Stories about baldia town

He told his parents he was gay. They started grieving and looking for a “cure”

“I fell a-weeping, and I cried, ‘Sweet youth, Tell me why, sad and sighing, Thou dost rove These pleasant realms? I pray thee speak me sooth What is thy name?’ He said, ‘My name is Love.’ Then straight the first did turn himself to me And cried, ‘He lieth, for his name is Shame, But I am Love, and I was wont to be Alone in this fair garden, Till he came Unasked by night; I am true Love, I fill The hearts of boy and girl with mutual flame.’ Then sighing, said the other,  ‘Have thy will, I am the love that dare not speak its name.’” From Two Loves By Lord ...

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#LabourDay: Is Pakistan doing enough for its labourers?

International Labour Day is being celebrated today almost everywhere around the world in various ways – some enjoy their holiday at home; some people celebrate it by organising rallies, while television channels arrange special talk shows and programs for paying tribute to the labourers. But the question is, should that be it? What is the working class labourer getting out of all these celebrations? What benefits are they receiving from rallies and talk shows? The amusing part is that the actual labourers don’t even get a holiday on Labour Day, let alone its benefits. I mean, they are paid a tribute; what else could they want? They ...

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The young criminals of underprivileged Karachi

It has been seven years since I’ve been running an educational institute for women and children in Baldia Town, Karachi. I’ve studied the people carefully and my basic aim is to spread general awareness amongst the underprivileged residents of this area. During my experience, I learnt that the rate of crime in most of these areas is higher as compared to the rest of Karachi. Many young boys, ranging in age from 12 to 18 years, are trained to leak secret information that could be helpful in executing crimes. These boys usually drop out of school after the eighth standard, and ...

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Shiver me timbers!

Drop, cover and hold on. That’s what’s taught during an earthquake drill. Most of us would have known that had we rehearsed it either at home, the workplace or at school. Instead of disaster preparation, we believe in the response phase of emergency. And what was our response to the April 16 tremors felt across Pakistan? Panic, scream, freeze or run towards the nearest exit without any strategic plan in mind. Lucky we were, but it won’t take long before Lady Luck disappoints us when we’re most vulnerable. Take the example of the 2005 killer earthquake that struck the northern regions ...

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How many will be murdered in the war on education?

When Malala Yousafzai, was shot by the Taliban last October, there was a huge outcry all over the world about the dismal state of education for girls in Pakistan. It wasn’t the first time such an attack happened however, and unfortunately it is not the last. Despite international awareness and pressure put on the government to provide girls a safe haven for education, we seem to be engulfed in violence where teachers, schools and students are attacked frequently. Just days ago, a principal in Baldia Town in Karachi was killed along with several other children during a prize distribution ceremony. Even though no immediate response ...

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Why Obama would handle Pakistan’s floods better

Earlier this week the East Coast of the United States battled Hurricane Sandy. A storm of epic proportions dubbed by American’s as ‘Frankenstorm’, Sandy ripped through the Caribbean, Cuba, and East Coast wreaking havoc on the way. New York City blacked out and 80 homes burned to the ground as fire fighters were unable to reach the area. The iconic boardwalk from Seaside Heights, also known as Jersey Shore is now in pieces; people are without power and many are homeless. In response, much to his party’s chagrin, New Jersey’s Republican Governor Chris Christie set aside partisan politics and worked ...

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The Baldia Town factory fire was not pre-meditated murder!

Is it a crime that someone in Pakistan generates Rs2 billion in annual revenues? If this said person pays taxes worth Rs20 million per year, why is he implicated under section 302, which is premeditated murder, if his factory faces an accident? Is it fair that a person providing direct employment to 1,200 workers, translating into 1,200 families, whose factory suffers from an unanticipated fire, is sent to jail along with his gatekeeper, accountant and senior staff? Who benefits from the fact that the owners are in jail today? And what happens to the 900 workers who are depending on finances from ...

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Factory fire: The inspectors said that the building was safe

Eight hours after flames from the Baldia Town garment factory fire had been doused, the top floor of the building was still simmering. It is here that the highest number of deaths had taken place. Around 200 people had screamed for help and had tried to look for a way to escape, but to no avail. The only door was on fire, while the windows were too small to let the air in, resulting in people dying of suffocation. Only three people on the floor managed to come out alive after rescue workers tore through one of the small grilled ...

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My hell on earth

Dust and heat scrubbed this sky of all colour. Disfigured roads and dismal buildings littered the earth beneath it; a desolate land in shades of dirt. He looked upon the building below him. The veneer of smog and heat created the impression of a mirage, giving the factory an almost dream-like quality. “Death trap,” he whispered to himself. Day after day, he was sent to observe, not knowing why. He never questioned, much like the people he would see filling into this building in just a few moments. One door ─ they entered through one door every morning; they left through the same door every evening. There was ...

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Over 300 dead and the roar of deafening silence escalates

At this moment, Pakistan is featured in all international news channels and papers due to two unfortunate incidents of fire that took place in factories in Lahore and Karachi. The fire in the shoe factory in Lahore left 24 people dead, including the owner of the factory, and various injured while officials have confirmed that over 200 lives have been lost in the fire that took place in a garments factory in Karachi. Both fires broke out accidently and workers were trapped inside. In both cases, the buildings and occupational safety measures were said not to have been up to the standard described ...

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