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.
Hotels & sustainable development
Currently, the real estate industry in Pakistan is following a set of procedures that are decreasing the impact on the environment. One of them is known as value engineering, which is followed in construction and development. However, energy consumption is the number one factor when it comes to sustainable development.
The hotel industry’s energy consumption far exceeds the per capita consumption of entire Pakistan. It requires the use of cleaner technologies to have fewer CO2 emissions. Due to that reason, this goal would require policy interventions and international cooperation as well. The owners of hotels will have to be taken on board as a necessary measure. But that will be a daunting task as the business sector is touted as having a neo-liberal mindset.
However, it can also play an important role in sustainable development. Increased profit from utility savings, more investment options in innovative technologies, eco-tourism and increased energy supply might even be reasons for business owners to opt for sustainable and greener technologies.
The sustainable development goals of the United Nations have also been incorporated into the hotel industry. These include the various departments of the industry pooling their efforts for committing to SDGs. The stakeholders have been engaged all over the world in policy-making as well. Along the lines of public safety regulations, performance indicators have also been placed. And last but not the least corporate companies have also taken the task of creating awareness about sustainable development goals.
It is embarrassing to see an LGBT event being hosted in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. A Canadian-Pakistani citizen has been holding this pride event for the past couple of years and nothing has been done about it. This event was held in 2022 in Karachi and it encourages people to get out on roads with tee shirts and slogans supporting the LGBTQ+ community.
The authorities should take strict action against this shameful act as this act is strictly prohibited in the Holy Quran as well as under Section 377 of the country’s penal code, homosexuality is not explicitly mentioned, but “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” is punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment for a period of two years to life, and as Muslims and an Islamic State we must stand by it. Something should be done about this as this very act is brainwashing our younger generations and is driving us away from our roots.
Changing rules for changing needs
Every law, rule and principle must have a human side in its theory and application as exceptions are always there. Even new laws are formulated for exceptional circumstances, the current wave of cold is affecting the young mind and body. In winter students of Generation Z and Generation Alpha spend three fourths of the daytime at school. The remaining daytime they spend either at home doing homework or at academies and tuition centres.
Some schools don’t offer breaks because of infrastructural constraints, and sometimes students have to utilise that time too to make up for deficiencies in their studies. All this boils down to the lack of exposure of their bodies to sunshine. Consequently, students show deficiency in vitamin D formed by the human body in sunlight. It also reduces their body immunity, the body’s natural armour against diseases.
It all calls for a little relaxation of rules for schools. On sunny days in winter, at least a compulsory period of forty minutes must be reserved to let students bask in the sunshine. It can be achieved by making physical education and sports mandatory on a daily basis in winter. The permission must be granted for holding tests and exams in the open, provided there should be a regular seating arrangement for students.
In the absence of any policy provision, public schools have strict orders not to let students sit in the open. Students at public schools are already nutritionally deficient, their parents have neither awareness nor resources to afford vitamin D supplements, and that too in these times of stifling inflation. Changing rules for changing needs, and unchanging rules for unchanging needs, that’s the mantra for any nourishing and vibrant human resource system.
M NADEEM NADIR
It hurts me to say that early marriage remains a major issue in Pakistan these days. According to a report, approximately half of the Pakistani women are married before 18 years and nine per cent of the girls begin childbearing between 15 and 19 years. On the other hand, the female shoulders the responsibilities of being a wife, a sister, a daughter-in-law and very soon a mother.
She faces ill-health, the danger of losing her own life or her children’s as well as derision and abuse – mental and physical. And early marriage also affects their education which leaves them illiterate. Thus, it is my humble request to the concerned authorities: please take serious action against this issue and save the life of these children.
Germany won the Hockey World Cup 2023. The tournament was hosted by India and concluded on January 29, with Germany beating Belgium in the final to become world champions. Missing from the entire affair were four time champions Pakistan. Our tally of world cup wins is the most out of any country, which speaks volumes about the level of our decline. It is like Brazil failing to qualify for the FIFA World Cup.
Many international experts have pointed to the lack of infrastructure as one of the major reasons for the decline. In the past, various governments and private enterprises supported hockey, but in recent times this support has declined at a rapid rate. Hockey stadiums nowadays aren’t used for training but rather for other miscellaneous purposes. The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) needs to investigate the reasons behind our failure to qualify for the biggest competition in what is supposed to be our national sport. The same cannot happen in 2026.