Voice of the People

93

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.

Human rights violations

December 10 is observed as International Human Rights Day in most countries of the world. Human rights organizations and human rights defenders work through the year to highlight the way states treat their citizens in terms of their fundamental freedoms. Pakistan is a country where human rights have never been on priority list of any government or even state institutions.

We have little to mark on the human rights index. The freedom of expression has especially seen a steady decline in the country with frequent attacks on journalists, and even attempts on the lives of Pakistani activists and media professionals both nationally and internationally. Violence against women and children, and sexual violence against women and children, are just two of the signs of increasing violations of personal sanctity which is a cornerstone of human rights. Right to education and basic healthcare is not respected by the state as people’s welfare finds itself somewhere in the margins of the national framework.

In government hospital, in private hospitals exorbitant charges, in private institution exploitation of their workers where you can see the plight of patients, to a government school with absent teachers, in private educational institutions untrained, unskilled teaching staff lack of functional, there seems to be little respect for the fundamental rights of education, health or dignity in the country.

Enforced disappearances have been a bane in this country for long and the media still finds itself at the receiving end of injustice. Curbs on free expression still exist and the right to information is violated. It seems that only an elite enjoys all rights and others are doomed to languish with a threat of human rights violations any time. If a state or its operatives deny people their human rights, it commits an abuse of humanity itself; and there should not be any delay in their provision.

Just like provision of justice, provision of human rights is obligatory on all states as they relate to human dignity that all governments and states must respect. When human rights come under attack, it amounts to a disgrace to human dignity. For a just and peaceful world, human rights should take precedence over all other considerations.

MUNAWAR SIDDIQUI

Lahore

Fantastic welcome of FIFA Cup

Such a fantastic welcome to the FIFA World Cup by Qataris. They depicted their culture and values in such an excellent way that the world was surprised. For the first time, the football world cup was organised in a Muslim state, but they didn’t degrade their religion for a few days of the football tournament. A few days before the tournament, Qatari children recite Qur’anic verses within the stadium, hadiths are posted near the stadium, drinking, vine, dating, indecent dressings, etc., in public places is banned by their government, Zam zam water is distributed to the audience, scarfs are also distributed to female audience and all types of vulgar activities are prohibited by the Qatar government.

Great Islamic scholars are also invited to this exciting event, and many have embraced Islam through their preaching. In such an excellent way, Qatar welcomed outsiders by showing moral values, peace and harmony without violating religious rituals. In this way, the psyche of Islamophobia may reduce in non-Muslim communities. Indeed, how beautiful our religion is.

MAHNOORUBAID

Karachi

Have you been craving ice?

Women tend to crave dirt, ice and clay most of the time. Do you find yourself craving one of these? We refer to this craving as Pica. The term “pica” refers to compulsive eating disorders in which people consume non-food items.

The most common items eaten are dirt, clay, flaking paint and glue, hair, cigarette ashes, and even faeces in extreme cases. 68% of pregnant women experience Pica. The prevalence of pica in children is 18.5% and 10% in children older than 12 years old.

Those with iron deficiency anaemia often experience compulsive ice eating; some researchers believe chewing ice sends more blood to the brain for people with iron deficiency anaemia. The more blood in the brain, the more oxygen it receives. The brain is used to being deprived of oxygen, so this spike in oxygen can increase alertness and clarity of thought.

A common cause of Pica is iron deficiency anaemia, followed by malnutrition and pregnancy. Pica is a sign that the body is trying to correct significant nutrient deficiencies. In many cases, medications or vitamins can be used to treat this deficiency.

The severity of iron deficiency anaemia can be severe if it is not treated. Diabetes, heart problems (such as enlarged hearts and heart failure), problems during pregnancy, including premature birth and low birth weight, physical and developmental growth disorders in infants and children are some of the health problems it can cause.

If you or someone you know suffers from Pica, you should get your iron levels checked and take this deficiency seriously. Recent years have seen a rapid increase in iron deficiency in Pakistan, particularly among women of reproductive age. More than 50% of women are iron deficient and must take supplements regularly prescribed by their doctors to overcome this epidemic.

AISHA USMAN

Karachi