When privileged students Snapchat naked poor children for “fun” – because child pornography and poverty is a joke, right?

Published: October 23, 2017
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She decided to share all these pictures on her Snapchat and her Instagram with demeaning captions.

Yesterday, I was enjoying my Sunday having some me time and scrolling through my social media feed. While at it, I stumbled upon something that not only gave me a partial anxiety attack, but also shook me to my very core.

A student of Beaconhouse National University (BNU) in Lahore went on a university field trip and decided to have some “fun” with her group of friends. The details of the aforementioned “fun” were graphic enough to trigger me, not only as a parent, but also as an educated person and a decent human being.

This girl, who happens to be a resident of Defence in Lahore, visited a village as part of her university assignment and clicked inappropriate and obscene pictures of random children and villagers. While some pictures made fun of the villagers because the area was underdeveloped and the residents of the area were poor, others involved children who were either made to pose inappropriately with rude hand gestures or included children who were naked; kids as young as four or five-years-old perhaps.

If you think this is bad, wait till it gets worse. She decided to share all these pictures on her Snapchat and Instagram account with demeaning captions. It needs to be stated that her social media platforms are open to the public and she has a large following on both platforms, which ensured that the general public could see these pictures, including the ones where the children were naked.

What appalled me even further was that when she was called out for her actions which most people have judged to be wrong, she initially responded by saying that the matter is being blown out of proportion and that they are just kids having “some fun”. Later, the student in question issued what reads like a half-hearted apology, trying once again to justify her actions as fun, and simply restricting her social media account to private after attracting public attention and condemnation.

The problem with these posts was not that they were public; the problem was not that people could see what she posted. The problem, unequivocally, is the nature of the posts themselves.

I am sorry, but this is not some “kids having fun”. These are students in their 20s belonging to wealthy families, who are supposedly being “educated” in a university. These are a bunch of people who thought that just because they are privileged enough to reside in posh areas, study in fancy schools/universities and have a high-end smartphone bought for them with daddy’s money, they have the right to insult and humiliate anyone who is below their class.

We cannot possibly, in good conscience, let these kids get away with this under the excuse of “having fun”. A bunch of kids from an elite school cannot lure innocent children to pose for them and then post it on social media so that the world can get some free entertainment. Today, this is someone else’s child, someone who may not have access to social media to see how their kids have been violated. But tomorrow, this could be my child, and this idea makes my hands shiver as I type this.

If this was any other country, maybe one of the civilised ones where their parents take them for vacations, they would have been charged with child pornography and cybercrime.

I have a question for the parents of such children and for the people who are defending these students and trying to cover this issue up. Barely a week ago, most of you were partaking in the #MeToo campaign. Why did you do that? Just to be a part of the popular crowd, or did you genuinely feel for harassment? This is one of the worst forms of harassment and your kids are doing it blatantly and unapologetically. Victimising other children and making fun of the poor, because you taught your children that poverty is a joke and ensured that they will never have to suffer the consequences of their actions.

I am scared of you, of parents who send their children to these “elite” schools. I feel scared because you are clearly failing in inculcating empathy and basic human decency in your children. I feel scared because I will be helpless if kids like these end up harassing or bullying my children in the name of “fun”. I feel scared because once you have children, all you do is worry for your kids, and children like these students are my worst nightmare.

With the quality of life and fancy education that you have provided to your kids, this is the final product that you are contributing to our society, which, in my opinion, is a serious amount of resources gone down the drain. You should be ashamed of your parenting skills if all the resources in the world still weren’t enough for you to raise a decent human being – one whose idea of fun doesn’t involve photographing naked children or belittling people for the crime of being poor in an impoverished country.

 

I will not blame the institution here, as these were no 12-year-old kids, but sensible university-going adults who knew what they were doing. It is the job of the parents and the respective school, not the university, to teach children basic human decency and etiquettes.  However, I do expect BNU to investigate the matter and take strict disciplinary measures as this happened on their official trip and the individuals involved were all students of the university.

My dad, who is a matriculate, always says,

“A donkey does not become a scholar if you load kilos of books on its back; it still remains a donkey.”

We have enough such donkeys in our country and I am sure we do not need more. In all honesty, this has left me so disturbed that I sincerely want to take this to court and file a petition under child pornography and cybercrime. However, as someone not-so-affluent, I have neither the means nor the resources to do so to fight these obviously well-off kids and their parents. Therefore, I can only hope that making this a part of a larger conversation will compel the university to take action so that other students think twice before having that kind of “fun” in the future.

