Stories about child

Is Pakistan making the same mistakes with child rights as India?

The importance of modern education for any society is so obvious that it hardly needs any explanation. And indeed, the subcontinent has come a long way since the days of Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. Nonetheless, both India and Pakistan have failed to ensure a high level of literacy, let alone education for our masses even after more than six decades of independence. And this is a major reason for our economic backwardness. Moreover, lack of education is also a major factor behind the rise and growth of violent theofascist movements that pose a major threat to peace and progress in the ...

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Drone strikes: We’re humans, not bugs waiting to be squashed

Recently, a charity organisation in the UK by the name of Reprieve, along with the Foundation for Fundamental Rights (FFR), helped a group of artists install a giant portrait of a child victim of a US drone strike in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), using French artist JR’s ‘Inside Out’ movement. Since humans seem like ‘bugs’ when viewed by drone operators, and like bugs, they are mercilessly crushed by drone strikes, the idea behind this initiative labelled ‘Not a Bug Splat’ was that it would arouse empathy and humanity in drone operators when they spot the face of a child. Source: NotABugSplat It is quite heart-rending ...

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Women are responsible for domestic abuse, not men

It’s an age old story that women are the main victims of abuse. Over the years, many NGOs, awareness projects and feminists have forced laws to be passed against female victimisation. We have all blamed men for abuse, who are seemingly the dominant sex and similarly, many steps have been taken to make women realise that it is the men who are at fault. So, why then are women still subjected to abuse, even though they are aware of their rights and are more liberated than before? Why are they not raising their voice against domestic abuse? And also, are men really the main cause of abuse? These questions ...

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Having the thalassemia gene does not make you less marriageable

It’s not easy being a father when you know your child has a critical illness. I still remember the words of a thalassemia patient’s father when we were in search of a blood donor for his son, “Doctor Sahiba, log to meri shakal dekh ker hi munh pher lete hein ke phir aagaya hamara khoon nikalwane.” (Doctor, now when people look at me, they turn away, thinking that I’m back again to ask for blood.) It’s the same story with Ahsan, a four-year-old child diagnosed with thalassemia at the age of six months. His treatment initially began with blood transfusions every three months which ...

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Is this what it feels like to be invisible?

There are times in one’s life when one wants to be invisible. And then there are those unthinkable times when one actually is.  Flight MH 370. What does it feel like to be invisible? That is a question that crosses my mind as this story of this plane unfolded. As I close my eyes, I imagine that there I am, in all my glory, looking forward to life, availing all the opportunities that come my way, aspiring to make something of myself and on the verge of achieving what I always dreamt of. I am a professional. Dr Yuchen Li ...

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Karachi Grammar School admission blues: Do you have what it takes?

It is that time of the year again when parents of three-year-olds queue up breathlessly outside the most coveted red building in Pakistan, to get their wards admitted into this 150-odd years old institution thus, ensuring a ‘secure and bright future’ for their beloved offspring. Some of these little ones have been going to preparatory classes along with their preschools, filling their lives with more alphabets and numbers than any three-year-old should be subjected to. Every parent who saunters into this school is confident that his or her child is ‘the best’ and if Karachi Grammar School (KGS) lets them fall through ...

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Here is why breastfeeding your child is important

Hooray! The Balochistan Assembly finally enacted the Balochistan Protection and Promotion of Breastfeeding and Child Nutrition Bill 2014 on January 18, 2014. This is truly a progressive step towards a healthier province and a healthier Pakistan. However, the real test for the provincial government will be to effectively implement this bill, in letter and in spirit. I say this because, even though the Protection of Breastfeeding and Young Child Nutrition Ordinance 2002 is very much present on the statute books since its approval, its implementation  continues to remain a distant dream. As most of us know, Pakistan is not on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goal ...

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The repercussions of being a working woman instead of a mother in Pakistan

Recently, I posted an article on Facebook titled, ‘Sorry but being a mother is not the most important job in the world’ only to be faced with the wrath of many women, both with and without children, about how insensitive this article was and how I would never understand the importance of motherhood until I had my own child. The reaction I received to the post points to two things. First, perhaps understandably, the reactions seemed to be based on emotions rather than a critical reading of what the article actually says. The author is in no way trying to deride or ...

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STOP fighting, marital conflicts impact your children!

Imagine a wrestling match – the referees run around the ring, give signals to wrestlers, all the while being on the receiving end of a never-ending stream of abuse from both wrestlers. Now, imagine a child who lost the genetic lottery and ended up with parents who constantly quarrel. I would think that such a child would be subject to a similar amount of stress and anxiety to that experienced by WWE referees. Most couples have probably been through the experience of being in a heated negotiation when they suddenly looked around to find their child standing wide-eyed in a ...

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Malala would be better off living in Canada

Jon Stewart was not wrong when in his late night The Daily Show, he offered to adopt Malala Yousafzai. He was highly impressed by this child’s advocacy for education and  for him, it looked like a great deal.  It’s easier to raise a precocious child who is adamant to educate herself even after being persecuted by evil forces, as compared to many other kids in the US who play hooky on attending school.  However, Stewart did not know that his ‘adoption wish’ might come in handy for the brave girl. As the dust will settle in and normalcy will prevail, the question ...

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