Voice of the People

64

Articles and letters may be edited for the purposes of clarity and space. They are published in good faith with a view to enlightening all the stakeholders. However, the contents of these writings may not necessarily match the views of the newspaper.

Smog crisis

Every government, including Musharraf, PTI, PML-N, PPP, etc has been talking about Green Environment, tree plantation campaigns, the reality is that a combination of industrial and vehicle emissions, smoke from brick kilns, burning of crop residue, dust from construction sites and waste left unattended for long periods, has made Lahore a city with the worst Air Quality Index.

Greed of a few, patronized by powerful stakeholders and land developers, has destroyed Lahore, which once boasted as the city of gardens with an AQI far better and healthier than other cities. The real estate developers may have made a bonanza, but citizens are paying the price with their health and lives. Major ailments like cancer, heart, lung, tuberculosis etc have risen. Stunted growth amongst infants is on the rise. The cost in terms of human lives and sufferings far exceed financial benefits of a few.

In 2018, Lahore ranked as 10th most polluted city, which by 2019 had degenerated to the worst, ranking as 1st. Ever since 2018 onwards the AQI in Lahore, Faisalabad, Peshawar, Karachi etc has deteriorated. The Provincial Government has been paying lip service, like mandatory installation of ZigZag technology in brick kilns and campaigns to curtail toxic emissions and stopping farmers from burning crops, but the criminal reality is that citizens of Lahore are forced to inhale toxic air.

All that we hear is that the local administration has imposed fines of a few crores which is just pep talk. It is no coincidence that the real estate boom, turning green agricultural pastures into concrete jungles for the benefit of a few cartels from 2007 onwards, has destroyed the environment. Hundreds of thousands of natural oxygen providing trees on the periphery of Lahore and other major cities in Punjab, KP etc have been progressively wiped out and replaced by plots and concrete jungles. Commercial profiteering of Land Mafia precedes lives of citizens.

MALIK TARIQ ALI

Lahore

Law and order

Through the column of your esteemed newspaper, I want to draw the attention of the government to the bad law-and-order situation in our city. The law-and-order situation is quite unsatisfactory over here. Everybody is worried about the lawlessness. Mobile snatching, car lifting, robbery, theft and other illegal activities are increasing.

People do not feel safe anywhere. If the present situation persists, it is going to be the most dangerous city in the world. Nobody feels safe here, especially outside the home. The police are not doing their duty to check all these illegal activities. The concerned authorities should look into the matter and try to improve the law-and-order situation.

BUSHRA MAHFOOZ

Karachi

Tabassum ji and her talkies

Tabassum ji who left this world for her heavenly abode on November 18, 2022 was my favourite anchor after Ameen Sayani of Radio Ceylon. Besides being an anchor, she had also acted in several Bollywood movies and have hosted a lot of TV shows, including the one on YouTube ‘Tabassum Talkies’. We will never forget her TV show ‘Phool Khile Hai Gulshan Gulshan’ which was aired on Doordarshan between 1972 and 1993. She had a beautiful smile on her face and we all loved her.

JUBEL D’CRUZ

Mumbai, India

Addiction of social media

Today our youth is more depressed because they use social media for their entertainment such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, instead of useful work or studies due to which these people are depressed by seeing the happy life of others but actually, the people whose happy life they see on social media are not as happy in their real life as they look like.

Social media is a silent killer of mental health. Instead of spending time with family, friends and focusing on goals or studies, people mostly spend their precious time on mobile phones and social media by which they stay away from eye-catching nature and real life beauty. According to a report , Instagram was ranked the worst app for young people’s mental health. A study conducted by the University of Sanford says that social media has changed people’s behaviour negatively.

SABA SHAHZADI

Lahore

Rising

divorce rate

The divorce rate in Pakistan has increased, due in general terms to people not fully realizing their marital responsibility. About 150 divorce cases are reported daily in courts in Lahore. Here I briefly review the reasons for and repercussions of this high divorce rate. One of these reasons is getting married at an early age; people are presumably more mature and better at handling marital challenges in their late 20s or 30s, than when they are just stepping into adulthood.

Financial problems too may strain marriages, especially in lower middle class families. Additionally, the joint family system leads to disputes with in-laws which may culminate in annulment of the relationship. Not only is the divorced couple personally affected, but children of broken homes are at risk of developing mental health problems. A research was conducted at University of Punjab, Lahore to see the effects of parental conflicts on child’s self-esteem. They found that warm and nurturing parents had children with high self-esteem.

A research study in Lahore showed that women who were divorced experienced more social interaction anxiety, depression and higher level of anger as compared to married women. The findings also showed that the extent of social support predicts depression and loneliness. Insomnia, loss of appetite and inability to focus on work are other effects.

SABA SHAHZADI

Lahore