Lastly, to the privileged student who decided to have some “fun”, this issue is not being blown out of proportion, and neither is it funny. No matter how one looks at this incident, either these students have a perverted sense of humour, or they think child pornography and paedophilia is a joke. In any case, parents need to be more involved in their children’s lives and invest more in their mental health than on the gadgets they own, since these only end up increasing the potential harm these kids cause for the rest of society.

All Photos: Screenshots

sana.adnan

Sana Adnan

The author is a business graduate and a mother who teaches economics and loves to write. She tweets at @sanarites (twitter.com/sanarites)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Keyboard Soldier

    It would be a shame if the group of students who were involved in this criminal activity are not immediately dismissed from the university, and reported to the police.

    Keeping them in the university would be mean that BNU approves pedophilic behavior of their students, which I hope is not true.

    The Beaconhouse National University’s management needs to take an immediate action, before this story is published on TV news channels.Recommend

  • 19640909rk .

    What can I say, Pakistanis.Recommend

  • peter pan

    Spoilt brats!! They need a Dunda across their “elite bottoms” and so do any parents that try to defend them.Recommend

  • Adnan Qamar

    You should have named the individual(s) here. They should be taught their lesson the hard way. These filthy rich people think they own Pakistan and the less privileged.Recommend

  • Karachiwala

    They must be prosecuted in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. And they must be charged as adults. Charge must be CHILD Pornography, Indecency to minor, Public Nakedness… i wonder where all mullahs are left?Recommend

  • Nazeer

    I’m lawyer, and willing to help as well.Recommend

  • Nazeer

    I’m lawyer, and up for help.Recommend

  • What disgusting behavior! These spoiled brats need to at the very least be expelled from BNU.Recommend

  • Sana Adnan

    The purpose for writing this post on this platform was to bring it to public attention and call out the university to take an action. Sadly when the Department of Student Affairs at BNU was reached, they said that they wont be able to do much because it happened off-campus. Note that all this happened on an official university field trip that was part of course work.Recommend

  • Sana Adnan

    The purpose for writing this post on this platform was to bring it to public attention and call out the university to take an action. Sadly when the Department of Student Affairs at BNU was reached, they said that they wont be able to do much because it happened off-campus. Note that all this happened on an official university field trip that was part of course work. If BNU refuses to reprimand them, the least legal assistamce that I would want is to send a legal notice to the university under PECA to take an action.Recommend

  • Ahmad

    The Only Problem I see in Pakistan is “Lack of Morality”.
    This is What our Universities are teaching? Ethics and manners is something Alien to Our Society. :)Recommend

  • Ehs

    Please expel this student from University and she must pay damages to the people she mocked and apologize to each one of them..
    Such behavior should not be tolerated.
    Do not make fun of others you elite/vip spoilt brat ! – this bullying will not be tolerated.Recommend

  • Shoaib

    Defence Lahore is filled by elite brats like these. In fact parents take pride in bringing up their kids in these areas, as they think the area’s school brings out the cream of the crop amongst the kids .Sadly we are lacking compassion, decency and humbleness and its getting worse.

    Hope the school drop these kids so as to set an example. Otherwise in reality these schools are not promoting education, instead they are aiding and abetting in destroying our society .Recommend

  • Kosmik Krusher

    Vile privileged people like these are cancer to the entire society.Recommend

  • A Hussain

    I am so proud of Ms. Sana Adnan for bring this to the public domain. I am also encouraged by the comments on this post. I am angry and sad at this lot of spoiled brats at BNU. Their antics reveal lack of a moral compass, along with their parents. I am not at all impressed where these people live. Human decency does not require a posh locale.Recommend

  • Areeba

    Very well written! I always wonder why all elite class students have lack of morality and respect. May be because there parents are more interested in making their kids super hi-fi rather than a good human being. Humbleness, compassion and gratitude comes from inside. No book can ever teach you sense of decency unless your brought up is in the hands of sensible parents and some decent mentors.Recommend

  • Sheraz Khalid

    Proud of people like you.Recommend

  • Muak Rules

    No wonders why our downfall as a nation is inevitable. Remember this is the behaviour of our literate citizens. The main problem lies with our education system. They are only teaching us how to earn good rather than being good humans. We have forgotten the teachings of world’s greatest leader Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W) that will distinguish human from skilled Animals.Recommend

  • Nazeer

    Dear Sana

    Posting obscene pictures of a minor is an offence punishable either with imprisonment of seven years or a fine of Rupees Five Million (or both). Here is the Act- (http://www.na.gov.pk/uploads/documents/1470910659_707.pdf) . Relevant sections are section 19 and 19-A. Anyone can complain to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on such an issue, if rights of a minor are involved in these cases. You can find the address of PTA on its website.
    I would have made the complaint myself but I don’t have enough information to do that. Otherwise you can share your email id and we can work it out.Recommend

  • Raja Hamid

    Thanks for the writer to bringing this up for the public, but It made me so sad after reading it, I wish I had not read it because I cannot do anything except writing something against it.

