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.
Rise in stunted children
PM Imran has always been talking about the problem of children under the age of 5 years, whose growth is stunted because of malnutrition and its adverse impact on their development and ability to survive and lead a normal life. His emotional speeches on this issue raised the hopes of many in Pakistan. Today the astronomical rise of almost 100% in basic food items, such as wheat, sugar, cooking oil, sugar, pulses, vegetables etc., has resulted in undernourished mothers, because of which stunting begins even before they are born.
Can the PM of Pakistan, for the sake of posterity understand the gravity of this crisis, and its impact on future generations, ensure that his administration tackles this issue and initiates emergency steps to provide relief by controlling the price of basic food items consumed by the poor. If the Federal Government has political will, it can have at its disposal over Rs.300b due from powerful elite of this country under the head of GIDC and billions of rupees tax relief given under amnesty schemes to real estate tycoons and elite of this country.
The choice is between lives of millions facing starvation and tax rebates including GIDC due from fertilizer, sugar, cement, textile, gas and energy sector industry of this country. While there is an unchecked population explosion, agriculture land where food items were harvested is being converted to concrete jungles by the powerful land mafia in nexus with paid bureaucracy and their proxies in political parties. The choice is between life and death due to malnutrition of millions and benefits to rich elite and real estate tycoons.
MALIK TARIQ ALI
Damaged roads or highways are a leading cause of casualties in Balochistan. Mand to Turbat highway needs massive repair because it is totally unfit for travelling. I am one of the residents of Mand and, like most residents, facing a horrifying problem of this dilapidated road. For the last two years, we have been demanding a better road yet none of higher authority took our plea seriously. Distance between Mand to Turbat is 150km, while road is very shabby and broken. The width of road is 5 to 7 feet on which two vehicles cannot move at the same time.
Each week, two or three accidents occur and people are dying yet authorities are not paying attention. I appeal relevant authorities to arrange earliest repair of Mand-Turbat highway to provide people a safe journey.
Embrace natural world
America and many European countries like England, Germany are again reporting plenty of COVID-19 cases. In England, steps to offset unemployment crisis and new lockdown restrictions have been spelt out. Bizarre as it would seem, countries have been handling COVID-19 with so many strategic things found missing on the ground.
What about strengthening immunity even as the world has been scrambling for that perfect vaccine? Not to mention mask wearing, social distancing, there are ways forward to make people of all ages immune to this virus – like taking rich food prepared with vegetables, drinking healthy drinks like milk. These are all gifts from Nature.
Incidentally, there have been no proper messages from anywhere on such natural ingredients considered healthy. Sunlight, Nature’s most powerful gift, can bring out many changes to “handling such health crises.” Asian region will be able to open new doors to the health care system in terms of ancient medical methods.
P SENTHIL S DURAI
Children are future of a nation and their development should be the utmost priority. Unfortunately, child labour engulfs children across the world. The term ‘child labour’ is often defined as work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity and that is harmful to their physical as well as mental development. The International Labour Office reports that children work the longest hours and are worst paid of all the labourers.
Children are employed in both formal and informal sectors. Some of the industries that depend on child labour are bangle-making, beedi-making, power looms and manufacturing processes. Children are also forced to work in tyre puncture shops, in different small restaurants, in cloths sewing shops or even at signals selling different items or for car washing.
The negative impact on the physiological or psychological levels of children includes specific concerns of child labour and it’s consequences on mental health. It is worth nothing that one-third of children of the developing world are failing to complete even four years of education. Education is very important parts of development of children who are drawn to child labour. The Government should take proper measures to stop and eradicate Child Labor in Pakistan.
Tourism in Pakistan
Tourism in Pakistan is a growing industry. In 2010, Lonely Planet termed Pakistan as being “…tourism’s ‘next big thing’ for more years than we care to remember. The country is geographically and ethnically diverse, and has a number of historical and cultural heritage sites. The upsurge in tourism in the past few years has been aided by the Government of Pakistan’s recent decision to end mandatory No Objection Certificate for foreign tourists seeking to visit certain parts of the country and opening up Pakistan was ranked The Best Holiday Destination for 2020 and Pakistan was also declared the third highest potential adventure destination in the world for 2020.
As security in the country improves, tourism in Pakistan increases. In just a couple of years, tourism in Pakistan has increased by more than 300%! Pakistan also launched online visa service for 175 countries and 50 countries were offered Visa on arrival, which made a tourism trip to Pakistan easier. Pakistan also received an influx of travel bloggers who showed the beauty of the country, especially the northern areas like Hunza and Skardu
In 2018, the British Backpacker Society ranked Pakistan as the world’s top adventure travel destination, describing the country as “one of the friendliest countries on earth, with mountain scenery that is beyond anyone’s wildest imagination.” Forbes ranked Pakistan as one of the ‘coolest places’ to visit in 2019. The World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report placed Pakistan in the top 25% of global destinations for its World Heritage sites, which range from the mangroves in the Indus Delta, to the Indus Valley Civilization sites including Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa
AZHARUDDIN KHATTAK ZAHIR
Jallozai Nowshera KP