered rose petals on the buses carrying distinguished guests. Lahore was like a bride the whole week, all set in festivity.

 

A metro system is defined as an urban, electric passenger transport system with high capacity and high frequency of service, which is totally independent from other traffic, road or pedestrians. The terms heavy rail (mainly in North America) and heavy urban rail often have similar definitions. The dividing line between metro and other modes of public transport, such as light rail and commuter rail, is not always clear. A common way to distinguish metro from light rail is by their separation from other traffic.

 

Lahore’s MBS is now one of the finest one and most advanced metro system. Though Lahore’s MTS is quite advanced and sophisticated, it may have to learn many things from other metro systems running in various parts of the world. It is one of the best projects so far constructed in Lahore.

Euthanasia of Youth

To pinpoint that the youth of today faces a lot of problems would not reveal something new. Every generation of youth has encountered difficulties. But this specific era of our nation’s history appears to offer the young complications that were not always that pressing before. Their problems seem to be overshadowing the good things of their life. According to my personal observation, the youth seems to be confused, aggressive, indulged in wrongdoings, involved in riots, rebelling against authority and the age is characterized by suicide.

One of the major sources of the problems of youth is home- a place that is meant to be the comfort zone of a person. Home is a place filled of love, care, relief, discipline, hope and provision. But nowadays this concept isn’t valid at many places. This modern era has altered the traditional way of living as a family. Parents are too busy in the money making process hardly paying any attention to their children. Young children demand love and care and when they are deprived of it, they indulge themselves in attention seeking activities. They fail to respect their parents and are frequently observed to be involved in quarrels and arguments with them. Children learn disrespect for authority in the home. It carries into the school and other avenues of life.

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Drug usage is an upcoming trend in the teenagers. Whenever I visit any restaurant or cafe, I see teenagers smoking cigarettes or shisha. This has become a symbol of belonging to a “socially acceptable” class. The youth is confused as to what is the right step to be taken- whether they should let themselves go with the flow of the society or they should take a stand and not indulge in such activities. If they opt for latter, then they are somehow isolated from others. But they need to realize the fact that how harmful it is to use all these drugs and how prone they are to different health problems. Our youth is our future, and if they are headed towards a wrong path then our future is at stake.

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Moreover with the advancement in terms of technology, the youth has become so much techno-savvy that they seem to have time for nothing else. All the time, they are busy with their mobile phones or laptops; they have isolated themselves from other things and are engrossed in their own secluded world of technology. This has created a communication gap between parents and children which in turn has made matters worse.

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Nowadays, we see that competition exist in almost every field of life be it be studies, work or job. Everyone is running a race; a race for moving ahead and leaving others behind and this has created serious consequences for the nation. The youth has become very materialistic.  Money, comfort and luxury are the topmost priority whereas love for relations and humanity is somehow being left behind.

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We need to take these problems and their deadly consequences under consideration because this is high time we should take an action. Guidance is truly needed for the youth and we should work for them and with them to overcome these challenges rather than simply hope that everything will work out all right. I am doing my part… Are you doing yours?

Basant – the festival of colours!

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Every year such a festival day comes,

When the flowers blossom and the kids come out of homes!

The roaring sounds of everyone yelling around with joy,

The colors up above flying in the sky!

The competition between friends and their fun,

The last flying kite that still runs!

It was that time of year again,

When we all touched the sky with our flying kites!

It was when spring comes to life it was basant,

Children enjoy flying kites all around the beautiful sights!

   In Pakistan all seasons have their own festivities, each has a different flavor. Traditionally, it is said that basant is celebrated to bid farewell to the winter season and to announce the arrival of spring season. Basant is celebrated in a big way in Pakistan and has become a very traditional festival of Pakistan. It’s a kite flying festival which had originated from India and now it’s famous across Pakistan especially in the Punjab province. In Lahore, basant is celebrated usually around end of February. The girls and boys wearing yellow dresses and dancing with the beat of dhole is known as bhangra. The sky is covered with all kinds of beautiful kites, large and small, which decorate the sky in a glorious and pleasant way. It looks as if a painter has painted the sky with beautiful colors. But unfortunately, Pakistan’s government has banned kite flying as it became a cause of some horrible incidents but still, people think that it’s a way to celebrate their happiness with others. But the decision is upon us whether we want our happiness or other sorrows of being a cause of loss of lives that occur due to kite flying.

 

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My personal opinion is that we really have no one to blame except for ourselves for this ban. It is the collective failure of the entire city for such incidents and it is easy to blame the government when they occur. Proper safety precautions are not taken. People use deadly strings which they should avoid.

By: Malik Taha

Section G

TABDEELI CHAHYAY

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“Tabdeeli Chahyay” seems to be our motto these days. But how are we supposed to achieve it? Well in our case this change that everyone’s hoping for can be brought by a number of things including a better education system. Quality education is very important for a better performance whether it involves an individual or the society.
A third world county like Pakistan that has been a victim of poverty and corruption spending money on education is a secondary matter. Therefore THE HELP CARE SOCIETY has come up with a way to get the 20% of the households that earn 80% of the total riches of the country to join hands in providing free education to the poor.
Teach a Child School System that was established in 1998 is a project of the help care society; meant exclusively for the benefit of the unprivileged segment of the society. It’s a way to promote talent of those who have the ability but not the resources to do so. The students are only charged with a monthly dignity fee of Rs. 5. This school has been offering an opportunity for the financially constrained families to enter the world of an educational facility which is similar to any private or government elite educational institute in Pakistan. The main objective of the member of TAC is to impart in children the high moral and balanced religious ethical values along with socio-cultural skills enabling them to merge into the national mainstream. It’s a platform that has been providing various recreational and intellectual activities for the past 13 years, helping them develop self esteem, confidence and believe in themselves.
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For the first 10 years TAC school operated from three different rented residential houses. However in 2008 a customized campus built in an area of 2.5 acres was established through funds and donations from all the national and international members of the help care society.
The students are provided with free uniform and books throughout their academic life at TAC. Students have also been have been given an opportunity to be a part of different competitions like Olympiad, Acmun and Grammathon, in order to polish their social and intellectual skills. TAC has also provided a good base for the interns to come and gain experience of the professional academic world. Internship programs for children from Lahore Grammar, Nca and Lums are available.
Though small in size, today its concept and vision is infinitely relevant to our nation as well as to a large part of the globe.
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