    How could someone be so cheap and disgusting ? This shows her upbringing and how her parents raised her. I think this part of a Ghazal is perfect for her:

    Jo Khandani Raees Hai Wo Mizaj Rakhtay Hain Narm Apna
    Tumhara Lehja Bata Raha Hai Tumhari Dolat Nayi Nayi HaiRecommend

  • Lionel Messi

    Well, I have not seen such things ever by any Maderssah student. Religious right is way better than the secular liberal lot. Alhamdulillah.Recommend

  • Bano Aubergine

    This is sickening! The person posting photos should be charged under the Cybercrime law!Recommend

  • asif

    University student, let’s say 20 years old. Two generations ago, women her age would be having two babies and looking after the complete house. She claims to be a kid having fun.

    This is the product the liberal education system is producing, if it’s not as bad as madrassas, its at par.

    What went wrong and where? Take a guess.Recommend

  • KlingOn2K

    Perhaps the only nation that encourages “waderas” who hold immense wealth and prey on the poor.Recommend

  • Acorn Guts

    She was there to have fun? In my days these brats only ever came over to our part of the town when they wanted to make sure their maid was really sick and just wasn’t trying to pull a funny one on them.Recommend

  • Acorn Guts

    Gone are the days when educational institutes strived to raise high moral and human standards in their students. Now it’s just discipline on site and then go back to your cave once you leave our premises.Recommend

  • Dawood Ahmad

    Please share her social media accounts links.Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/Go_Nawaz_Go HassaanM

    Her apology is so hollow. She is a despicable human being for having giggles at the expense of our society’s most unfortunate. Being born in a privileged family doesn’t give you the license to show middle fingers to indigent children.Recommend

  • Amer Lodi

    Disgusting!!! How come they are still in the University???Recommend

  • Pasha

    If anything, these students need to be kept in the university, they need education more than others.Recommend

  • Nadia Aslam

    The parents are to be blamed,empathy and a soft spot for the under priviliged can only be there if one has seen it being pracitsed at home.Very unfortunate:(Recommend

  • Ordinary

    A good example of how money can bring you degrees but no education… Beacon became mafia back in late 70s to loot money in the name of English Medium Education.Recommend

  • Kasha Lahoriya

    Haram ka pesay haram kay kamoun ma hi jata haiRecommend

  • Adnan Qamar

    Ignore discipline and moral standards. All they care about is minting as much money as possible!Recommend

  • Adnan Qamar

    We really need more people like you! May Allah reward you for this!Recommend

  • Adnan Qamar

    It is because sadly educational institutions where the ‘elite’ attend focus more on Westernizing their students than actually educating them. These unfortunate students are taught to despise their own culture and customs. Gone are the days when educational institutions (like Aitchison College) made men into gentlemen and truly imparted knowledge and set the moral compass in the right direction.Recommend

  • Adnan Qamar

    I am going to share this as much as possible. I feel really bad about this incident. A few months ago, I witnessed a similar event. A poor guy on a bike had stopped at a traffic light (red). And this rich uncle in a car was right behind him and kept honking at him for stopping at the red light all the while yelling obscenities at him. Finally, he got out and started hitting him. As if he owns the law?! To this day, I feel very bad for not helping the poor guy.Recommend

  • Mohsin Khan

    “we did it for fun”… what a flipping irony that people who deserve to be educated are being mocked on insta for “fun” whilst the ones that actually get to go to school make use of that education by behaving like illiterates. absolutely disgusting.Recommend

  • Kralik

    This is what happens when you don’t instill ethics and proper morals into your kids. They become brats .. and this is what they doRecommend

  • Hussain

    Somebody take this step or filing a case. I would have if I had been in Pakistan. Let this be a lesson for allRecommend

  • Saj

    Pedophiles should be prosecuted in a court of law, not just rusticated from university.Recommend

  • Milind A

    ill-mannered people… Spare the rod and spoil the child. All these privileged kids should be sent to serve in villages during their vacations, doing menial jobs, cleaning, washing, removing cow-dung, farming. They will tune in with nature and learn to appreciate hard work.Recommend

  • Arun A

    “A donkey does not become a scholar if you load kilos of books on its back; it still remains a donkey.” AHAH! So true! Applies perfectly to this very stupid person.Recommend

  • Mansoor Ahmed

    Unfortunately accountability which is non existence in Pakistan allows ones with money or power to getaway with anything hence do not expect much from whatever private school they were from or either from the authorities. Should these messages posted in a western country these people were behind bars.Recommend