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.
Massive earthquake in Turkey
I have just returned from a tour of an earthquake-affected area in Turkiye, where unprecedented havoc and destruction have taken place.
No doubt people are already familiar with the terrible tragedy that has overtaken Turkiye, but the account of an eye witness will bring home to the people with all the greater effect the terrible distress which these disastrous earthquakes have caused: In some places whole houses have been swept away and the crops over a large area destroyed. Thousands of buildings have been rendered destitute, most of them have nothing but the clothes in which they managed to escape somehow. They are living in temporary shelters exposed to all the inclemency of the weather, without proper food and clothes.
The initial earthquake struck the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep, roughly 150 miles away from the Turkey-Syria border, at 4:17 a.m. local time at a depth of about 11 miles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The 7.8 and 7.5 earthquakes appear to have caused shaking in the range of 20 to 50% of gravity. A proportion of these buildings thus failed at shaking intensities lower than the “design code”. We should send rescue personnel from its Natural Disaster Response Force to Turkiye as well as specially-trained dog squads and equipment for relief effort.
Medical teams with trained doctors, paramedics and essential medicines are also ready, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. I, therefore, strongly appeal to the government in the humanitarian task of relieving the distress of the poor sufferers by contributing generously, as they do whenever a natural calamity occurs in this part of the world, to the Earthquake Relief Fund and thus earn the gratitude of their distressed fellow brethren.
MDCAT in Pakistan
As a former aspirant in the test, I can say with certainty that MDCAT in Pakistan has been a disaster since 2021. In 2021, it was decided to add new courses and introduce entirely new paper attempting techniques for the only medical admission test in Pakistan. 2021 MDCAT was computer based and was conducted throughout the month of September. The test was unjust and unfair as the student who has his exam at the end of the month will get more time to prepare and an idea as to what to expect in the test than the student who has to give his test at the start of the month.
The test result was given to us 30 minutes after the test was over. We were not given any sort of key or question paper to compare our answers with. Later on, when a huge number of students came out on roads protesting against PMC and MDCAT, they decided to award the majority of the students an increment of 15-20 marks.
This certainly reflects the inefficiency and poor result compilation that was done before. The injustice, inefficiency and incompetence were clearly evident from the fact that only 35% of the students passed that year. MCAT-2022 was not any different. Time and date of the test was also an issue as PMC decided to take the test throughout the month as it was done in 2021. It was decided to conduct the test in September but it was postponed due to flooding in Swat. Then later on, a bill was passed by the PMC to conduct the test on a single day, November 13th 2022.
The inept test was no different than 2021. From wrong keys to questions with no matching or even close answers to distracting environment and unexpected paper, the 2022 MDCAT really disappointed many. Also, many students committed suicide and fell a prey of depression, anxiety and insomnia due the inexpedient MDCAT.
The fee for MDCAT was increased from 1500 to 6000 and the test conduction was worse than ever. In addition, the fact that over 50,000 students apply for the test and only 3500 make it through really speaks of the poor education availability in Pakistan.
With great admiration and belief in the columns of your newspaper, I seek to bring to your notice that the cases of throwing acid increase daily. This is an extreme form of violence against women. These incidents mostly occur with relatives due to many reasons like property issues, jealousy from something like her beauty, or revenge against a woman who rejects a proposal of marriage.
These reasons play a significant role in these types of attacks. It affects people with blindness, a higher body temperature, dry mouth, anxiety, depression and also not being able to eat, some become psychological patients, and about 18 years of children who don’t bear this, they do suicide unconsciously.
In Pakistan, between 2007 and 2018 there were more than 1,485 cases reported. But still, no serious action has been taken. Hence, through the space of your esteemed newspaper, I would like to earnestly request the concerned authorities of our country about what we should do to control this violence. First of all, we ban acid in our country. It should not be available to every local person without any authentic reason. Education helps to overcome this type of attack. The A.S.F organization has worked on this violence, but I request to handle this issue on a serious note. This can help save a lot of innocent lives.
I am writing to you in order to highlight the exceeding situation of child labour in Lahore. Child labour is the deeply rooted problem of the modern era. It’s very miserable to see them working with their little hands. Poverty, illiteracy, large families, limited understanding of adverse effects of child labour are the main reasons. Child labour affects the psychological health of child, it can also harm morally and socially, child may indulge in crime and bad habits. This issue can disturb the whole life of the child. Children are the bright future of our country, we should do something to sort out this problem. Stakeholders must take their responsibilities actively. I therefore, request the Child Protection Bureau to take action on this serious issue. We can also overcome this issue by creating awareness about the importance of child education and bad effects on child health. There should be an increase in free education resources. Unemployment level should be brought lower.
MAIDA WAJID ALI